Monday, December 5, 2016

Dostoevsky: The Quantum Mechanics of Emotions

Dostoyevsky is a marvel of Russia! Dostoevsky has shown, through his writings, that humans can fathom the depths of reason without losing the guidance of heart. The great Russian novelist, Dostoevsky, was in fact a mathematician of human emotions. Dostoevsky was a unity of art and higher level mathematics.

Where he shows that he viewd the affairs of human like a Pascal or Al Beruini? When he knits his character through defining his/ her limitations, aspirations, and struggles.
The example of limitations that Dostoevsky beautifully imposed on his characters are economical and emotional , and rational limitations. 

Economical limitations are the most obvious ones! Look at the Characters of Prince Myshkin, Mitya, and Raskolnikov! Donia, Gurushenka, Nastasia and Sonia! These characters are finacially bankrupted , but have great emotional lives. To a certain degree all these characters are difined by their economic worth or worthlessness! 

Money is essential! But money isn't the goal of these characters! These immortal characters live in stark poverty, yet they aren't interested in money: their aims are higher than the gold. Yet it is strange to say that their worse plight, their sufferings are mostly enhanced if not caused by the dearth of money. Mitya needs 3000 roubles, Raskolnikov has no money and has reached his hypondriasis through the route of stark poverty, Prince Myshkin is poor in the initial stages, Donia suffers due to the poverty of her family, and Sonia sells her body to feed the kids of her step mother. Stark poverty is a great source of suffering in Dostoevsky's novels.

Poverty is the route to suffering, yet these magnanimous souls nver run after money! They throw the money in the face of those who want to buy their emotional lives with the help of money. Dostoevky looks too much inspired by the lesson of the Temptations in the New Testament. He has mentioned that incident in the beginning of The Grand Inquisitor. 

Yes! Dostoevsky follows the Christian ideal of a free of temptation love and faith. Where there is a temptation in love, there it becomes worthless! A desire for money cannot be mingled with a desire for love! The result of such conmingling are the characters like the " Fiance of Donia in the Crime and Punishment. The Suitor of Nastasia whom rhagozin insulted in the " Idiot." Even Rakitin is close to such a sinister conmingling of the love for money and love. The result is eternal damnation in the world of Dostoyevsky. 

It is quite clear that money isn't the aim: So Donia doesn't surrender her soul to the lust of Sividrigailov. Raskolnikov didn't allow his sister to Donia to marry the greedy lawyer. He refused the career and money for the sake of true human relations. Nothing is important in this world than human love. 

And yet sometimes reason leaves the love behind, and drives a man crazy! " Ivan was described by Mitya " as a tomb." " Ivan is a tomb" says Mitya.  Why? For Ivan was an embodiment of reason, and it was his reason that ultimately pushed him towards the abyss of madness. 

Raskolnikov was deceived by his reason into an act of utter violence. An act of violence that was a burden on his conscience. " When he was free he was in prison, and when was in prison, he was free! " Says Dostoevsky about Ivan. What was his Prison? In one word , the sting of his conscience. What was his relief? Acceptance of his crime, and go to the prison. The police officer who was following his trail knew that he would eventually confess the crime just because he couldn't bear the perpetual sting of conciense. 

But when the reason reaches its height on its flight under the guidance of love, it reaches the wisdom of Father Zossima, and his disciple Alyosha. THese two embodiments of reason and love are epitome of the Christian ideal in Dostoevsky's world. Father Zossima and Alyosha are always confronted with the paradox of faith, yet they are powerful enough to stand their ground in the face of the attacks of scepticism. Alyosha's faith is always tested, and succeded in defending itself. It was tested by Ivan's reason, by the death of the Saint Zossima, by his own father, by the sufferings of his brothers! And yet it sustains all the attacks. 

Another religious personality is the Idiot, Prince Myshkin. Who this man is? He is an idiot, for he is not selfish, and doesn't guard his self interest. He doesn't have any self interest, not owing to any kind of asceticism, but owing to his mentle illness. He is an idiot! 

