Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory

2017 Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Meaning and Teaching

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-588-4_345

Synonyms

 Context;  Intention;  Mind;  Subsidiary awareness;  Truth

Plato in the Theaetetus, (1892, 198a) spoke of knowledge as something one could not just possess passively. To retrieve and use knowledge, one needs reason. Philip Phenix (1958) similarly wrote that rote memorization is relatively inefficient if the symbols learned are not significant to the learner. For Phenix, significance depends less on reason than on meaning.

Michael Polanyi (1969) agreed, saying that all human thought comes into existence by grasping the meaning and mastering the use of language. To grasp meaning, one has to interiorize external things or pour oneself into them. Meaning arises either by integrating clues in our own body or by integrating clues outside. We cannot learn to ride a bicycle by memorizing the laws of physics that govern its balance. The laws have to be made meaningful by getting on the bike and trying the different actions that keep it upright and heading in the direction we want it...

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References

  1. Davidson, D. (1980). Inquiries into truth and meaning. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  2. Dennett, D. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Google Scholar
  3. Lakoff, G., & Johnston, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Phenix, P. (1958). Realms of meaning. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  5. Polanyi, M. (1969). Knowing and being. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Quine, W. V. (1973). The roots of reference. New York: La Salle, Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Plato, (1892). Theaetetus, translation by Benjamin Jowett, Internet Archive. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/dialoguesplatov00platgoog

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tingrith, Margaret RiverCrawleyAustralia