Pedagogics as a System
by Karl Rosenkranz
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—To the Roman there was something daemonic in the German. He perceived dimly in him his future, his master. When the Romans were to meet the Cimbri and Teutons in the field, their commander had first to accustom them for a whole day to the fearful sight of the wild, giant-like forms.—



Sec. 227. The system of National Education founded its first stage on the substantial basis of the family-spirit; its second stage on the division of the nation by means of division of labor which it makes permanent in castes; its third stage presents the free opposition of the laity and clergy; in its next phase it makes war, immortality, and trade, by turns, its end; thirdly, it posits beauty, patriotic youth, and the immediateness of individuality, as the essence of mankind, and at last dissolves the unity of nationality in the consciousness that all nations are really one since they are all human beings. In the intermixture of races in the Roman world arises the conception of the human race, the genus humanum. Education had become eclectic: the Roman legions levelled the national distinctions. In the wavering of all objective morality, the necessity of self-education in order to the formation of character appeared ever more and more clearly; but the conception, which lay at the foundation, was always, nevertheless, that of Roman, Greek, or German education. But in the midst of these nations another system had striven for development, and this did not base itself on the natural connection of nationality, but made this, for the first time, only a secondary thing, and made the direct relation of man to God its chief idea. In this system God himself is the teacher. He manifests to man His will as law, to which he must unconditionally conform for no other reason than that He is the Lord, and man His servant, who can have no other will than His. The obedience of man is therefore, in this system, abstract until through experience he gradually attains to the knowledge that the will of God has in it the very essence of his own will. Descent, Talent, Events, Work, Beauty, Courage,—all these are indifferent things compared with the subjection of the human to the divine will. To be well-pleasing to God is almost the same as belief in Him. Without this identity, what is natural in national descent is of no value. According to its form of manifestation, Judaism is below the Greek spirit. It is not beautiful, but rather grotesque. But in its essence, as the religion of the contradiction between the idea and its existence, it goes beyond nature, which it perceives to be established by an absolute, conscious, and reasonable Will; while the Greek concealed from himself only mythically his dependence on nature, on his mother-earth. The Jews have been preserved in the midst of all other culture by the elastic power of the thought of God as One who was free from the control of nature. The Jews have a patriotism in common with the Romans. The Maccabees, for example, were not inferior to the Romans in greatness.

—Abraham is the genuine Jew because he is the genuinely faithful man. He does not hesitate to obey the horrible and inhuman command of his God. Circumcision was made the token of the national unity, but the nation may assimilate members to itself from other nations through this rite. The condition always lies in belief in a spiritual relation to which the relation of nationality is secondary. The Jewish nation makes proselytes, and these are widely different from the Socii of the Romans or the Metoeci of the Athenians.—

Sec. 228. To the man who knows Nature to be the work of a single, incomparable, rational Creator, she loses independence. He is negatively freed from her control, and sees in her only an absolute means. As opposed to the fanciful sensuous intuitions of Ethnicism, this seems to be a backward step, but for the emancipation of man it is a progress. He no longer fears Nature but her Lord, and admires Him so much that prose rises to the dignity of poetry in his telological contemplation. Since man stands over and beyond nature, education is directed to morality as such, and spreads itself out in innumerable limitations, by means of which the distinction of man from nature is expressly asserted as a difference. The ceremonial law appears often arbitrary, but in its prescriptions it gives man the satisfaction of placing himself as will in relation to will. For example, if he is forbidden to eat any specified part of an animal, the ground of this command is not merely natural—it is the will of the Deity. Man learns therefore, in his obedience to such directions, to free himself from his self-will, from his natural desires. This exact outward conformity to subjectivity is the beginning of wisdom, the purification of the will from all individual egotism.

—The rational substance of the Law is found always in the Decalogue. Many of our modern much-admired authors exhibit a superficiality bordering on shallowness when they comment alone on the absurdity of the miracles, and abstract from the profound depth of the moral struggle, and from the practical rationality of the ten commandments.—

Sec. 229. Education in this theocratical system is on one side patriarchal. The Family is very prominent, because it is considered to be a great happiness for the individual to belong from his very earliest life to the company of those who believe in the true God. On its other side it is hierarchical, as its ceremonial law develops a special office, which is to see that obedience is paid to its multifarious regulations. And, because these are often perfectly arbitrary, Education must, above all, practise the memory in learning them all, so that they may always be remembered. The Jewish monotheism shares this necessity with the superstition of ethnicism.

Sec. 230. But the technique proper of the mechanism is not the most important pedagogical element of the theocracy. We find this in its historical significance, since its history throughout has a pedagogical character. For the people of God show us always, in their changing intercourse with their God, a progress from the external to the internal, from the lower to the higher, from the past to the future. Its history, therefore, abounds in situations very interesting in a pedagogical point of view, and in characters which are eternal models.

Sec. 231. (1) The will of God as the absolute authority is at first to them, as law, external. But soon God adds to the command to obedience, on one hand, the inducement of a promise of material prosperity, and on the other hand the threat of material punishment. The fulfilment of the law is also encouraged by reflection on the profit which it brings. But, since these motives are all external, they rise finally into the insight that the law is to be fulfilled, not on their account, but because it is the will of the Lord; not alone because it is conducive to our happiness, but also because it is in itself holy, and written in our hearts: in other words, man proceeds from the abstract legality, through the reflection of eudaemonism, to the internality of moral sentiment—the course of all education.

—This last stand-point is especially represented in the excellent Gnomic of Jesus Sirach—a book so rich in pedagogical insight, which paints with master-strokes the relations of husband and wife, parents and children, master and servants, friend and friend, enemy and enemy, and the dignity of labor as well as the necessity of its division. This priceless book forms a side-piece from the theocratic stand-point to the Republic of Plato and his laws on ethical government.—

Sec. 232. (2) The progress from the lower to the higher appeared in the conquering of the natural individuality. Man, as the servant of Jehovah, must have no will of his own; but selfish naturalness arrayed itself so much the more vigorously against the abstract "Thou shalt," allowed itself to descend into an abstraction from the Law, and often reached the most unbridled extravagance. But since the Law in inexorable might always remained the same, always persistent, in distinction from the inequalities of the deed of man, it forced him to come back to it, and to conform himself to its demands. Thus he learned criticism, thus he rose from naturalness into spirit. This progress is at the same time a progress from necessity to freedom, because criticism always gradually opens a way for man into insight, so that he finds the will of God to be the truth of his own self-determination. Because God is one and absolute, there arises the expectation that His Will will become the basis for the will of all nations and men. The criticism of the understanding must recognize a contradiction in the fact that the will of the true God is the law of only one nation; feared by other nations, moreover, by reason of their very worship of God as a gloomy mystery, and detested as odium generis humani. And thus is developed the thought that the isolation of the believers will come to an end as soon as the other nations recognize their faith as the true one, and are received into it. Thus here, out of the deepest penetration of the soul into itself, as among the Romans out of the fusion of nations, we see appear the idea of the human race.

Sec. 233. (3) The progress from the past to the future unfolded the ideal servant of God who fulfils all the Law, and so blots out the empirical contradiction that the "Thou shalt" of the Law attains no adequate actuality. This Prince of Peace, who shall gather all nations under his banner, can therefore have no other thing predicated of him than Holiness. He is not beautiful as the Greeks represented their ideal, not brave and practical as was the venerated Virtus of the Romans; he does not place an infinite value on his individuality as the German does: but he is represented as insignificant in appearance, as patient, as humble, as he who, in order to reconcile the world, takes upon himself the infirmities and disgrace of all others. The ethnical nations have only a lost Paradise behind them; the Jews have one also before them. From this belief in the Messiah who is to come, from the certainty which they have of conquering with him, from the power of esteeming all things of small importance in view of such a future, springs the indestructible nature of the Jews. They ignore the fact that Christianity is the necessary result of their own history. As the nation that is to be (des Seinsollens), they are merely a historical nation, the nation among nations, whose education—whenever the Jew has not changed and corrupted its nature through modern culture—is still always patriarchal, hierarchal, and mnemonic.