And yet his doctor has asked, " Never lie to anyone, and to yourself." This man is a saint in it that he accepts everything that comes to his mind, he never has negative emotions that he could challenge. He only has an acceptance of himself, and he expresses what he feels. Prince Myshkin is like the God's fool whom the God loved. 

Dostoyevsky's world is amazing! It tells us about strange deals! Barters! Every dealing in the world of humans is a well thought out deal! In Insulted and humiliated a little girl, who has no one to take care of her, refuses the custody of a wealthy man. The reason? The wealthy according to that little girl wanted to adopt her because he had abandoned his own daughter. And to fill that gap he wanted to adopt her! The girl laid bare the true motive behind the intent to adopts her and refused to enter that deal.

Katrina Ivanovna had money, beauty, and she apparently even loved Mitya! Yet Mitya knew that she only loved herself, and refused her! Raskolnikov refused the deal between Donia and his fiancee saying that the only purpose he wanted to marry his sister was her povert and beauty. He wanted a wife who would always feel indebted to him! Such relations do not give happiness! 

Raskolnikov criticized Donia for her pity and support for her step mother's kids. That deal was harshly criticized by him, and yet Sonia didn't break that deal! She continued to sell her body for the survival of the kids. 

In such deals, in their explanation and analysis Dostoevsky seems to solve quantum mecjhanical equations of the emotional life! It is here that the mathematical skills of this master artist come to fore!

Khalid Rawat

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Critique of the Hindutva Concept of RSS and BJP:

The concept of Hindutva as presented and pursued by the BJP and RSS nexus has a basic flaw in it. It does not account for the new reality of the subcontinent! Now what is that new reality of the subcontinent that the Hindutva concept failed to address? The new reality is that each and every thinking mind of the subcontinent has to reconcile three authorities! These are Hinduism, Islam, and the Modern Western thought!

The fallacy of Hindutva lies in following the Manu's law as it is! Whereas it is quite clear that Manu's law contradicts certain important aspects of both Islam and the modern Western thought! What are those aspects? In order to know those aspects I would like to start from positing the basic tenets of Manu's laws!

Manu's law divides human population into four Vernas or classes according to their virtues! Manu's law rightly identifies that a society functions on the basis of four cardinal virtues! These virtues are Wisdom and knowledge, and Brahman class represents it. The second virtue is of courage and Kshatriya class represents it! The third vitue is the accumulation of wealth and marketing, and the Vaish class masters it. And the fourth virtue is of temperance that the Dalit or the service offering class has to master!

THese four cardinal virtues are necessary for the society! Manu Smitri has asked the society to promote and preserve these virtues! For a society needs a knowledge base, and a law giving class! A defending class embodied in the Kshatriya! A wealth earning class represented by the Vaish! And a service offering class represented by the working or the labor class!

Manu Smitri is brilliant in it that it has instituted laws to perfect these virtues, and advocated a class based society! Manu Smitri, or Manu's law wants to evolve social classes that are reared up to practice these virtues! It is a deep idea, and it requires a lot of discussion to understand its true merits! I have no objection on it!

However, after the advent of Islam, a new virtue was given the cardinal importance! And that virtue is the vitue of Taqwa! Taqwa means to abstain from the wrong doings, and practice the right parh! If we combine Manu's virtues with Taqwa we come across an interesting situation! Islam recognizes that Brahman is for knowledge, Khatriya is for courage, Vaish is for wealth and Shudra is for the services! However, in the course of history these four virtues were compromised! And vested interests stopped the Brahman from the true service of Knowledge! Kshatriya compromised honor! Vaish aspired to rule! And the Shudra aspired to pursue its material desires!

Islamic virtue of Taqwa asks all these four Vernas to sacrifice their ulterior motives for their Cardinal virtues! That is Taqwa! So Taqwa basically askes the Brahman to sacrifice everything else for the acquisition of knowledge! Taqwa asks Kshatriya to abandon anything else for the sake of honor! It asks Vaish to earn wealth for the socirty! It asks the sevice or the proleteriate class to perfect their skills!

