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Related Words, Beliefs, Background

Worldview Theme #30: 

                  Intellectual Freedom

alphabetical listing: A to K 

  alphabetical listing, continued: L to Z
Contrast Worldview Themes #30 and #9A --    these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed!            

Contrast Worldview Themes #30 and #20B --    these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed!     

academic freedom-- the freedom of students, teachers, researchers, educational institutions, etc. to pursue knowledge, wherever it may lead, without interference.

 censorship—the practice of restricting communication (written, oral, in creative expression, etc)  and access to information by altering, deleting, or suppressing it.  While political / moral concerns are often cited as  rationale for censorship, it can result if someone in a position of authority finds a particular communication objectionable for whatever reason.

concept -- the abstract generalized ideas and understanding that replace a set of sensory experiences and memories of them. Example: a very young child handles similar different objects, rectangular blocks, orange, beach ball, tennis ball, toy cars, globe, etc. and eventually forms a concept of “roundness” -- that some of the objects handled fit in with, others don’t. The conceptualization process involves observing, abstracting, recalling memories, discriminating, categorizing, etc.

conceptual framework (or conceptual map) -- An idealized way of making sense out of a complicated world which begins in early childhood with recognizing similarities and differences between objects and building concepts. The process continues with fitting certain concepts that belong together into conceptual schemes for understanding, then fitting many conceptual schemes together to make a conceptual framework one that gets constantly torn down, rebuilt, and refined over many years -- a whole lifetime for some!

creative thinking -- thinking that happens without words or logic, and can involve images, intuition, emotions, and bodily feelings.

discovery learning--involves teachers designing learning environments that maximize the chances for students learning by discovering facts, relationships, etc. themselves.  Such an inquiry-based educational approach can be exciting and maximize chances for students remembering / retaining what they learn, but it can be both inefficient in terms of what is learned per time invested and frustrating for those students who don't make the intended discoveries!   

empiricism -- the belief that all knowledge comes from experience. As part of the foundation of science it stresses that scientific knowledge ultimately should be based on observation and experiment.

emotional intelligence--a term first described by Mayer and Salovey in 1990, and popularized by Daniel Goleman in a 1995 book. Of interest to both psychological researchers, and the general public, its meaning is still evolving. According to Mayer, etal in a 2008 Annual Review of Psychology article, emotional intelligence concerns the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought."  Goleman's latest conception of emotional intelligence sees four abilities as contributing to it: the ability to 1) be aware of one's own emotions, 2) control those emotions, 3) sense, comprehend, and respond to other's emotions, and 4) help other's emotions develop in the context of a relationship.  Some feel that EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) is as important as IQ in predicting a student's future success.  The last decade has seen many schools mount efforts to help students build emotional intelligence. 

epistemology -- the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge, its nature, where it comes from, the methods used to obtain it, and the limits faced by humans as they attempt to broaden knowledge.

explicit knowledge -- knowledge that can be expressed in words or with symbols (perhaps mathematical symbols) or otherwise abstracted from an actual individual experience. If the reality experienced is like the terrain, explicit statements describing it are like a map of the terrain. As science extends its map of reality, the scientific conceptual framework is steadily refined and becomes a better guide to the underlying terrain. But one must recognize that a limitation of science is that -- as good as the map is -- it can not replace the terrain itself, the actual experience of reality.

freedom of the press/ speech--something a government can grant its citizens and news / media organizations --believed to be a prerequisite for democracy.  Early in American history, Thomas Jefferson underscored the importance of a free press by saying, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." More recently the United Nations enshrined this--along with freedom of speech--as a basic human right, proclaiming, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"  

global education--wholistic education that focuses on whole systems and emphasizes the interconnections and interdependencies that traditional, reductionist education often overlooks. It extends boundaries of concern, and strives to involve the whole person--seen as a thinking, feeling, and doing creature. 

ignorance, two types of -- -- a distinction between types of ignorance: problems vs. mysteries (first made by linguist Noam Chomsky). A problem solving approach can be employed to better understand what we already know at least something about, whereas those things that are totally bewildering can be considered unfathomable mysteries that we can only stand in awe of. Whereas the scientific method focuses on problems, mysteries are the stuff of religion. A long-term goal of science is to steadily incorporate more and more phenomena once considered mysteries into its framework of understanding.

insight -- discerning or sensing intuitively the inner nature of something. It can involve a sudden recognition that leads to an intellectual leap involving reorganizing or restructuring knowledge that makes relationships or function clear

intellectual commons movement–involves many people contributing to solving a problem or creating a software based product without concern for intellectual ownership or financial gain.  The fruit of such efforts is typically made freely available to others in open source fashion.  Examples include free software (including web browsers) and Wikipedia.

intellectual curiosity--involves the desire to use one's intellectual / reasoning abilities in investigating, exploring, and learning more about a particular part of intellectual terrain. Put another way, it is the desire to extend one's conceptual map of Reality.   

