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Bishwajit Mazumder

Nursing Instructor
Dhaka Nursing College, Dhaka
Philosophy of Nursing Education

Concept of Philosophy
The word Philosophy is made up of two Greek words Philo and Sophia. Philo
means love and Sophia means wisdom. Philosophy is the love of wisdom or knowledge.
Philosophy endeavors to understand all that comes within the boundary of human experience.
Philosophy is the search for a comprehensive view of nature. It is an attempt at a universal
explanation of the nature of things.

Definitions of Philosophy
Some definitions have been offered to understand the term philosophy. Listed below
are a few of them.
1. Philosophy is the science of knowledge Fichte
2. Philosophy is the science and criticism of cognition Kant
3. Philosophy aims at the knowledge of the eternal nature of things Plato
4. Philosophy is the science which investigates the nature of being as it is in itself
5. Philosophy like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge Bertrand Russell
6. Philosophy is a logical enquiry into the nature of reality Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

Scope of Philosophy in Education

The general scope of philosophy is very vast. Within its scope, we discuss soul, God,
mystic powers, the origin of the universe, its expansion and development, truth, morality,
aesthetics and logic.
The subject Philosophy can be divided into three major divisions including
i. Metaphysics,
ii. Epistemology and
iii. Axiology
These branches are particularly important in the various aspects of education ranging from
curriculum construction to its transaction in the classroom.
1. Metaphysics: Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy, which deals with the nature of
reality. Metaphysics tries to answer the question, What is real? It was Aristotle who
developed the study of Metaphysics.
2. Epistemology: Epistemology deals with the theory concerning the various aspects of
knowledge and its acquisition. Epistemology tries to answer, How do we get knowledge?
How does a man know what is real?
3. Axiology: Axiology is that branch of Philosophy, which is concerned with values. It is an
attempt to discover and recommend principles for deciding what actions and qualities are
most worthwhile and why they are so. Axiology is the source of the aim of education.
Axiology has two major sub divisions Ethics and Aesthetics.
Ethics is concerned with good and bad, right and wrong and approval and disapproval as well
as virtue and vice.
Aesthetics is inquiry into the nature of what is beautiful or ugly and why it is so.

Relationship between philosophy and education

Education and philosophy, two disciplines, are very closely related and in some areas
they overlap each other. It is quite often said that philosophy and education are two sides of
same coin. Education is dynamic side of philosophy. Education is the best means for the
propagation of a Philosophy. It is the active aspect of philosophical belief, a practical means
of realizing the ideals of life. Philosophy and education are closely related in the following
1. Philosophy and curriculum: Curriculum is the means through which the educator can
realize his goal. As philosophy determines the aims of education, so also it determines the
curriculum. Philosophy also decides why a particular subject should be included in the
2. Philosophy and methods of teaching: Methods are means through which the goal of
education can be realized. Dewey in his book Democracy and Education introduces the
essentials of Project Method. The Naturalists take seriously Rousseaus dictum, give your
scholar no verbal lesson, he should be taught by experience alone. Thus he advocates
Learning-by-Doing. For the Idealists, school/intuition is a garden and the teacher is a
gardener. Different philosophies advocate different methods of teaching.
3. Philosophy and teacher: According to Spencer, only a true philosopher may give a
practical shape to education. Every person has a philosophy of life and in the same way;
every educator has a philosophy of education. Sri Aurobindo says, A teacher is a man
helping his brothers a light kindling other lights, an awakened soul, awakening other
4. Philosophy and discipline: Regarding the nature of discipline, the philosophers differ in
their use. The philosophers, who support liberal view, reject the traditional notion of
authority. It is not silence or obedience that keeps a class well disciplined, but the cooperative
efforts of the teacher and students engaged in learning activities. According to them, the
teacher is not absolute authority but is an integral element or part of the group. Thus
philosophy determines the nature and form of discipline whether school/institution
discipline should be strict and rigid or flexible and free.
5. Philosophy and evaluation: Evaluation is a device through which we can get exact ideas
of what students actually achieve from their teaching-learning process. Philosophers who
support the conservative view on evaluation are of the opinion that intellectual development
of the students can be judged in terms of their mastery of the subject. On the contrary, the
liberal school/institution is not concerned with the academic achievements of the students but
they take the help of varieties of techniques and methods to measure the personal and social
development of the students.
6. Philosophy and text book: Philosophy is greatly involved in the choice of text books. The
contents of the text book must mirror the philosophy or way of life of the people. Text books
are meant to spread the ideals of democracy, secularism and socialism as enshrined in the
7. Philosophy and behavior: Philosophy makes a student broadminded, generous and
tolerant. Through Philosophy a student can be taught refinement in his attitudes and even
conditioned to a desirable behavioral pattern. Whether a child is high or low in thought, brave
or cowardly, joyful or gloomy, faithful or faithless can be determined by his philosophy.