It is quite evident that the cardinal virtue of Taqwa is essential for the society! It is a necessary virtue, for in the course of history the Vernas started following other motives! Taqwa is an essential part to be preaced in Hindutva!

The in put of the Western philosophy is also important and unavoidable!

In the Western tradition the believe in the functionalism of the four Vernas! But they say that in the modern times, since every Verna is corrupted, therefore it is no longer important to give the birth right to the classes! Modern West is against the birth right! It says that a Shudra can have an appetite for knowledge far exceeding the whole Brahman class! A Brahman can be a greater Vaish than any Vaish! And you can extend this line of thought to understand the fact that the birth right is no longer relevant! So the Western though promotes merit! It says that we accept the four Vernas but it is not a matter of birth right!

No my point is that! If you want to institute Manu Smitri in today's world, you should promote both Taqwa and Merit!

Merit means even a Shudra can be a Kshtriya! And Taqwa means that a Kshtriya, selected on the merit should religiously follow his merit! This is what I want to say! I will write further on this subject if you ask me questions! But My conclusion is that: Manu, Islam, and the West don't contradict but supplement each other! I invite questions from the reader! And this means BJP_ RSS has to promote all three concepts of  society in the Indian subcontinent! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reflections on Nietzsche's philosophy

Nietzsche’s Philosophy
Nietzsche’s philosophy is not as complicated as it appears to be. The reason it appears complicated is that people try to read some absolute meaning in it, which obviously it does not offer. People try to see his philosophy as a positivistic fat or reality, which obviously it isn’t. Like everything else it is open to interpretation.
So how should we approach Nietzsche? The answer is we should approach Nietzsche in a manner that allows us to interpret his philosophy in a certain paradigm of meaning. A paradigm that befits our own individual situations.
What I am proposing here is an interpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophy from my perspective.
Nietzsche’s Theory of Language
In the Semitic religious tradition, the most praised intellectual quality of humans is termed as the ability to name things. This ability to name things places humans above angels and the rest of the creation.
“And He taught Adam the names—all of them. And then He showed them to angels and asked, “Inform me of the names of these, if you are truthful.”
The angels couldn’t name the animals, but when the Lord asked Adam, he successfully named everything before him.
This ability to name things is the very basis of the human cognitive abilities. Man knows his world, and the objects in it through their names.
What is a name? In the world of linguistics, a name is called a sign, and it is a combination of two things. A sound, or a word, and a concept. The sound or the word we use in a name joins with a concept to form a name.
It is said that the sound or the word we choose for a concept in a name is arbitrary, means there may or may not be a reason behind its choice.
The other part of a name or a sign, the concept, is formed through a long social process. This process is very much like the process of qualitative research.
The process of research starts with something that we want to study. We gather data about that entity, analyze it and then formulate a theory about that entity, after careful sifting and reductions.
The same process is used in the formation of concepts. People of a community interact with an entity or a situation. They share their experience with each other through mutual discussions, and then, after a process of reduction, in which everything non-essential is removed from different experiences, a general concept is formed.
This concept is assigned a sound image, and the way this sound image is chosen isn’t based on any resemblance with the object it names. Like the word lion that we use for the concept of lion doesn’t bear any resemblance with the being it designates.
However, once a sound image is chosen for a concept, no one is allowed to use it for any concept other than the one for which it was chosen.
This regularity in the use of a certain sound image for a certain image is ensured and guaranteed by a strict tradition or convention.
Hence, we cannot use the word poor to designate a rich man, and if someone does so, use the designation rich for the poor, he will be called a liar.
A liar is the one who defies the conventional use of a sign, and uses it to designate a being for which it is not conventionally used. A fox can’t be called a wolf, and a wolf a fox.
This then is the sense in which we use the designations truth and lie. Truth means to stick to the convention, and lie mean to defy the tradition.