Sec. 234. The systems of national and theocratic education came to the same result, though by different ways, and this result is the conception of a human race in the unity of which the distinctions of different nations find their Truth. But with them this result is only a conception, being a thing external to their actuality. They arrive at the painting of an ideal of the way in which the Messiah shall come. But these ideals exist only in the mind, and the actual condition of the people sometimes does not correspond to them at all, and sometimes only very relatively. The idea of spirit had in these presuppositions the possibility of its concrete actualization; one individual man must become conscious of the universality and necessity of the will as being the very essence of his own freedom, so that all heteronomy should be cancelled in the autonomy of spirit. Natural individuality appearing as national determinateness was still acknowledged, but was deprived of its abstract isolation. The divine authority of the truth of the individual will is to be recognized, but at the same time freed from its estrangement towards itself. While Christ was a Jew and obedient to the divine Law, he knew himself as the universal man who determines himself to his own destiny; and while only distinguishing God, as subject, from himself, yet holds fast to the unity of man and God. The system of humanitarian education began to unfold from this principle, which no longer accords the highest place to the natural unity of national individuality, nor to the abstract obedience of the command of God, but to that freedom of the soul which knows itself to be absolute necessity. Christ is not a mere ideal of the thought, but is known as a living member of actual history, whose life, sufferings and death for freedom form the security as to its absolute justification and truth. The aesthetic, philosophical, and political ideal are all found in the universal nature of the Christian ideal, on which account no one of them appears one-sided in the life of Christ. The principle of Human Freedom excludes neither art, nor science, nor political feeling.

Sec. 235. In its conception of man the humanitarian education includes both the national divisions and the subjection of all men to the divine law, but it will no longer endure that one should grow into an isolating exclusiveness, and another into a despotism which includes in it somewhat of the accidental. But this principle of humanity and human nature took root so slowly that its presuppositions were repeated within itself and were really conquered in this reproduction. These stages of culture were the Greek, the Roman, and the Protestant churches, and education was metamorphosed to suit the formation of each of these.

—For the sake of brevity we would wish to close with these general definitions; the unfolding of their details is intimately bound up with the history of politics and of civilization. We shall be contented if we give correctly the general whole.—

Sec. 236. Within education we can distinguish three epochs: the monkish, the chivalric, and that education which is to fit one for civil life. Each of these endeavored to express all that belonged to humanity as such; but it was only after the recognition of the moral nature of the Family, of Labor, of Culture, and of the conscious equal title of all men to their rights, that this became really possible.

I. The Epoch of Monkish Education.

Sec. 237. The Greek Church seized the Christian principle still abstractly as deliverance from the world, and therefore, in the education proceeding from it, it arrived only at the negative form, positing the universality of the individual man as the renunciation of self. In the dogmatism of its teaching, as well as in the ascetic severity of its practical conduct, it was a reproduction of the theocratic principle. But when this had assumed the form of national centralization, the Greek Church dispensed with this, and, as far as regards its form, it returned again to the quietism of the Orient.

Sec. 238. The monkish education is in general identical in all religions, in that, through the egotism of its way of living and the stoicism of its way of thinking, through the separation of its external existence and the mechanism of a thoughtless subjection to a general rule as well as to the special command of superiors, it fosters a spiritual and bodily dulness. The Christian monachism, therefore, as the fulfilment of monachism in general, is at the same time its absolute dissolution, because, in its merely abstracting itself from the world instead of affirmatively conquering it, it contradicts the very principle of Christianity.

Sec. 239. We must notice as the fundamental error of this whole system, that it does not in free individuality seek to produce the ideal of divine-humanity, but to copy in external reproduction its historical manifestation. Each human being must individually offer up as sacrifice his own individuality. Each biography has its Bethlehem, its Tabor, and its Golgotha.

Sec. 240. Monachism looks upon freedom from one's self and from the world which Christianity demands only as an abstract renunciation of self, which it seeks to compass, like Buddhism, by the vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which must be taken by each individual for all time.

—This rejection of property, of marriage, and of self-will, is at the same time the negation of work, of the family, and of responsibility for one's actions. In order to avoid the danger of avarice and covetousness, of sensuality and of nepotism, of error and of guilt, monachism seizes the convenient way of abstract severance from all the objective world without being able fully to carry out this negation. Monkish Pedagogics must, in consequence, be very particular about an external separation of their disciples from the world, so as to make the work of abstraction from the world easier and more decided. It therefore builds cloisters in the solitude of deserts, in the depth of forests, on the summits of mountains, and surrounds them with high walls having no apertures; and then, so as to carry the isolation of the individual to its farthest possible extreme it constructs, within these cloisters, cells, in imitation of the ancient hermits—a seclusion the immediate consequence of which is the most limitless and most paltry curiosity.—

Sec. 241. Theoretically the monkish Pedagogics seeks, by means of the greatest possible silence, to place the soul in a state of spiritual immobility, which at last, through the want of all variety of thought, goes over into entire apathy, and antipathy towards all intellectual culture. The principal feature of the practical culture consists in the misapprehension that one should ignore Nature, instead of morally freeing himself from her control. As she, again and again asserts herself, the monkish discipline proceeds to misuse her, and strives through fasting, through sleeplessness, through voluntary self-inflicted pain and martyrdom, not only to subdue the wantonness of the flesh, but to destroy the love of life till it shall become a positive loathing of existence. In and for itself the object of the monkish vow—property, the family, and will—is not immoral. The vow is, on this account, very easy to violate. In order to prevent all temptation to this, monkish Pedagogics invents a system of supervision, partly open, partly secret, which deprives one of all freedom of action, all freshness of thinking and of willing, and all poetry of feeling, by means of the perpetual shadow of spies and informers. The monks are well versed in all police-arts, and the regular succession of the hierarchy spurs them on always to distinguish themselves in them.

Sec. 242. The gloomy breath of this education penetrated all the relations of the Byzantine State. Even the education of the emperor was infected by it; and in the strife for freedom waged by the modern Greeks against the Turks, the Igumeni of the cloisters were the real leaders of the insurrection. The independence of individuality, as opposed to monkish abstraction, more or less degenerates into the crude form of soldier and pirate life. And thus it happened that this principle was not left to appear merely as an exception, but to be built up positively into humanity; and this the German world, under the guidance of the Roman Church, undertook to accomplish.

II. The Epoch of Chivalric Education.

Sec. 243. The Romish Church negated the abstract substantiality of the Greeks through the practical aim which she in her sanctity in works founded, and by means of which she raised up German individuality to the idealism of chivalry, i.e. a free military service in behalf of Christendom.

Sec. 244. It is evident that the system of monkish education was taken up into this epoch as one of its elements, being modified to conform to it: e.g. the Benedictines were accustomed to labor in agriculture and in the transcribing of books, and this contradicted the idea of monachism, since that in and for itself tends to an absolute forgetfulness of the world and a perfect absence of all activity in the individual. The begging orders were public preachers, and made popular the idea of love and unselfish devotion to others. They labored toward self-education, especially by means of the ideal of the life of Christ; e.g. in Tauler's classical book on the Imitation of Jesus, and in the work of Thomas-a-Kempis which resembles it. Through a fixed contemplative communion with the conception of the Christ who suffered and died for Love, they sought to find content in divine rest and self-abandonment.

