As is well known, interest in words used in daily conversation is increasing in the world of Anglo-saxon philosophy (including philosophy of education). This intellectual interest may very much look like a troublesome discussion; but in so far as the interest in words is an essential condition for philosophizing, there is no fundamental difference between the trends observed in contemporary Anglo-saxon philosophy and when one calls philosophy the effort to clarify concepts concerning Japanese language. In this paper, by clarifying the concept of kyô (教), the attempt is made to discover a meaning which may be hidden in the Japanese concept of kyôiku (education). In the Japanese language meaning is expressed by a parallel use of ideogramms and phonetic symbols; the corresponding relation between meaning and sound is not always accurately determined. The Japanese reading of oshie (教) of the ideogramm kyô is merely based on present common usage. On the other hand, the ideogramm oshie has a history of about 3,000 years behind it and during this long period must have had some meaning. The auther believes that the ideogramm kyô first was used in a context as an ideogramm and subsequently received social recognition during the process of being applied repeatedly; starting from this presupposition, an analysis of paradigmata is conducted within the frame of the Four Classical Chinese Books and the Five Chinese Classics (shisho-gokyô). It turns out that the term kyô carried the meaning of one way of transmitting word-meaning from a person superior in power to a person in a lower position. Power here first of all means the State orthe King. It is noteworthy that Confucius in the Rongo (Analects) when he refers to his activity of teaching his disciples does not use the ideogramm kyô (教) but the ideogramm kai (誨). Also later, in the Kan-Period, in the Raiki (Book of Etiquette) the concepts of kyô (教), gaku (学) and shi (師), were apparently systematically determined in close connection with state government. Refering to Eifu Motoda's Kyôgaku Taishi, it may be pointed out that this conceptual frame continued into the (Japanese) Meiji Period. Furthermore, Motoda was unable to distinguish between kyôiku and kyôgaku, and it is assumed that his influence was at work when the meaning of kyôiku in Japan was finally fixed at the time when the Kyôiku Chokugo (Imperial Rescript on Education) was issued. Between this traditional use of the term kyoiku in Japanese and the term “edcation” in European languages with its long history dating back as far as to the paideia, a certain lack ofconformity arises. This may be proved by the way in which the developmental concept of education has been treated. The author believes that the latter was foremost in the mind of Yukichi Fukuzawa when he stated, “The term kyôiku is not appropriate. It would better be changed to hatsuiku.” When one keeps in mind what was said here, one may ask the question whenever the term kyôiku is used whether this means what Motoda refers to as kyôgaku or whether it is used in the developmental meaning of Fukuzawa. The author hopes that along these lines the concept of kyôiku will be further clarified may be made better to correspond to the term “education.”
In accordance with the trend of the development of natural science during the 17th century a tendency appeared during the 18th and 19th century of applying the method of natural science also to the field of pedagogy. In West Germany the method of positive scientific research was introduced in the 1960es as “empirical-ana-lytic science”. During the 70es a group of German educational scholars who originally belonged to the so-called geisteswissenschaftliche Pädagogik (philosophical pedagogy) started to apply the “empirical-analytic method” to education. One of the most outstanding characteristics of their method is the attempt to found their views on the “critical theory” initiated by Horkheimer (1895-1973) of the “Frankfurt School”. This type of research issued into a new school of thought in pedagogy called “Handlungsforschung” (action research).