This sense of truth and lie has a great consequence for the societies where certain concepts become debatable.

Dewey and Pedagogical content knowledge

Lee Schulman’s concept of a teacher’s work and knowledge, which is dominating the research interests in the present time, categorizes it as something which is closer to the notion of techne in Aristotle. This type of characterization of PCK or teacher’s work as techne stands in sharp contrast with the understanding of teacher’s work which is closer to the notion of phronesis or practical wisdom.
Lee Schulman has identified PCK as a special blending of content and pedagogical knowledge, while keeping in view the specific needs of learners, to be utilized in a classroom. He has actually presumed the distinction between the content and method to postulate that it is through a long experience and trial and error that a teacher comes to develop an effective blend of content and method. This formulation presumes that there is a content, which a teacher has to give a form, while utilizing the pedagogical strategies that he or she has learned from different sources.
Moreover, the activity of blending the content and method cannot possibly be an end in itself as far as teaching is concerned. Whatever maybe the place where this blending takes place, whether it takes place during a teacher’s interaction with his her students or while a teacher is reflecting on the experiences, it is true that it is the product of this blending that is important. The process of blending is not in itself a source of complete satisfaction for the teacher.
Aristotle while describing the nature of techne describes it as an activity that comprises in producing something out of nothing through blending a particular form with a content, through an activity guided by true reason. Techne does not have its goal within its activity; its goal is the product that is the end result of an activity.
This concept of techne closely resembles Schulman’s notion of PCK. In both cases there is an agent who is involved in giving a certain content a certain form through a chain of activities guided by reason. Both have an end product that is different from the initial stuff , that is content and form, and to both the activity in itself is not the final aim. The final aim is the product , that is to be utilized in a certain situation.

Although Schulman has acknowledged that he has followed the footsteps of Dewey among others in developing his ideas, his formulation of teachers work stands in a stark contrast with that of Dewey. Dewey’s notion of teacher’s work is closely associated with the Aristotelian notion of phronesis.
Phronesis, according to Aristotle, is different from techne in it that it is first of all concerned with doing , and secondly , it has no aim beyond the action itself. The aim and means in phronesis remain so close to each other that the performance of activity itself becomes the aim. One who exercises phronesis aims at the general good which is happiness or eudaimonia , and which is achieved by a morally good person as he or she performs the chosen activity. Phronesis involves in acting according to one’s dispositions and  the activity thus performed always results in satisfaction. A virtuous action is an end in itself, and does not aim at anything beyond it.

Dewey’s understanding of a teacher’s work is closely related to this formulation of phronesis. Since Phronesis is different from techne, there is no question of blending a form and a content, to produce an end result. Similarly in Dewey’s concept of education the dichotomy between the form and the content is overcome. This renders education a form closer to phronesis.

The accounts of teachers’ experiences reported by various prominent researchers have suggested that the course of reaching success in teaching closely resembles the practice of practical wisdom. Let us see how the concepts used by Aristotle in the depiction of phronesis can be applied to the experiences of the teacher to develop a better understanding of the process of the development of PCK.
Saint Thomas Aquinas has described teaching as a combination of contemplative and active pursuits. One’s knowledge of the subject that one teaches, his knowledge of the various truths related to the learners and the issues of learning and one’s knowledge of the various methods of teaching corresponds to the contemplative side of the activity of teaching. Whereas, when a teacher enters a particular situation in which he or she has to teach a certain subject to the learners, to this or that particular learner, a teacher enters the domain of the active side of the teaching. And it is here that the understanding of practical wisdom helps us.
A successful teacher is in fact a practically wise person, who possess and practices phronesis. Thus, the teacher as a practically wise person has to satisfy certain condition of being practically wise. And there are two such conditions. Since practical wisdom enables a man to desire a correct end and a correct way of reaching that aim, therefore, a practically wise teacher should be able to desire correctly and should be able to select a proper means to do so.
What does a teacher desire? The desire of a teacher is to teach a piece of knowledge to his students. And his choice of the course of action to achieve this end is his method. And this choice of the means and end should be guided by the virtue or the disposition of the mind that a teacher has.
So what is the virtue of a teacher? What bent of mind should a teacher possess? The answer lies in the rising value that the educationist now a days place on democratic model of education, in which a learner is active and educational process is based on the true motivation of the learner to learn. The aspiration of a teacher towards the democratic and interactive model of education of Dewey is the right bent of mind for a teacher. So the virtue that the teacher of our times has to practice, and the value that a teacher is taught in the modern day teachers’ training program is that of democratic interactive model proposed by Dewey.
Teachers of our time are disposed towards the democratic mode. Their teachers teach them to value the modern educational ideals. This valuation of the democratic and interactive model develops a conscience in teachers that feels bad whenever a teacher fails to act in its direction. And that’s what John Loughran et al have described in their research titled Learning through experiencing. They equated the instant when a teacher realizes that something is wrong with his her teaching as a moment of awakening, and usually this moment of awakening lies in realizing that they have to replace the transmissive learning mode with an interactive one. They write:

