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Title: Vico, pragmatism and education : some Vichian perspectives on American thought
Author: Moran, A. D.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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This work examines Vico's thought in terms of its possible implications for modern theory and practice of education. A mechanism whereby Vico's work may have influenced later educational theorists, notably Pestalozzi, is examined. This involves consideration of the role of the Swiss Enlightenment thinker F.B. de Felice in carrying ideas like Vico's into that country. Direct transmission of Vichian ideas into the USA in the early nineteenth century by Europeans (e.g. by Niebuhr's protégé Frans Lieber) is examined as is the less direct influence of European ideas on Ralph Waldo Emerson whose views in many ways may be shown to be 'proto-pragmatic'. The pragmatists are next investigated. Similarities and differences between Peirce's and Vico's vies, especially in relation to their notions of 'science' are described and evaluated. William James's work is described and his psychology and its possible effect on our understanding of 'the learner' is compared with Vico's. John Dewey's work in theory and practice of education is related to and compared with Vico's. The investigation shows that the pragmatists had in their work much in common with Vico. They were constructivist and anti-Cartesian, believing men were self-making rather than being made by reference to things outside them. Their epistemology and psychology and the theories of society which follow from these is examined. In particular, their notion of the 'common sense' is shown to have important consequences for education theory. The differences between their views are synthesised. It is concluded that this synthesis, consideration of the historic transmission of such views, and the fusion of Vico's with the pragmatist's ideas will provide a valuable insight into the way in which we may use Vico's work in modern educational practice most notably in curriculum theory and pedagogy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available