The Matrix and the Cave: Reconsidering the Ontological Dimension of EducationReportar como inadecuado

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Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook, n1 p15-24 Dec 2006

The Western theory of education was in its Greek origin inseparably tied to the Greek concept of Being and truth. This is shown clearly by the metaphor of the Cave in the seventh book of Plato's Republic. This interdependence of education (paideia) with Being (which later was identified with Nature or God) has provided, since then, a firm ontological basis for the theory of education. However, with the rise of epistemology in the seventeenth century and the corresponding transformation of ontology (which transformed Being into sense-data or representation), the preoccupation of educational theory began to shift to the reorganization of our representations. Pestalozzi's educational method (Methode) is the classical example of this shift, even though his vision of the world is still impregnated with Platonic-Christian tradition. Now it seems that, with the rise of information technology, which increasingly abolishes the difference between the real and the virtual (this situation can be illustrated through the movie, The Matrix), the modern epistemological tradition, together with Descartes' fear of evil demon, has reached its apex, thus putting an end to the ontological dimension of education altogether. Taking Heidegger's thought on technology as a guide, we will interpret this shift from ancient ontology to modern epistemology within the context of history of ontology. We will thereby consider the problem of information technology as a fundamentally ontological problem. In order to face the challenge of information technology, philosophy of education must become keenly aware of its ontological background. (Contains 24 notes.)

Descriptors: Information Technology, Epistemology, Educational Theories, Educational Philosophy, Influence of Technology

Japanese Educational Research Association. UK's Building 3F, 2-29-3 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan. Tel: +81-3-3818-2505; Fax: +81-3-3816-6898; e-mail: jsse[at]; Web site:

Autor: Kato, Morimichi


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