Attempting to meet such aims obviously confronts the notion of teaching as transmission of information. However, in attempting to address these concerns, Mandi and Philippa found it to be demanding work. There was little real support available to them...Therefore , they were left to work through their issues alone and to construct their teaching in new and different ways...”

The further write:
“Just as Garry Hoban experienced an awakening in relation to his views of and subsequent approaches to teaching, for many teachers there are ongoing and subtle reminders of the mismatch between their
intentions for teaching and the practice that evolves as a consequence of the dailiness of teaching
(Loughran & Northfield, 1996).”

This clearly shows that it is an inner sense of dissatisfaction from the traditional way of teaching that changes the practice of a teacher. This type of awakening is in fact the awakening of a new virtue and new value system in education.
This is further enhanced by the excerpt:

PEEL (Baird & Mitchell, 1986; Baird & Northfield, 1992; Loughran, 1999) is an example of a
movement in education that directly responds to teachers’ concerns about students’ passive learning;
which itself is partly a consequence of “traditional” teaching. PEEL teachers view teaching as
problematic and have become expert at developing teaching procedures that are the antithesis of
transmissive teaching. The accumulated wisdom of practice evident in their work (shared and
disseminated through a diverse range of meetings, conferences, and publications) is driven by their desire to challenge students’ passive learning habits in order to develop their metacognitve skills, and to
therefore become more active, purposeful learners. As a consequence, PEEL teachers’ knowledge of
teaching is such that it demonstrates how thinking about teaching as something more than the delivery of information, is a foundation to strong, ongoing professional learning.

However the practice of this new virtue in one’s professional life is not easy. One finds oneself at odds with the whole system of education, with the routines one has to follow. The opposition is strong but not invincible.

Researches on PCK  have also revealed that teachers sometimes find what they have learnt from their teachers’ training courses in part irrelevant to the practical situation.

“What Mandi and Philippa then came to recognize was that the changes in their teaching comprised a
journey, not an event. They did not teach one way at the start of their adventure and then suddenly
transform their teaching overnight to become new and different teachers. They came to develop their
teaching as they experimented with their practice and built new understandings of teacher and student
learning. Their journey involved many false starts, much frustration, considerably more work and time
and the development of new scripts that challenged their previous routines in teaching science. Their
professional learning, while being personally rewarding, was not something able to be garnered from a
book on curriculum reform, or developed as a result of an in-service or professional development activity. “

The statement above that says that the professional learning has nothing to with the in-service professional development activity does not seem apt. For if teaching is the exercise of practical wisdom or phronesis, it should know both universal and the particular. Like a doctor who knows that this or that medicine cures this or that disease from his learning at the school, but knows how to use the medicine to cure a particular person only from experience. Similarly, the universal concepts of education should be known for their knowledge can be very effective in dealing with the particular situation.