Sec. 245. German chivalry sprang from Feudalism. The education of those pledged to military duty had become confined to practice in the use of arms. The education of the chivalric vassals pursued the same course, refining it gradually through the influence of court society and through poetry, which devoted itself either to the relating of graceful tales which were really works of art, or to the glorification of woman. Girls were brought up without especial care. The boy until he was seven years old remained in the hands of women; then he became a lad (a young gentleman), and learned the manner of offensive and defensive warfare, on foot and on horseback; between his sixteenth and eighteenth year, through a formal ceremony (the laying on of the sword), he was duly authorized to bear arms. But whatever besides this he might wish to learn was left to his own caprice.

Sec. 246. In contradistinction to the monkish education, Chivalry placed an infinite value on individuality, and this it expressed in its extreme sensibility to the feeling of honor. Education, on this account, endeavored to foster this reflection of the self upon itself by means of the social isolation in which it placed knighthood. The knight did not delight himself with common possessions, but he sought for him who had been wronged, since with him he could find enjoyment as a conqueror. He did not live in simple marriage, but strove for the piquant pleasure of making the wife of another the lady of his heart, and this often led to moral and physical infidelity. And, finally, the knight did not obey alone the general laws of knightly honor, but he strove, besides, to discover for himself strange things, which he should undertake with his sword, in defiance of all criticism, simply because it pleased his caprice so to do. He sought adventures.

Sec. 247. The reaction against the innumerable number of fantastic extravagancies arising from chivalry was the idea of the spiritual chivalry which was to unite the cloister and the town, abstract self-denial and military life, separation from the world and the sovereignty of the world—an undeniable advance, but an untenable synthesis which could not prevent the dissolution of chivalry—this chivalry, which, as the rule of the stronger, induced for a long time the destruction of all regular culture founded on principles, and brought a period of absence of all education. In this perversion of chivalry to a grand vagabondism, and even to robbery, noble souls often rushed into ridiculous excesses. This decline of chivalry found its truth in Citizenship, whose education, however, did not, like the [Greek: polis] and the civitas of the ancients, limit itself to itself, but, through the presence of the principle of Christianity, accepted the whole circle of humanity as the aim of its culture.

III. The Epoch of Education fitting one for Civil Life.

Sec. 248. The idea of the State had gradually worked itself up to a higher plane with trade and industry, and found in Protestantism its spiritual confirmation. Protestantism, as the self assurance of the individual that he was directly related to God without any dependence on the mediation of any man, rose to the truth in the autonomy of the soul, and began out of the abstract phantasmagoria of monachism and chivalry to develope Christianity, as the principle of humanitarian education, into concrete actuality. The cities were not merely, in comparison with the clergy and the nobility, the "third estate"; but the citizen who himself managed his commonwealth, and defended its interests with arms, developed into the citizen of a state which absorbed the clergy and nobility, and the state-citizen found his ultimate ideal in pure Humanity as cognized through reason.

Sec. 249. The phases of this development are (1) Civil education as such, in which we find chivalric education metamorphosed into the so-called noble, both however being controlled as to education, within Catholicism by Jesuitism, within Protestantism by Pietism. (2) Against this tendency to the church, we find reacting on the one hand the devotion to a study of antiquity, and on the other the friendly alliance to immediate actuality, i.e. with Nature. We can name these periods of Pedagogics those of its ideals of culture. (3) But the truth of all culture must forever remain moral freedom. After Education had arrived at a knowledge of the meaning of Idealism and Realism, it must seize as its absolute aim the moral emancipation of man into Humanity; and it must conform its culture by this aim, since technical dexterity, friendly adroitness, proficiency in the arts, and scientific insight, can attain to their proper rank only through moral purity.

1. Civil Education as such.

Sec. 250. The one-sidedness of monkish and chivalric education was cancelled by civil education inasmuch as it destroyed the celibacy of the monk and the estrangement of the knight from his family, doing this by means of the inner life of the family; for it substituted, in the place of the negative emptiness of the duty of holiness of the celibate, the positive morality of marriage and the family; while, instead of the abstract poverty and the idleness of the monkish piety and of knighthood, it asserted that property was the object of labor, i.e. it asserted the self-governed morality of civil society and of commerce; and, finally, instead of the servitude of the conscience in unquestioning obedience to the command of others, and instead of the freakish self-sufficiency of the caprice of the knights, it demanded obedience to the laws of the commonwealth as representing his own self-conscious, actualized, practical Reason, in which laws the individual can recognize and acknowledge himself.

—As this civil education left free the sensuous enjoyment, freedom in this was without bounds for a time, until, after men became accustomed to labor and to their freedom of action, the possibility of enjoyment created from within outward a moderation which sumptuary laws and prohibitions of gluttony, drunkenness, &c., could never create from the external side. What the monk inconsistently enjoyed with a bad conscience, the citizen and the clergyman could take possession of as a gift of God. After the first millennium of Christianity, when the earth had not, according to the current prophecies, been destroyed, and after the great plague in the fourteenth century, there was felt an immense pleasure in living, which manifested itself externally in the fifteenth century in delicate wines, dainty food, great eating of meat, drinking of beer, and, in the domain of dress, in peaked shoes, plumes, golden chains, bells, &c. There was much venison, but, as yet, no potatoes, tea and coffee, &c. The feeling of men was quarrelsome. For a more exact painting of the Education of this time, very valuable authors are Sebastian Brant, Th. Murner, Ulrich von Hutten, Fischart, and Hans Sachs. Gervinus is almost the only one who has understood how to make this material useful in its relation to spirit.—

Sec. 251. In contrast with the heaven-seeking of the monks and the sentimental love-making of the knight, civil education established, as its principle, Usefulness, which traced out in things their conformity to a proposed end in order to gain as great a mastery over them as possible. The understanding was trained with all exactness that it might clearly seize all the circumstances. But since family-life did not allow the egotism of the individual ever to become as great as was the case with the monk and the knight, and since the cheer of a sensuous enjoyment in cellar and kitchen, in clothing and furniture, in common games and in picturesque parades, penetrated the whole being with soft pleasure, there was developed with all propriety and sobriety a house-morality, and, with all the prose of labor, a warm and kindly disposition, which left room for innocent merriment and roguery, and found, in conformity to religious services, its serious transfiguration. Beautiful burgher-state, thou wast weakened by the thirty years' war, and hast been only accidentally preserved sporadically in Old England and in some places in Germany, only to be at last swept away by the flood of modern world-pain, political sophistry, and anxiety for the future!

Sec. 252. The citizen paid special attention to public education, heretofore wholly dependent upon the church and the cloister; he organized city schools, whose teachers, it is true, for a long time compassed only accidental culture, and were often employed only for tumultuous and short terms. The society of the brotherhood of the Hieronymites introduced a better system of instruction before the close of the fourteenth century, but education had often to be obtained from the so-called travelling scholars (vagantes, bacchantes, scholastici, goliardi). The teachers of the so-called scholae exteriores, in distinction from the schools of the cathedral and cloister, were called now locati, then stampuales—in German, Kinder-Meister. The institution of German schools soon followed the Latin city schools. In order to remove the anarchy in school matters, the citizens aided the rise of universities by donations and well-invested funds, and sustained the street-singing of the city scholars (currende), an institution which was well-meant, but which often failed of its end because on the one hand it was often misused as a mere means of subsistence, and on the other hand the sense of honor of those to whom it was devoted not unfrequently became, through their manner of living, lowered to humiliation. The defect of the monkish method of instruction became ever more apparent, e.g. the silly tricks of their mnemotechnique, the utter lack of anything which deserved the name of any practical knowledge, &c. The necessity of instruction in the use of arms led to democratic forms. Printing favored the same. Men began to concern themselves about good text-books. Melanchthon was the hero of the Protestant world, and as a pattern was beyond his time. His Dialectics, Rhetoric, Physics, and Ethics, were reprinted innumerable times, commented upon, and imitated. After him Amos Comenius, in the seventeenth century, had the greatest influence through his Didactica Magna and his Janua Reserta. In a narrower sphere, treating of the foundation of Gymnasial Philology, the most noticeable is Sturm of Strasburg. The universities in Catholic countries limited themselves to the Scholastic Philosophy and Theology, together with which we find slowly struggling up the Roman Law and the system of Medicine from Bologna and Salerno. But Protestantism first raised the university to any real universality. Tuebingen, Koenigsberg, Wittenberg, Jena, Leipzic, Halle, Goettingen, &c., were the first schools for the study of all sciences, and for their free and productive pursuit.

