Philosophical and Psychological
Foundations of Education



My Educational Philosophy
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de Bary
Roland Martin

I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self. ~ Aristotle

And we think happiness has pleasure mingled with it, but the activity of wisdom is admittedly the pleasantest of excellent activities; at all events philosophy is thought to offer pleasures marvelous for their purity and their enduringness, and it is to be expected that those who know will pass their time more pleasantly than those who inquire. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

The activity of intellect, which is contemplative, seems both to be superior in worth and to aim at no end beyond itself, and to have its pleasure proper to itself (and this augments the activity), and the self-sufficiency, leisureliness, unweariedness (so far as this is possible for man), and all the other attributes ascribed to the blessed man are evidently those connected with this activity, it follows that this will be the complete happiness of man. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Moral virtues come from habits. They are not in us neither by nature, nor in despite of nature, but we are furnished by nature with a capacity for receiving them, and we develop them through habit. These virtues we acquire first by exercising them, as in the case of other arts. Whatever we learn to do, we learn by actually doing it: men come to be builders, for instance, by building, and harp players by playing the harp. In the same way by doing just acts we come to be just; by doing self-controlled acts, we come to be self-controlled; and by doing brave acts, we come to be brave. ~ Aristotle

Wishes are hard to discern, and even people who are not just pretend to wish to act justly. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Thus, in one word, states arise out of like activities. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Where there are things to be done the end is not to survey and recognize the various things, but rather to do them; with regard to excellence, then, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it, or try any other way there may be of becoming good. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

For human nature should be early habituated to endure all which by habit it can be made to endure; but the process must be gradual. . . . Such care should attend them in the first stage of life. ~ Aristotle, Politics

We can do noble acts without ruling earth and sea; for even with moderate advantages one can act excellently (this is manifest enough; for private persons are thought to do worthy acts no less than despots—indeed even more). ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

We call complete without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

For while a wise man, as well as a just man and the rest, need the necessaries of life, when they are sufficiently equipped with things of that sort the just man needs people towards whom and with whom he shall act justly, and the temperate man, the brave man, and each of the others is in the same case, but the wise man, even when by himself, can contemplate truth, and the better the wiser he is; he can perhaps do so better if he has fellow-workers, but still he is the most self-sufficient. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

It is hard, if not impossible, to remove by argument the traits that have long since been incorporated in the character; and perhaps we must be content if, when all the influences by which we are thought to become good are present, we get some tincture of excellence. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle, e.g. to find the middle of a circle is not for everyone but for him who knows; so, too, anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right aim, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; that is why goodness is both rare and laudable and noble. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Vices respectively fall short of or exceed what is right in both passions and actions, while excellence both finds and chooses that which is intermediate. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

The general account being of this nature, the account of the particular cases is yet more lacking in exactness; for they do not fall under any art or set of precepts, but the agents themselves must in each case consider what is appropriate to the occasion, as happens also in the art of medicine or of navigation. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Nor is practical wisdom concerned with universals only—it must also recognize the particulars; for it is practical, and practice is concerned with particulars. This is why some who do not know, and especially those who have experience, are more practical than others who know. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

It would seem, then, that the detail is worked out with more precision if the care is particular to individuals; for each person is more likely to get what suits his case. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Clearly we ought not be playing, for then play would be the end of life. But if this is inconceivable, and play is needed more amid serious occupations than at other times (for he who is hard at work has need of relaxation, and play gives relaxation, whereas occupation is always accompanied with exertion and effort), we should introduce amusements only at suitable times, and they should be our medicines, for the emotion which they create in the soul is a relaxation, and from the pleasure we obtain rest. ~ Aristotle, Politics

Rhythm and melody supply imitations of anger and gentleness, and also of courage and temperance, and of all the qualities contrary to these, and of the other qualities of character, which hardly fall short of the actual affections, as we know from our own experience, for in listening to such strains our souls undergo a change. ~ Aristotle, Politics

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

He who would learn to command well must, as men say, first of all learn to obey. ~ Aristotle, Politics

It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits. ~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

For without friends, no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. ~ Aristotle


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