Lee Schulman described pedagogical content knowledge as a special blend of content knowledge and pedagogical strategies that a teacher uses in the teaching of a particular content area.
Researches on the nature of pedagogical content knowledge have described it as a highly content, context and person specific knowledge. It is a knowledge that results from years of practice and reflection on practice and it involves taking a right pedagogical decision at a right time and for the right purpose.
Thus pedagogical content knowledge does not only involve the in depth knowledge of the content area but it also involves a correct use of reasoning as to the selection of a proper strategy to teach that content to the student while keeping in view the specific students requirements in terms of their learning needs .
This way of describing pedagogical content knowledge makes it so specific that it is believed that it cannot be delivered to the teachers through instruction alone. Some of the researches suggested that owing to its specific nature, PCK can only develop through practice.
Although this way of characterizing PCK identifies it as a strictly specific type of knowledge, yet to be a type of knowledge there must be some kind of universal element in it. For the knowledge of a specific situation in which there is no element of generality cannot be called knowledge proper. Knowledge basically is an interaction between subject and object and hence bears the characteristics of both.
An in-service or pre-service teachers’ training program can contribute towards the development of PCK through teaching the general ideas related to the blend of content and method.

Nietsche's concept of Aristocracy

Nietzsche’s Concept of Aristocracy

Nietzsche has described the aim of his philosophic endeavor quite clearly, and that aim is to build an aristocracy for Europe that can create a thousand years long empire. He writes:
“But here it is expedient to break off my festal discourse…for I have already reached my serious topic, the “European problem,” as I understand it, the rearing of a new ruling caste to Europe.”
For Nietzsche, the real threat to Europe comes from Russia, whose disintegration he views in promoting the democratic ideal there. Russia for Nietzsche is a thousand years old empire that has acquired the qualities of a crocodile, that waits for its prey, hiding its predator energies behind its apparent laziness, but once it finds its prey within its reach, it devours it.  …But it is strongest and most surprising of all in that immense middle empire where Europe as it were flows back to Asia—namely, in Russia. There the power to will has been long stored up and accumulated, there the will—uncertain whether to be negative
That merely is the political background of his own age, in which Nietzsche wanted to create a European aristocracy, otherwise the reason behind his will to create a new aristocracy in Europe, is to assure a more stable European society. He writes:
“I mean such an increase in the threatening attitude of Russia, that Europe would have to make up its mind to become equally threatening—namely, to acquire one will, by means of a new caste to rule over the continent, a persistent, dreadful will of its own, that can set it aims thousands of years ahead; so that the long spun-out comedy of its petty stateism, and its dynastic as well as its democratic many-willedness, might finally brought to a close. The time for petty politics is past; the next century bring the struggle for the dominion of the world.”

Larry Hickman and technology

Dewey’s Philosophy of Technology: A bridge between theory and practice

In most of his writings, Professor Larry Hickman has presented three main ideas regarding Dewey’s philosophy of technology:
1.    How Dewey is similar to and different from the traditions of postmodernism and philosophy of analysis
2.    What is Dewey’s understanding of technology
3.    How this understanding of technology results in constructing a better society
It seems that the modern day commentators are quite unable to fathom Dewey’s philosophy of technology and are more or less caught in categories that do not cover the whole scope of Dewey’s philosophy. Some are committed to the destruction of metaphysics, and some are committed to criticize modernity, thus evading by a distance the true meaning of Dewey’s philosophy. Their perspective do not show them the whole of Dewey’s philosophy in a brighter light and leaves great masses of shadowy areas, leaving the reader in confusions and darkness on every now then.
In one of his essays Professor Hickman writes:
“Put another way, one of the central strands of American philosophy, Pragmatism, offers a third option, between Anglo-American conceptual analysis and French-inspired postmodernism. Its broad reach transcends the analysis of concepts and definitions in order to engage the real-world problems of men and women. And at the same time it rejects the notion of a “grand narrative,” it also transcends the postmodernist denial of commonality and referentiality. It engages the physical and social sciences, as well as technology, in ways that are rarely found within other philosophical traditions. (Contrary to the claims of some of his critics, Dewey also rejected the positivists' search for the “foundations” of science and mathematics, which he thought worked quite well enough and thus required no foundations).”(Larry Hickman, Why American Philosophy)