Sec. 253. The Commons, which at first appeared with the clergy and the nobility as the Third Estate, formed an alliance with monarchy, and both together produced a transformation of the chivalric education. Absolutism reduced the knights to mere nobles, to whom it truly conceded the prerogative of appointment as spiritual prelates as well as officers and counsellors of state, but only on the condition of the most complete submission; and then, to satisfy them, it invented the artificial drinking festivals, of a splendid life at court, and a temptingly-impressive sovereignty of beauty. In this condition, the education of the nobles was essentially changed in so far as to cease to be alone military. To the art of war, which moreover was made so very much milder by the invention of fire-arms, must be now added an activity of the mind which could no longer dispense with some knowledge of History, Heraldry, Genealogy, Literature, and Mythology. Since the French nation soon enough gave tone to the style of conversation, and after the time of Louis XIV. controlled the politics of the continent, the French language, as conventional and diplomatic, became a constant element in the education of the nobility in all the other countries of Europe.

—Practically the education of the noble endeavored to make the individual quite independent, so that he should, by means of the important quality of an advantageous personal appearance and the prudence of his agreeable behavior, make himself into a ruler of all other men, capable of enjoying his own position, i.e. he should copy in miniature the manners of an absolute sovereign. To this was added an empirical knowledge of men by means of ethical maxims, so that they might discover the weak side of every man, and so be able to outwit him. Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. According to this, every man had his price. They did not believe in the Nemesis of a divine destiny; on the contrary, disbelief in the higher justice was taught. One must be so elastic as to suit himself to all situations, and, as a caricature of the ancient ataraxy, he must acquire as a second nature a manner perfectly indifferent to all changes, the impassibility of an aristocratic repose, the amphibious sang-froid of the "gentleman." The man in the world as the man of the world sought his ideal in endless dissimulation, and in this, as the flowering of his culture, he took the highest interest. Intrigue, in love as well as in politics, was the soul of the nobleman's existence.—

—They endeavored to complete the refinement of manners by sending the young man away with a travelling tutor. This was very good, but degenerated at last into the mechanism of the foolish travelling of the tourist. The noble was made a foreigner, a stranger to his own country, by means of his abode at Paris or Venice, while the citizen gradually outstripped him in genuine culture.—

Sec. 254. The education of the citizen as well as that of the noble was taken possession of, in Catholic countries by the Jesuits, in Protestant countries by the Pietists: by the first, with a military strictness; by the second, in a social and effeminate form. Both, however, agreed in destroying individuality, inasmuch as the one degraded man into a will-less machine for executing the commands of others, and the other deadened him in cultivating the feeling of his sinful worthlessness.

(a) Jesuitic Education.

Sec. 255. Jesuitism combined the maximum of worldly freedom with an appearance of the greatest piety. Proceeding from this stand-point, it devoted itself in education to elegance and showy knowledge, to diplomacy and what was suitable and convenient in morals. To bring the future more into its power, it adapted itself not only to youth in general, but especially to the youth of the nobler classes. To please these, the Jesuits laid great stress upon a fine deportment. In their colleges dancing and fencing were well-taught. They knew how well they should by this course content the noble, who had by preference usurped the name of Education for this technical way of giving formal expression to personality.

—In instruction they developed so exact a mechanism that they gained the reputation of having model school regulations, and even Protestants sent their children to them. From the close of the sixteenth century to the present time they have based their teaching upon the ratio et institutio Studiorum Societatis Jesu of Claudius Aquaviva, and, following that, they distinguish two courses of teaching, a higher and a lower. The lower included nothing but an external knowledge of the Latin language, and some fortuitous knowledge of History, of Antiquities, and of Mythology. The memory was cultivated as a means of keeping down free activity of thought and clearness of judgment. The higher course comprehended Dialectics, Rhetoric, Physics, and Morals. Dialectics appeared in the form of Sophistry. In Rhetoric, they favored the polemical-emphatic style of the African fathers of the Church and their pompous phraseology; in Physics, they stopped with Aristotle, and especially advised the reading of the books De Generatione et Corruptione, and De Coelo, on which they commented after their fashion; finally, in Morals casuistic skepticism was their central point. They made much of Rhetoric on account of their sermons, giving to it much attention, and introduced especially Declamation. Contriving showy public examinations under the guise of Latin School Comedies, they thus amused the public, disposed them to approval, and at the same time quite innocently practised the pupil in dissimulation.—

—Diplomacy in behavior was made necessary to the Jesuits as well by their strict military discipline as by their system of reciprocal mistrust, espionage, and informing. Abstract obedience was a reason for any act of the pupils, and they were freed from all responsibility as to its moral justification. This empirical exact following out of all commands, and refraining from any criticism as to principles, created a moral indifference, and, from the necessity of having consideration for the peculiarities and caprices of the superior on whom all others were dependent, arose eye-service, and the coldness of isolation sprang from the necessity which each felt of being on his guard against every other as against a tale-bearer. The most deliberate hypocrisy and pleasure in intrigue merely for the sake of intrigue—this most refined poison of moral corruption—were the result. Jesuitism had not only an interest in the material profit, which, when it had corrupted souls, fell to its share, but it also had an interest in the process of corruption. With absolute indifference as to the idea of morality, and absolute indifference as to the moral quality of the means used to attain its end, it rejoiced in the superiority of secrecy, of the accomplished and calculating understanding, and in deceiving the credulous by means of its graceful, seemingly-perfect, moral language.—

—It is not necessary to speak here of the morality of the Order. It is sufficiently recognized as the contradiction, that the idea of morality insists upon the eternal necessity of every deed, but that in the realizing of the action all determinations should be made relative and should vary with the circumstances. As to discipline, they were always guided by their fundamental principle, that body and soul, as in and for themselves one, could vicariously suffer for each other. Thus penitence and contrition were transformed into a perfect materialism of outward actions, and hence arose the punishments of the Order, in which fasting, scourging, imprisonment, mortification, and death, were formed into a mechanical artificial system.—

(b) Pietistic Education.

Sec. 256. Jesuitism would make machines of man, Pietism would dissolve him in the feeling of his sinfulness: either would destroy his individuality. Pietism proceeded from the principle of Protestantism, as, in the place of the Catholic Pelagianism with its sanctification by works, it offered justication by faith alone. In its tendency to internality was its just claim. It would have even the letters of the Bible translated into the vivacity of sentiment. But in its execution it fell into the error of one-sidedness in that it placed, instead of the actuality of the spirit and its freedom, the confusion of a limited personality, placing in its stead the personality of Christ in an external manner, and thus brought back into the very midst of Protestantism the principle of monachism—an abstract renunciation of the world. Since Protestantism has destroyed the idea of the cloister, it could produce estrangement from the world only by exciting public opinion against such elements of society and culture which it stigmatized as worldly for its members, e.g. card-playing, dancing, the theatre, &c. Thus it became negatively dependent upon works; for since its followers remained in reciprocal action with the world, so that the temptation to backsliding was a permanent one, it must watch over them, exercise an indispensable moral-police control over them, and thus, by the suspicion of each other which was involved, take up into itself the Jesuitical practice, although in a very mild and affectionate way. Instead of the forbidden secrecy of the cloister, it organized a separate company, which we, in its regularly constituted assembly, call a conventicle. Instead of the cowl, it put on its youth a dress like that of the world, but scant and ashen-colored; it substituted for the tonsure closely-cut hair and shaven beard, and it often went beyond the obedience of the monks in its expression of pining humility and prudish composure. Education within such a circle could not well recognize nature and history as manifestations of God, but it must consider them to be limitations to their union with God, from which death can first then completely release them. The soul which knew that its home could be found only in the future world, must feel itself to be a stranger upon the earth, and from such an opinion there must arise an indifference and even a contempt for science and art, as well as an aversion for a life of active labor, though an unwilling and forced tribute might be paid to it. Philosophy especially was to be shunned as dangerous. Bible lectures, the catechism and the hymn-book, were the one thing needful to the "poor in spirit." Religious poetry and music were, of all the arts, the only ones deserving of any cultivation. The education of Pietism endeavored, by means of a carefully arranged series of representations, to create in its disciples the feeling of their absolute nothingness, vileness, godlessness, and abandonment by God, in order to displace the torment of despair as to themselves and the world by a warm, dramatic, and living relation to Christ—a relation in which all the Eroticism of the mystical passion of the begging-friars was renewed in a somewhat milder form and with a strong tendency to a sentimental sweetishness.

