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Max Scheler’s education concept in the light of his philosophical anthropology

In modern pedagogy, the educational ideal of knowledge is gradually being established as a special property of a person included in the existence of the world. The formation of a person comes to the fore here, not just the process of transferring a certain amount of knowledge. One of the founders of this approach is Max Scheler.

Materials and methods. The general foundations for the study of his concept of education were the method of philosophical and anthropological reconstruction and the method of meaningful and semantic interpretation, as well as dialectical, hermeneutic, comparative, ascent from the abstract to the concrete, systemic and other methods.

The main results of the study. The German thinker developed his theory of education on the basis of philosophical anthropology and the sociology of knowledge, the component parts of which are phenomenology and axiology.

The main task of philosophical anthropology is to analyze the essence and essential structure of man, the sources of his being, which combines a powerful but blind energetic-vital “impulse” and a seeing, but weak content-semantic “spirit” axiologically striving towards the Divine. First of all, a person is a loving creature, and then – a knowing and willing.

Scheler identified three types of knowledge – practical, positive, aimed at achieving pragmatic goals; essential, educational, aimed at the formation and development of the individual, and metaphysical, salvific, striving to comprehend the higher basis of being, which can be used in the process of education and spiritual development of a person, where the second type of knowledge plays the main role.

Education is the process of self-creation of a person through love for other people, God and the whole world, the philosopher emphasizes. The metaphysical prerequisite for the self-formation of a personality is freedom as the spontaneity of its spiritual center. The goal of education is the realization of the ideal of the whole human as a comprehensively and spiritually developed personality, consistently revealing all its essential capabilities. In the absolute sense, the “whole human” is the “guiding idea” of a person who, in infinite form and finite variety, consistently reveals all his essential capabilities. In a relative sense, this ideal is embodied in the idea of a “well-formed human” striving for self-development in specific historical conditions and life circumstances. The comprehensive and holistic worldview of the individual, the philosopher comes to the conclusion, is possible through the acquisition and assimilation of essential, educational and other types of knowledge that determine the structure of ordering and understanding the facts of the possible experience of people.

Keywords: Max Scheler, phenomenology, axiology, metaphysics, sociology of knowledge, philosophical anthropology, the concept of education

For Reference: Burkhanov, R. A., & Gagarin, A. S. (2020). Max Scheler’s education concept in the light of his philosophical anthropology. Perspektivy nauki i obrazovania – Perspectives of Science and Education, 48 (6), 10-21. doi: 10.32744/pse.2020.6.1

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Information about the authors:

Rafael A. Burkhanov (Russia, Surgut) - Professor, Doctor of Philosophy, Head of the Philosophy and Law Department. Surgut State University. E-mail: ra.nvarta@gmail.com. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4910-3759

Anatoly S. Gagarin (Russia, Ekaterinburg) - Associate Professor, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor at the Department of Political Science of Department of Political Science and Sociology of Ural Humanitarian Institute. Ural Federal University. E-mail: Gagarin_a@mail.ru. ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4407-0794 

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