intellectual property / cultural rights--refer to an individual claiming ownership and associated exclusive benefits for works / products he or she has created or a whole culture making similar claims when outsiders seek to benefit from their cultural heritage.

intuition -- immediate insight that occurs without conscious awareness. To some intuition is an almost mystical process, or others a response to very subtle cues and stimuli received unconsciously.

justification of belief -- This involves 1) believing that according to some standard or by some criterion a statement is actually true, 2) having evidence or data to support the above conclusion, and 3) evaluating the certainty with which the belief is established. In this latter regard, if the evidence or data is complete and fully applicable or relevant to the standard or criterion, the belief can be accepted with certainty; if the evidence is only partially complete and / or not fully applicable or relevant, some doubt should accompany accepting the belief, if it is accepted at all. And, of course, the standard or criterion used should be subjected to similar scrutiny, or at least identified when promoting the belief.

knowledge, two kinds of -- Bertrand Russell distinguished between 1) Knowledge by acquaintance, that is knowledge gained by direct experience involving a) sensory experience, b) objects of memory, c) internal states, d) ourselves, and 2) Knowledge by description, that is thought-out or mediated knowledge of a) other selves , and b) physical objects (our conceptualization of them, not direct sensory experience ) The distinction he makes is what others (most notably Michael Polanyi in Tacit Knowledge, and Graham Martin in Shadows in the Cave ) have elaborated on in distinguishing between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge.

  learning domains--educational activities and associated objectives are sometimes categorized using three domains: 1) cognitive--relates to comprehending and intellectual processing of information and knowledge in forming concepts, having ideas, and having beliefs; 2) affective--relates to the emotions associated with learning experiences; 3) psychomotor--relates to the physical activity and motor skills component of learning. Very loosely these learning domains can be related to thinking, feeling, and doing.

liberal education--the Association of American Colleges and Universities describes this as "a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a stronger sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement ... characterized by challenging encounters with important issues, and more a way of studying than a specific course or field of study"

liberalism -- a rational, tolerant, generous, hopeful orientation that emphasizes individual freedom from restraint. Liberalism is often associated with progressive social change.

rationalism -- a philosophical orientation that links finding ultimate truth to employing reasoning

Reality Marketplace -- an imaginary place (made real on the project Worldview website!) where important ideas, beliefs, values, and worldview themes are bought and sold, and where someone might go to find answers to life’s important questions, like: “Why am I here?”, “How does nature work?”, “How can I find God?”, “How should I live?”, etc.

scientism -- an ideology that asserts that 1) the methods of the natural sciences should be used in all areas of investigation including philosophy, humanities, and the social sciences, and 2) only these methods can fruitfully be used in the quest for knowledge.

seekers vs. believers--In his book The Seekers, Daniel Boorstin makes the distinction as follows. "...we are all Seekers.  We all want to know why.  Man is the asking animal. And while the finding, the belief that we have found the Answer, can separate us and make us forget our humanity, it is the seeking that continues to bring us together..."    

tabula rasa -- refers to the idea that, at birth, one’s mind is a tabula rasa or blank slate on which knowledge will be steadily recorded as one experiences and learns

tacit knowledge -- knowledge that can not be put into words, symbols or otherwise made into explicit knowledge. It is argued that you both know much more than you can describe, and that often you know but can’t identify how it is you know. Tacit knowledge is intimately connected with personal experience of reality, whereas explicit knowledge is one step removed from reality. It is argued that the attempted transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge (by putting one’s experience into words) can not only at times be difficult, fall far short , or be impossible, but can lead to falsification. Such falsification results when an experienced “whole truth” becomes a pieced together collection of parts (words and symbols) and something much different from the whole. Mystical experience is firmly set in the realm of tacit knowledge.

value judgment -- comparing either something concrete (person, object, etc) or something abstract (quality, principle, etc) to some idealized standard. A value judgment is what bridges the gap between “what is” and “what ought to be”.  Closely related is the act of valuing, which can be thought of as choosing (from alternatives) and taking appropriate action to acquire something (concrete or abstract) or hold onto it.

values -- abstract qualities, principles, beliefs, or aspects of behavior that a person or a whole society holds in high regard after making value judgments.

values articulation -- clarifying values and both 1) affirming them in terms meaningful to others, and 2) exploring the implications of practicing and applying them -- and being able to do both of these in relation to different cultural traditions or within the framework of various diverse belief systems / worldviews.

values clarification, steps in the process of valuing -- 1) privately prizing and cherishing; 2) publicly affirming beliefs and choosing one’s behavior (when appropriate); 3) choosing from alternatives; 4) choosing after consideration of consequences; 5) acting on one’s beliefs; 6) acting with a pattern, consistency and repetition





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