2. The Ideal of Culture.

Sec. 257. Civil Education arose from the recognition of marriage and the family, of labor and enjoyment, of the equality of all before the Law, and of the duty of self-determination. Jesuitism in the Catholic world and Pietism in the Protestant were the reaction against this recognition—a return into the abstract asceticism of the middle ages, not however in its purity, but mixed with some regard for worldly possessions. In opposition to this reaction the commonwealth produced another, in which it undertook to deliver individuality by means of a reversed alienation. On the one hand, it absorbed itself in the conception of the Greek-Roman world. In the practical interests of the present, it externalized man in a past which held to the present no immediate relation, or it externalized him in the affairs which were to serve him as means of his comfort and enjoyment; it created an abstract idealism—a reproduction of the old view of the world—or an abstract Realism in a high appreciation of things which should be considered of value only as a means. In one direction, Individuality proceeded towards a dead nationality; in the other, towards an unlimited world-commonwealth. In one case, the ideal was the aesthetic republicanism of the Greeks; in the other, the utilitarian cosmopolitanism of the Romans. But, in considering the given circumstances, both united in the feeling of humanity, with its reconciliatory and pitying gentleness toward the beggar or the criminal.

(a) The Humanitarian Ideal.

Sec. 258. The Oriental-theocratic education is immanent in Christian education through the Bible. Through the mediation of the Greek and Roman churches the views of the ancient world were subsumed but not entirely subdued. To accomplish this was the problem of humanitarian education. It aimed to teach the Latin and Greek languages, expecting thus to secure the action of a purely humane disposition. The Greeks and Romans being sharply marked nationalities, how could one cherish such expectations? It was possible only relatively in contradiction, partly to a provincial population from whom all genuine political sense had departed, partly to a church limited by a confessional, to which the idea of humanity as such had become almost lost in dogmatic fault-findings. The spirit was refreshed in the first by the contemplation of the pure patriotism of the ancients, and in the second by the discovery of Reason among the heathen. In contrast to formlessness distracted by the want of all ideal of culture of provincialism and dogmatic confusions, we find the power of representation of ancient art. The so-called uselessness of learning dead languages imparted to the mind, it knew not how, an ideal drift. The very fact that it could not find immediate profit in its knowledge gave it the consciousness of a higher value than material profit. The ideal of the Humanities was the truth to Nature which was found in the thought-painters of the ancient world. The study of language merely with regard to its form, must lead one involuntarily to the actual seizing of its content. The Latin schools were fashioned into Gymnasia, and the universities contained not merely professors of Eloquence, but also teachers of Philology.

(b) The Philanthropic Ideal.

Sec. 259. The humanitarian tendency reached its extreme in the abstract forgetting of the present, and the omitting to notice its just claim. Man discovered at last that he was not at home with himself in Rome and Athens. He spoke and wrote Latin, if not like Cicero, at least like Muretius, but he often found himself awkward in expressing his meaning in his mother-tongue. He was often very learned, but he lacked judgment. He was filled with enthusiasm for the republicanism of Greece and Rome, and yet at the same time was himself exceedingly servile to his excellent and august lords. Against this gradual deadening of active individuality, the result of a perverted study of the classics, we find now reacting the education of enlightenment, which we generally call the philanthropic. It sought to make men friendly to the immediate course of the world. It placed over against the learning of the ancient languages for their own sake, the acquisition of the more needful branches of Mathematics, Physics, Geography, History, and the modern languages, calling these the real studies. Nevertheless it often retained the instruction in the Latin language because the Romance languages have sprung from it, and because, through its long domination, the universal terminology of Science, Art, and Law, is rooted in it. Philanthropy desired to develope the social side of its disciple through an abstract of practical knowledge and personal accomplishments, and to lead him again, in opposition to the hermit-like sedentary life of the book-pedant, out into the fields and the woods. It desired to imitate life even in its method, and to instruct pleasantly in the way of play or by dialogue. It would add to the simple letters and names the contemplation of the object itself, or at least of its representation by pictures; and in this direction, in the conversation-literature which it prepared for children, it sometimes fell into childishness. It performed a great service when it gave to the body its due, and introduced simple, natural dress, bathing, gymnastics, pedestrian excursions, and a hardening against the influences of wind and weather. As this Pedagogics, so friendly to children, deemed that it could not soon enough begin to honor them as citizens of the world, it was guilty in general of the error of presupposing as already finished in its children much that it itself should have gradually developed; and as it wished to educate the European as such, or rather man as such, it came into an indifference concerning the concrete distinctions of nationality and religion. It coincided with the philologists in placing, in a concealed way, Socrates above Christ, because he had worked no miracles, and taught only morality. In such a dead cosmopolitanism, individuality disappeared in the indeterminateness of a general humanity, and saw itself forced to agree with the humanistic education in proclaiming the truth of Nature as the pedagogical ideal, with the distinction, that while Humanism believed this ideal realized in the Greeks and Romans, Philanthropism found itself compelled to presuppose an abstract notion, and often manifested a not unjustifiable pleasure in recognizing in the Indians of North America, or of Otaheite, the genuine man of nature. Philosophy first raised these conceptions to the idea of the State, which fashioned the cognition of Reason and of the reform which follows from its idea, into an organic element in itself.

