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Enacting the eclectic: the case of Jewish philosophy

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Curricularists interested in the transmission of Schwab's practical and eclectic arts have bewailed the paucity of visible enactments of these arts in the curriculum literature. This paper represents an attempt to use the eclectic to derive educational implications from two rival theories of a single discipline- Jewish philosophy. The theories of two noted scholars in the field, Harry Austryn Wolfson and Julius Guttmann, are subjected to Schwabian 'rhetorical analysis'. This represents stage one of the eclectic, whereby competing theories are readied for deliberation through the disclosure, by close reading, of the characterizations and structurings they impose on the discipline. In stage two of the eclectic, the theories of a discipline are turned into what Schwab called 'view-affording doctrines', in this case standpoints from which to address issues that educators face in preparing the discipline of Jewish philosophy for instruction at the high school level. The standpoints of Wolfson and Guttmann are mined for implications on matters such as the ends of instruction in Jewish philosophy, the conception of the discipline that should inform instruction, principles of selection from the corpus of Jewish philosophical literature, and proposed structurings of the curriculum.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1998-03-01

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