Education after Wittgenstein: A Causal-Cultural Theory of Reference and Meaning and its Implications for Education
Citation:SPIERS, DUNCAN ALEXANDER, Education after Wittgenstein: A Causal-Cultural Theory of Reference and Meaning and its Implications for Education, Trinity College Dublin.School of Education, 2020
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Educational theory frequently does not appear to have satisfactory cognitive and linguistic foundations. It is frequently reliant on empirical or ethnographic findings but without a connection to the underlying cognitive and linguistic faculties. This thesis sets out to remedy this defect. In doing so a causal theory of perception, knowledge, reference and meaning is developed. On analysis, it is found that knowledge is ultimately based on the recognition of objects in the natural world. Descriptions of objects such as allow criteria for identification and re-identification allow objects to be singled out or grouped into sets dependent upon their perceptual characteristics. The foundations of logic and mathematics are grounded in object identification and grouping. Regularities in object characteristics and behaviour allow for the generation of concepts and hypotheses. The methods are analytic logic, deductive-nomological and inductive-statistical. Our knowledge develops incrementally from simples to complexes. In parallel with this our forms of speech develop incrementally from simples to complexes. Similarly, methods and the conditions of satisfaction which are necessary in order to raise an description from being an opinion to being an assertion of fact. In the field of social knowledge, it is found that there are five forms of speech act. These necessarily involve power relations. Collective meaning is negotiated in dialogues. Speech acts are the basis of the construction and analysis of social institutions and organisation. The form of speech necessary for description of social organisation is the narrative. The methods are interpretative or hermeneutical. There are conditions of satisfaction required for explanations of social phenomena. The conditions of satisfaction devolve ultimately upon evolutionary selection. The sum of social knowledge, organisation, forms of life and social products are termed 'culture'. A causal-cultural theory of reference and meaning is developed and stated. The theory has implications for learning and teaching. This is particularly so for the staged delivery of teaching materials. Insight and creativity are important for understanding and problem solving. Affect and emotions enhance memory acquisition. Power relations are necessarily involved in discourses. Various means of enhancing learning and teaching are proposed.
Author: SPIERS, DUNCAN ALEXANDER
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Education. Discipline of Education
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available