—The course which the developing of the philanthropic ideal has taken is as follows: (1) Rousseau in his writings, Emile and the Nouvelle Heloise, first preached the evangel of Natural Education, the abstraction from History, the negation of existing culture, and the return to the simplicity and innocence of nature. Although he often himself testified in his experience his own proneness to evil in a very discouraging way, he fixed as an almost unlimited axiom in French and German Pedagogics his principal maxim, that man is by nature good. (2) The reformatory ideas of Rousseau met with only a very infrequent and sporadic introduction among the Romanic nations, because among them education was too dependent on the church, and retained its cloister-like seclusion in seminaries, colleges, &c. In Germany, on the contrary, it was actualized, and the Philanthropia, established by Basedow in Dessau, Brunswick, and Schnepfenthal, made experiments, which nevertheless very soon departed somewhat from the ultraism of Basedow and had very excellent results. (3) Humanity existed in concreto only in the form of nations. The French nation, in their revolution, tried the experiment of abstracting from their history, of levelling all distinctions of culture, of enthroning a despotism of Reason, and of organizing itself as humanity, pure and simple. The event showed the impossibility of such a beginning. The national energy, the historical impulse, the love of art and science, came forth from the midst of the revolutionary abstraction, which was opposed to them, only the more vigorously. The grande nation, their grande armee, and gloire—that is to say, for France—absorbed all the humanitarian phases. In Germany the philanthropic circle of education was limited to the higher ranks. There was no exclusiveness in the Philanthropia, for there nobles and citizens, Catholics and Protestants, Russians and Swiss, were mingled; but these were always the children of wealthy families, and to these the plan of education was adapted. Then appeared Pestalozzi and directed education also to the lower classes of society—those which are called, not without something approaching to a derogatory meaning, the people. From this time dates popular education, the effort for the intellectual and moral elevation of the hitherto neglected atomistic human being of the non-property-holding multitude. There shall in future be no dirty, hungry, ignorant, awkward, thankless, and will-less mass, devoted alone to an animal existence. We can never rid ourselves of the lower classes by having the wealthy give something, or even their all, to the poor, so as to have no property themselves; but we can rid ourselves of it in the sense that the possibility of culture and independent self-support shall be open to every one, because he is a human being and a citizen of the commonwealth. Ignorance and rudeness and the vice which springs from them, and the malevolent frame of mind against the human race, which are bound up with crime—these shall disappear. Education shall train man to self-conscious obedience to law, as well as to kindly feeling towards the erring, and to an effort not merely for their removal but for their improvement. But the more Pestalozzi endeavored to realize his ideal of human dignity, the more he comprehended that the isolated power of a private man could not attain it, but that the nation itself must make their own education their first business. Fichte by his lectures first made the German nation fully accept these thoughts, and Prussia was the first state which, by her public schools and her conscious preparation for defence, broke the path for National Education; while among the Romanic nations, in spite of their more elaborate political formalism, it still depends partly upon the church and partly upon the accident of private enterprise. Pestalozzi also laid a foundation for a national pedagogical literature by his story of Leonard and Gertrude. This book appeared at first in 1784, i.e. in the same year in which Schiller's Robbers and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason announced a new phase in the Drama and in Philosophy.—

—The incarnation of God, which was, up to the time of the Reformation, an esoteric mystery of the Church, has since then become continually more and more an exoteric problem of the State.—

3. Free Education.

Sec. 260. The ideal of culture of the humanitarian and the philanthropic education was taken up into the conception of an education which recognizes the Family, social caste, the Nation, and Religion, as positive elements of the practical spirit, but which will know each of these as determined from within through the idea of humanity, and laid open for reciprocal dialectic with the rest. Physical development shall become the subject of a national system of gymnastics fashioned for use, and including in itself the knowledge of the use of arms. Instruction shall, in respect to the general encyclopaedic culture, be the same for all, and parallel to this shall run a system of special schools to prepare for the special avocations of life. The method of instruction shall be the simple representation of the special idea of the subject, and no longer the formal breadth of an acquaintance with many subjects which may find outside the school its opportunity, but within it has no meaning except as the history of a science or an art. Moral culture must be combined with family affection and the knowledge of the laws of the commonwealth, so that the dissension between individual morality and objective legality may ever more and more disappear. Education shall, without estranging the individual from the internality of the family, accustom him more and more to public life, because criticism of this is the only thing which can prevent the cynicism of private life, the half-ness of knowledge and will, and the spirit of caste, which has so extensively prevailed. The individual shall be educated into a self-consciousness of the essential equality and freedom of all men, so that he shall recognize and acknowledge himself in each one and in all. But this essential and solid unity of all men shall not evaporate into the insipidity of a humanity without distinctions, but instead it shall realize the form of a determinate individuality and nationality, and shall enlighten the idiosyncrasy of its nation into a broad humanity. The unrestricted striving after Beauty, Truth, and Freedom, actually through its own strength and immediately, not merely mediately through ecclesiastical consecration, will become Religion.

The Education of the State must rise to a preparation for the unfettered activity of self-conscious Humanity.





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by WILLIAM T. HARRIS, In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


The translation of "Pedagogics as a System" was prepared and published five years ago. The wide demand for it that has made itself known since that time, especially in normal schools, has proved the value of such works in the domain of education. At the same time, the difficulty the students have always found in its use—a difficulty inseparable from any translation of a German metaphysical treatise—has led us to the conviction that a paraphrase into a more easily understood form is a necessity, if the thought of Rosenkranz is to be appropriated by the very class who are most in need of it. As was remarked in the preface to the translation, we have in English no other work of similar size which contains so much that is valuable to those engaged in the work of education. It is no compendium of rules or formulas, but rather a systematic, logical treatment of the subject, in which the attention is, as it were, concentrated upon the whole problem of education, while that problem is allowed to work itself out before us. To paraphrase the text—or, rather, to translate it from the metaphysical language in which it at present appears into a language more easy of comprehension—without losing the real significance of the statements, is the task which is here undertaken. Free illustrations and suggestions have been interwoven to give point and application to the thoughts and principles stated. This translation, or paraphrase, follows the paragraphs of the original and of the first translation. The analysis of the whole work, as it appeared in the original translation, is appended at the end of the "Introduction," as a guide to the student.



Sec. 1. The science of Pedagogics may be called a secondary science, inasmuch as it derives its principles from others. In this respect it differs from Mathematics, which is independent. As it concerns the development of the human intelligence, it must wait upon Psychology for an understanding of that upon which it is to operate, and, as its means are to be sciences and arts, it must wait upon them for a knowledge of its materials. The science of Medicine, in like manner, is dependent on the sciences of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc. Moreover, as Medicine may have to deal with a healthy or unhealthy body, and may have it for its province to preserve or restore health, to assist a natural process (as in the case of a broken bone), or to destroy an unnatural one (as in the case of the removal of a tumor), the same variety of work is imposed upon Education.[1]

Sec. 2. Since the rules of Pedagogics must be extremely flexible, so that they may be adapted to the great variety of minds, and since an infinite variety of circumstances may arise in their application, we find, as we should expect, in all educational literature room for widely differing opinions and the wildest theories; these numerous theories, each of which may have a strong influence for a season, only to be overthrown and replaced by others.[2] It must be acknowledged that educational literature, as such, is not of a high order. It has its cant like religious literature. Many of its faults, however, are the result of honest effort, on the part of teachers, to remedy existing defects, and the authors are, therefore, not harshly to be blamed. It is also to be remembered that the habit of giving reproof and advice is one fastened in them by the daily necessity of their professional work.[3]

Sec. 3. As the position of the teacher has ceased to be undervalued, there has been an additional impetus given to self-glorification on his part, and this also—in connection with the fact that schools are no longer isolated as of old, but subject to constant comparison and competition—leads to much careless theorizing among its teachers, especially in the literary field.

Sec. 4. Pedagogics, because it deals with the human spirit, belongs, in a general classification of the sciences, to the philosophy of spirit, and in the philosophy of spirit it must be classified under the practical, and not the merely theoretical, division. For its problem is not merely to comprehend the nature of that with which it has to deal, the human spirit—its problem is not merely to influence one mind (that of the pupil) by another (that of the teacher)—but to influence it in such a way as to produce the mental freedom of the pupil. The problem is, therefore, not so much to obtain performed works as to excite mental activity. A creative process is required. The pupil is to be forced to go in certain beaten tracks, and yet he is to be so forced to go in these that he shall go of his own freewill. All teaching which does not leave the mind of the pupil free is unworthy of the name. It is true that the teacher must understand the nature of mind, as he is to deal with mind, but when he has done this he has still his main principle of action unsolved; for the question is, knowing the nature of the mind, How shall he incite it to action, already predetermined in his own mind, without depriving the mind of the pupil of its own free action? How shall he restrain and guide, and yet not enslave?

If, in classifying all sciences, as suggested at the beginning of this section, we should subdivide the practical division of the Philosophy of Spirit, which might be called Ethics, one could find a place for Pedagogics under some one of the grades of Ethics. The education which the child receives through the influence of family life lies at the basis of all other teaching, and what the child learns of life, its duties, and possibilities, in its own home, forms the foundation for all after-work. On the life of the family, then, as a presupposition, all systems of Education must be built. In other words, the school must not attempt to initiate the child into the knowledge of the world—it must not assume the care of its first training; that it must leave to the family.[4] But the science of Pedagogics does not, as a science, properly concern itself with the family education, or with that point of the child's life which is dominated by the family influence. That is education, in a certain sense, without doubt, but it does not properly belong to a science of Pedagogics. But, on the other hand, it must be remembered that this science, as here expounded, presupposes a previous family life in the human being with whom it has to deal.

