Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
On the position of Seele in the educational thought of Philanthropism : as an attempt to reinterpret educational thought in the German Enlightenment
Noritsugu Yamauchi
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1997 Volume 64 Issue 4 Pages 427-436


Since J. F. Herbart's definition, it has been recognized as self-evident that the methodological aspect of modern pedagogy owes much to psychology. However, this definition of psychology has to be grasped historically not as the refining process of educational methodology but as the consequence of the teleological development of Seele (soul/heart) in early modern pedagogy. With the aim of elucidating this logic, this paper sets out to clarify the position of Seele in philanthropism in which thought of Seelenlehre (the doctrine of the Seele) occupied pivotal position. Chapter 1 examines the educational thinking of J.H. Campe, since this is regarded as the most psychological within Philanthropism. Confronted as he was with sentimentalism influenced by the literature of the time, his Seelenlehre consisted of instructing children in concepts of faculty psychology from the stand-point of internalizing Seele within themselves. This instruction was inseparable from religious teaching insofar as it depended teleologically upon both the existence of God and the immortality of Seele. Chapter 2 focuses on C.G. Salzmann. While he had a shared view with Campe of the problematics, he developed a separate theory of instruction based on a different understanding of Seele. The task ahead of Salzmann was the task of the systematization of the instruction of sensibility on the basis of an understanding of Seele as revealed social relations. Above all, his idea of religious instruction was methodologized in an extremely psychological way with the aim of enhancing belief in revelation. It is from this point of view that Chapter 3 examines J.B. Basedow as the central figure of Philanthropism. His educational thinking shows most clearly the relationship between revelation and psychology in the educational thought of Philanthropism. In the case of Basedow, he became able to instruct children in revealed religion as a result of the incorporation of the teleology of revealed human relations in the world into his psychological categories. However, the choice he made provided the psychology that came after him with an incentive for self-development. In this way, in the educational thought of Philanthropism, which forms the nucleus of the thought of revealed social relations, their psychology straddled both the method and the content of education. Hence Seele was mind in the context of psychology as well as soul in the context of theology. However, for the various thinkers, each confronted with their own problematics, the position of Seele occupied a variety of positions, ranging from psychological methodologism to the metaphysical definition of social relations. It was not until the educational thought of the Enlightenment lost the ambiguity of Seele as its fundamental element that modern pedagogy had an opportunity to be formed. Since the gradual abolition of the metaphysical definition of social relations, pedagogy has been thoroughly methodologized psychologically by means of external teleology.

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