Professor Hickman has placed Dewey between Postmodernism and Anglo-American conceptual analysis. What is Anglo-American philosophy of analysis? It actually shares with pragmatism a general task and objective. The task of overthrowing, in the words of Hickman , the jettison of metaphysical ideas. Post modernism , owing to its Nietzschean background is originally a critique on the father of philosophy of analysis, positivism(postmodernism only partially shares the task of Nietzsche’s philosophy ,or any genuine philosophy in general, and feels content with the criticism of positivism and does not go on to posit new ideas). So here post modernism shares a basic task with Dewey’s pragmatism. The task of criticizing the reductionist approach of positivism and consequently of Anglo –saxon philosophy of Analysis.
Thus Dewey both shares certain aspects of Post modernism and philosophy of analysis and differs in other. This places Dewey at a point where he can carry out his pragmatic pursuit of building up consensus.  Professor Hickmann writes in his essay Why American Philosophy?
“American philosophy has its roots in the experimentalism that was required by a people who faced the task of coming to terms with the uncertainties of a radically new environment. But a true experimentalism always reaches out in an attempt to be inclusive – as American Pragmatist Jane Addams learned to do during her late 19th and early 20th century experiments with Hull House, the settlement house located in a section of Chicago where recently arrived immigrants spoke more than a score of different languages and where sharply differing customs rubbed up against one another. Her search for unity in diversity – a richly American concept – was to become a central feature of Dewey's philosophical outlook.“
The search for reconciliation of differences, cooperative attitude, merging and diffusing the previously hold boundaries for practical aims , such seeds constitute the real spirit of Dewey’s pragmatism.

Having postulated the general traits of Dewey’s philosophy , Professor Hickman has also identified the general outlines of his philosophy of technology. However the task is rendered very difficult by the fact that Dewey’s philosophy is very intricate. At a point professor Hickman has quoted one of his collegues as equating Dewey’s philosophy with a cobweb, easy to be traversed by an insider but very intricate for an outsider.
This intricacy is obviously because of the reason that people try to locate Dewey in one or the other category of philosophers, whereas Dewey does not fall within these narrow categorizations. 
As far as Dewey’s philosophy of technology is concerned it is repeatedly presented as a bridge between theory and practice. Technology as the bridge between theory and practice and having mixed traits of both theory and practice seems to be the great solution for all sociall problems and questions. The nature of tools is reconceived as including both tangible and intangible tools in the form of concepts and theories. Professor Hickman writes:
“At the heart of Dewey's philosophy of technology is his theory of inquiry, or deliberation.Breaking with the long tradition of Western epistemology, Dewey argued that inquiry isneither primarily theoretical nor primarily practical. It is instead a kind of production. Hethought that inquiry starts with raw materials and then reworks them with specializedtools. “
Inquiry is equated with production. This gives the idea that Dewey is actually trying to bring the task of theoretical reasoning to those who are involved in practical pursuits. This obviously is the greatest difference between Dewey and other thinkers from the tradition belonging to Aristotle and Plato.
One important point to be noted here is the type of commitment with technology in people like Borgmann and other commentators mentioned by professor Hickman, both in his essays and his book, seems to be different from that of Dewey’s. Dewey’s commitment with technology is a response to the problems emerged due to a new environ, a new society and landscape and a global change in the ideas and social structure. On the other hand,  recent commentators do not have any such meaningful task in their hands and sight. Their attempt is limited to the understanding of how people understand technology. Some are technophobic and others technophillic and nothing in between.
It seems that the evaluations and estimation of the modern commentators on technology do not have the merit to comment and evaluate Dewey. Actually most of them are not qualified to do so.
Those who are under the sway of postmodernism do not take into account the fallacies that postmodernists commit in their readings of philosophy. Philosophy is not a mere criticism, philosophy is a normative statement beyond narration of facts and criticism.