Sec. 5. Education as a science will present the necessary and universal principles on which it is based; Education as an art will consist in the practical realization of these in the teacher's work in special places, under special circumstances, and with special pupils. In the skillful application of the principles of the science to the actual demands of the art lies the opportunity for the educator to prove himself a creative artist; and it is in the difficulty involved in this practical work that the interest and charm of the educator's work consists.

The teacher must thus adapt himself to the pupil. But, in doing so, he must have a care that he do not carry this adaptation to such a degree as to imply that the pupil is not to change; and he must see to it, also, that the pupil shall always be worked upon by the matter which he is considering, and not too much by the personal influence of the teacher through whom he receives it.[5]

Sec. 6. The utmost care is necessary lest experiments which have proved successful in certain cases should be generalized into rules, and a formal, dead creed, so to speak, should be adopted. All professional experiences are valuable as material on which to base new conclusions and to make new plans, but only for that use. Unless the day's work is, every day, a new creation, a fatal error has been made.

Sec. 7. Pedagogics as a science must consider Education—

(1) In its general idea;

(2) In its different phases;

(3) In the special systems arising from this general idea, acting under special circumstances at special times.[6]

Sec. 8. With regard to the First Part, we remark that by Education, in its general idea, we do not mean any mere history of Pedagogics, nor can any history of Pedagogics be substituted for a systematic exposition of the underlying idea.

Sec. 9. The second division considers Education under three heads—as physical, intellectual, and moral—and forms, generally, the principal part of all pedagogical treatises.

In this part lies the greatest difficulty as to exact limitation. The ideas on these divisions are often undefined and apt to be confounded, and the detail of which they are capable is almost unlimited, for we might, under this head, speak of all kinds of special schools, such as those for war, art, mining, etc.

Sec. 10. In the Third Part we consider the different realizations of the one general idea of Pedagogics as it has developed itself under different circumstances and in different ages of the world.

The general idea is forced into different phases by the varying physical, intellectual, and moral conditions of men. The result is the different systems, as shown in the analysis. The general idea is one. The view of the end to be obtained determines in each case the actualization of this idea. Hence the different systems of Education are each determined by the stand-point from which the general ideal is viewed. Proceeding in this manner, it might be possible to construct a history of Pedagogics, a priori, without reference to actual history, since all the possible systems might be inferred from the possible definite number of points of view.

Each lower stand-point will lead to a higher, but it will not be lost in it. Thus, where Education, for the sake of the nation,[7] merges into the Education based on Christianity, the form is not thereby destroyed, but, rather, in the transition first attains its full realization. The systems of Education which were based on the idea of the nation had, in the fullness of time, outgrown their own limits, and needed a new form in order to contain their own true idea. The idea of the nation, as the highest principle, gives way for that of Christianity. A new life came to the old idea in what at first seemed to be its destruction. The idea of the nation was born again, and not destroyed, in Christianity.

Sec. 11. The final system, so far, is that of the present time, which thus is itself the fruit of all the past systems, as well as the seed of all systems that are to be. The science of Pedagogics, in the consideration of the system of the present, thus again finds embodied the general idea of education, and thus returns upon itself to the point from whence it set out. In the First and Second Parts there is already given the idea which dominates the system found thus necessarily existing in the present.

{FIRST PART. {Its Nature. {In its General {Its Form. { Idea. {Its Limits. { {SECOND PART. {Physical. {In its Special {Intellectual. { Elements. {Moral. { { { { {Family China. { { {Passive. {Caste India. { { { {Monkish Thibet. { { { { { { {Military Persia. { {National. {Active {Priestly Egypt. { { { {Industrial Phoenicia. { { { { { { {AEsthetic Greece. E { { {Individual. {Practical Rome. D { { { {Abstract {Northern. U { { { { Individual{ Barbarians. C { { A { {Theocratic. . . . . . . . . . . . Jews. T { { I { {Monkish. O {THIRD PART. { N {In its { { Particular { { Systems. { { {Chivalric. { { { {Humanitarian. {For Special {Jesuitic. { { { Callings. {Pietistic. { { { { {The { { { {Humanistic. { {For Civil {To achieve { { { Life. { an Ideal of {The { { { Culture. {Philanthropic { { { {Movement. { { { { { {For Free Citizenship.


The General Idea of Education.

Sec. 12. A full treatment of Pedagogics must distinguish—

(1) The nature of Education;

(2) The form of Education;

(3) The limits of Education.

I.—The Nature of Education.

Sec. 13. The nature of Education is determined by the nature of mind, the distinguishing mark of which is that it can be developed only from within, and by its own activity. Mind is essentially free—i.e., it has the capacity for freedom—but it cannot be said to possess freedom till it has obtained it by its own voluntary effort. Till then it cannot be truly said to be free. Education consists in enabling a human being to take possession of, and to develop himself by, his own efforts, and the work of the educator cannot be said to be done in any sense where this is not accomplished. In general, we may say that the work of education consists in leading to a full development of all the inherent powers of the mind, and that its work is done when, in this way, the mind has attained perfect freedom, or the state in which alone it can be said to be truly itself.[8]

The isolated human being can never become truly man. If such human beings (like the wild girl of the forest of Ardennes) have been found, they have only proved to us that reciprocal action with our fellow beings is necessary for the development of our powers. Caspar Hauser, in his subterranean prison, will serve as an example of what man would be without men. One might say that this fact is typified by the first cry of the newly-born child. It is as if the first expression of its seemingly independent life were a cry for help from others. On the side of nature the human being is at first quite helpless.

Sec. 14. Man is, therefore, the only proper object of education. It is true that we speak of the education of plants and of animals, but we instinctively apply other terms when we do so, for we say "raising" plants, and "training" animals. When we "train" or "break" an animal, it is true that we do, by pain or pleasure, lead him into an exercise of a new activity. But the difference between this and Education consists in the fact that, though he possessed capacity, yet by no amount of association with his kind would he ever have acquired this new development. It is as if we impress upon his plastic nature the imprint of our loftier nature, which imprint he takes mechanically, and does not himself recognize it as his own internal nature. We train him for our recognition, not for his own. But, on the contrary, when we educate a human being, we only excite him to create for himself, and out of himself, that for which he would most earnestly strive had he any appreciation of it beforehand, and in proportion as he does appreciate it he recognizes it joyfully as a part of himself, as his own inheritance, which he appropriates with a knowledge that it is his, or, rather, is a part of his own nature. He who speaks of "raising" human beings uses language which belongs only to the slave-dealer, to whom human beings are only cattle for labor, and whose property increases in value with the number.

Are there no school-rooms where Education has ceased to have any meaning, and where physical pain is made to produce its only possible result—a mechanical, external repetition? The school-rooms where the creative word—the only thing which can influence the mind—has ceased to be used as the means are only plantations, where human beings are degraded to the position of lower animals.

Sec. 15. When we speak of the Education of the human race, we mean the gradual growth of the nations of the earth, as a whole, towards the realization of self-conscious freedom. Divine Providence is the teacher here. The means by which the development is effected are the various circumstances and actions of the different races of men, and the pupils are the nations. The unfolding of this great Education is generally treated of under the head of Philosophy of History.