How influences of philosophy on curriculum

Curriculum is the sum total of the activities and experiences provided by school/
college to its pupil to achieve aim of education. The philosophy determines the content and
discipline that subject will promote curriculum. It is not fixed at all times; it changes in
accordance with philosophy. Thus curriculum differs with different school of philosophy
according to their own beliefs. Thus education needs leaders,, who hold a sound
comprehensive philosophy through which they can convince others and who can direct its
consistent application to the formation to the function of appropriate curriculum.
The content of curriculum varies according to the philosophy it follows:
Idealist emphasis higher values of life and prescribe the study of religion, ethics,
logic, literature, arts and humanities.
Pragmatists advocate the study of functional subjects and social sciences, practical
arithmetic, arts and crafts in their curriculum.
Naturalists are mainly concerned with physical sciences and direct experiences. The
subjects are selected according to the aptitude and ability of the child.

Branches of modern philosophy

Modern philosophy contains is main branches of thought, each with their own unique focus:
Metaphysics: The nature of reality and universe.
Epistemology: The study of knowledge and how it is acquired.
Logic: How to develop valid arguments includes mathematical logic.
Ethics: The study of right and wrong and how people should live.
Politics: The study of government, citizen right and political obligation.
Aesthetics: Beauty, art and artistic perception.

Functions/ attributes of philosophy

Philosophy may help us:
1. To understand the relations among past, present and future in a human meaningful
2. To acquire a dialogic habit, i.e. an instrument of social, ethical, religious and ethical
tolerance and, therefore, of peace.
3. To analyze critically everyday speech and specialist languages (i.e., political, scientific,
educational, mass-media languages), for the crucial analysis discloses and reduces the
potential tyranny of the words;
4. To be relativists, but not as human beings indifferent to human questions;
5. To find our own way in the "labyrinth" of knowing and socio-political co-construction.

General impacts of modern philosophy on education

Common element s in all modern philosophy:
1. Education has been psychologies instructions are based on child centered, individual
differences have been recognized.
2. The principles of activity i.e. learning by doing is common watch world.
3. Social discipline is a patent factor of educational development , the child is to be trained
for community life.
4. Democracy has been developed and it is the guiding factor of educational practices. There
is scientific outlook on all matters of life.
5. The concept of discipline in education has undergone a radical change.

Importance of educational philosophy to a teacher

1. To understand and accept the prevailing values of the society.
2. It results in intellectual development of the teacher.
3. It helps to improve the standard of his life.
4. It guides and improves the state property.
5. It helps to bring about changes in various aspects of education.
6. It reforms the society.

Differences between philosophy and education

These are the difference between philosophy and education:
Philosophy Education
1. It sets the ideals, principles, goals, 1. Education works out those values.
standards, values thus it is in reality and truth
2. It is the theory and speculative. 2. It explains how to achieve the goals
through man's educational efforts.
3. It is the contemplative side. 3. It is the practice.
4. It deals with abstract ideas and ends the 4. It is the active side (dynamic). It is the
situations process. applied philosophy. It deals with concrete
and means.
5. It is the art. 5. It is the science.
6. Philosophy formulates the method. 6. It deals with the processes of method.

1. Neeraja, K. P. (2003). Text book of Nursing Education, Jaypee Brothers Medical
Publisher(P) Ltd, New Delhi, India
2. Dash, N. R. (2015). Philosophical Foundation of Education. Directorate of distance &
continuing education, Utkal University, Vani Vihar Bhubaneswar-751 007
3. Schofield,H (1975). The Philosophy of Education An Introduction, 6th Edition, London
George Allen & Unwin ltd, Thetford, Norfolk
4. Meaning -scope-and-functions-of-philosophy. Retrieved from
5. Philosophy-Statement. Retrieved from