Similarly , positivists also relied on a mere criticism of metaphysics and did not have the merit of uttering any value statement, which obviously requires a courage and a holistic understanding resulting from the concrete experience of the philosopher.

Reflections on Pedagogical content knowledge

Lee Schulman described pedagogical content knowledge as a special blend of content knowledge and pedagogical strategies that a teacher uses in the teaching of a particular content area.
Researches on the nature of pedagogical content knowledge have described it as a highly content, context and person specific knowledge. It is a knowledge that results from years of practice and reflection on practice and it involves taking a right pedagogical decision at a right time and for the right purpose.
Thus pedagogical content knowledge does not only involve the in depth knowledge of the content area but it also involves a correct use of reasoning as to the selection of a proper strategy to teach that content to the student while keeping in view the specific students requirements in terms of their learning needs .
This way of describing pedagogical content knowledge makes it so specific that it is believed that it cannot be delivered to the teachers through instruction alone. Some of the researches suggested that owing to its specific nature, PCK can only develop through practice.
Although this way of characterizing PCK identifies it as a strictly specific type of knowledge, yet to be a type of knowledge there must be some kind of universal element in it. For the knowledge of a specific situation in which there is no element of generality cannot be called knowledge proper. Knowledge basically is an interaction between subject and object and hence bears the characteristics of both.
The situation can be viewed in the light of Aristotle's distinction between a man of experience and the artist. Art lies in knowing the reason for one's prticular choice in a particular situation, where as

Schulman Pedagogical content knowledge

Although Schulman(1986) acknowledged Dewey as one of the pre cursors of his ground breaking idea of PCK, no one has paid much attention towards the works of Dewey to find out his understanding of PCK . Lougharn(2012) claimed that each and every teacher has its own PCK, which maybe similar t or different from the PCK of other teachers. Moreover, different researchers have also identified certain important domain of PCK. Mostly it comprises knowledge of the content to be taught, teaching strategies that fit best to teach that content, student’s way of learning that content and curricular knowledge.
Not many researchers however have pointed out any kind of organized account of a teacher’s PCK. Mostly the teacher’s accounts of their PCK are in the form of raw data, needed further work to rduce the concrete account in the form ideas.
PCK does not owe its existence to Schulman’s articulation and discovery of PCK. It must be there right from the beginning. On this ground it can be said that teachers , even before the discovery of PCK, had this type of knowledge, if PCK has to qualify as an essential trait of a teacher. This amounts to saying that teachers of the past also had PCK , and not only that had their own PCK, they must also have expressed it .
Dewey being a great teacher himself and an ardent researcher and learner of educational processes and teaching, also had his notion of PCK, which he did not obviously presented under the title PCK, but must have presented in his writings. However, there are certain claims in modern research on PCK that can be utilized to confront this view that Dewey’s general reflections on method and content and cannot be subsumed under the heading of PCK.
In certain researchers it is claimed that the knowledge of pedagogical strategies that a teacher possesses is of a generic character, whereas the knowledge of content is actually of a concrete and specific nature. In other researches, this claim is contested and it is said that even the knowledge of pedagogical strategies is of a specific nature. They put forward the difficulty which a teacher faces in teaching a subject outside his or her content area. So if a math teacher, who knows his PCK well in the case of mathematics, teaches physics, he or she is certain to face difficulties finding proper strategies to teach physics.
If we grant the later view that teacher’s knowledge of pedagogical strategies is of a specific nature rather than a generic one, we, cannot deny the fact that a teacher, who in the course of time, has developed PCK in two different content areas, can somehow reflect on his or her PCK of both subjects to furnish the similarities and differences between the two. In case such an account is produced by a teacher, who has simultaneously mastered teaching of two domains of content area,  then that account can recognized as a general statement of pedagogical content knowledge.
Some people would argue that PCK of one subject is so different from that of the other that there is no possibility of drawing any similarity between the two.

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