Sec. 16. Education, however, in a more restricted sense, has to do with the shaping of the individual. Each one of us is to be educated by the laws of physical nature—by the relations into which we come with the national life, in its laws, customs, etc., and by the circumstances which daily surround us. By the force of these we find our arbitrary will hemmed in, modified, and forced to take new channels and forms. We are too often unmindful of the power with which these forces are daily and hourly educating us—i.e., calling out our possibilities into real existence. If we set up our will in opposition to either of these; if we act in opposition to the laws of nature; if we seriously offend the laws, or even the customs, of the people among whom we live; or if we despise our individual lot, we do so only to find ourselves crushed in the encounter. We only learn the impotence of the individual against these mighty powers; and that discovery is, of itself, a part of our education. It is sometimes only by such severe means that God is revealed to the man who persistently misunderstands and defies His creation. All suffering brought on ourselves by our own violation of laws, whether natural, ethical, or divine, must be, however, thus recognized as the richest blessing. We do not mean to say that it is never allowable for a man, in obedience to the highest laws of his spiritual being, to break away from the fetters of nature—to offend the ethical sense of his own people, or to struggle against the might of destiny. Reformers and martyrs would be examples of such, and our remarks above do not apply to them, but to the perverse, the frivolous, and the conceited; to those who are seeking in their action, not the undoubted will of God, but their own individual will or caprice.

Sec. 17. But we generally use the word Education in a still narrower sense than either of these, for we mean by it the working of one individual mind upon or within another in some definite and premeditated way, so as to fit the pupil for life generally, or for some special pursuit. For this end the educator must be relatively finished in his own education, and the pupil must possess confidence in him, or docility. He must be teachable. That the work be successful, demands the very highest degree of talent, knowledge, skill, and prudence; and any development is impossible if a well-founded authority be wanting in the educator, or docility on the part of the pupil.

Education, in this narrowest and technical sense, is an outgrowth of city or urban life. As long as men do not congregate in large cities, the three forces spoken of in Sec. 16—i.e., the forces of nature, national customs, and circumstances—will be left to perform most of the work of Education; but, in modern city life, the great complication of events, the uncertainty in the results—though careful forethought has been used—the immense development of individuality, and the pressing need of various information, break the power of custom, and render a different method necessary. The larger the city is, the more free is the individual in it from the restraints of customs, the less subjected to curious criticism, and the more able is he to give play to his own idiosyncrasies. This, however, is a freedom which needs the counterpoise of a more exact training in conventionalities, if we would not have it dangerous. Hence the rapid multiplication of educational institutions and systems in modern times (one chief characteristic of which is the development of urban life). The ideal Telemachus of Fenelon differs very much from the real Telemachus of history. Fenelon proposed an education which trained a youth to reflect, and to guide himself by reason. The Telemachus of the heroic age followed the customs ("use and wont") of his times with naive obedience. The systems of Education once sufficient do not serve the needs of modern life, any more than the defenses once sufficient against hostile armies are sufficient against the new weapons adopted by modern warfare.

Sec. 18. The problem with which modern Education has to deal may be said, in general terms, to be the development in the individual soul of the indwelling Reason, both practical (as will) and theoretical (as intellect). To make a child good is only a part of Education; we have also to develop his intelligence. The sciences of Ethics and Education are not the same. Again, we must not forget that no pupil is simply a human being, like every other human being; he is also an individual, and thus differs from every other one of the race. This is a point which must never be lost sight of by the educator. Human beings may be—nay, must be—educated in company, but they cannot be educated simply in the mass.

Sec. 19. Education is to lead the pupil by a graded series of exercises, previously arranged and prescribed by the educator, to a definite end. But these exercises must take on a peculiar form for each particular pupil under the special circumstances present. Hasty and inconsiderate work may, by chance, accomplish much; but no work which is not systematic can advance and fashion him in conformity with his tenure, and such alone is to be called Education; for Education implies both a comprehension of the end to be attained and of the means necessary to compass that end.

Sec. 20. Culture, however, means more and more every year; and, as the sum total of knowledge increases for mankind, it becomes necessary, in order to be a master in any one line, to devote one's self almost exclusively to that. Hence arises, for the teacher, the difficulty of preserving the unity and wholeness which are essential to a complete man. The principle of division of labor comes in. He who is a teacher by profession becomes one-sided in his views; and, as teaching divides and subdivides into specialities, this abnormal one-sideness tends more and more to appear. Here we find a parallelism in the profession of Medicine, with a corresponding danger of narrowness; for that, too, is in a process of constant specialization, and the physician who treats nervous diseases is likely to be of the opinion that all trouble arises from that part of the organism, or, at least, that all remedies should be applied there. This tendency to one-sideness is inseparable from the progress of civilization and that of science and arts. It contains, nevertheless, a danger of which no teacher should be unwarned. An illustration is furnished by the microscope or telescope; a higher power of the instrument implies a narrower field of view. To concentrate our observation upon one point implies the shutting out of others. This difficulty with the teacher creates one for the pupil.

In this view one might be inclined to judge that the life of the savage as compared with that of civilized man, or that of a member of a rural community as compared with that of an inhabitant of a city, were the more to be desired. The savage has his hut, his family, his cocoa-palm, his weapons, his passions; he fishes, hunts, amuses himself, adorns himself, and enjoys the consciousness that he is the center of a little world; while the denizen of a city must often acknowledge that he is, so to speak, only one wheel of a gigantic machine. Is the life of the savage, therefore, more favorable to human development? The characteristic idea of modern civilization is: The development of the individual as the end for which the State exists. The great empires of Persia, Egypt, and India, wherein the individual was of value only as he ministered to the strength of the State, have given way to the modern nations, where individual freedom is pushed so far that the State seems only an instrument for the good of the individual. From being the supreme end of the individual, the State has become the means for his advancement into freedom; and with this very exaltation of the value of the mere individual over the State, as such, there is inseparably connected the seeming destruction of the wholeness of the individual man. But the union of State and individual, which was in ancient times merely mechanical, has now become a living process, in which constant interaction gives rise to all the intellectual life of modern civilization.

Sec. 21. The work of Education being thus necessarily split up, we have the distinction between general and special schools. The work of the former is to give general development—what is considered essential for all men; that of the latter, to prepare for special callings. The former should furnish a basis for the latter—i.e., the College should precede the Medical School, etc., and the High School the Normal. In the United States, owing to many causes, this is unfortunately not the case.

The difference between city and country life is important here. The teacher in a country school, and, still more, the private tutor or governess, must be able to teach many more things than the teacher in a graded school in the city, or the professor in a college or university. The danger on the one side is of superficiality, on the other of narrowness.

Sec. 22. The Education of any individual can be only relatively finished. His possibilities are infinite. His actual realization of those possibilities must always remain far behind. The latter can only approximate to the former. It can never reach them. The term "finishing an education" needs, therefore, some definition; for, as a technical term, it has undoubtedly a meaning. An immortal soul can never complete its development; for, in so doing, it would give the lie to its own nature. We cannot speak properly, however, of educating an idiot. Such an unfortunate has no power of generalization, and no conscious personality. We can train him mechanically, but we cannot educate him. This will help to illustrate the difference, spoken of in Sec. 14, between Education and Mechanical training.

We obtain astonishing results, it is true, in our schools for idiots, and yet we cannot fail to perceive that, after all, we have only an external result. We produce a mechanical performance of duties, and yet there seems to be no actual mental growth. It is an exogenous, and not an endogenous, growth, to use the language of Botany.[9] Continual repetition, under the most gentle patience, renders the movements easy, but, after all, they are only automatic, or what the physicians call reflex.

We have the same result produced in a less degree when we attempt to teach an intelligent child something which is beyond his active comprehension. A child may be taught to do or say almost anything by patient training, but, if what he is to say is beyond the power of his mental comprehension, and hence of his active assimilation, we are only training him as we train an animal (Sec. 14), and not educating him. We call such recitations parrot recitations, and, by our use of the word, express exactly in what position the pupils are placed. An idiot is only a case of permanently arrested development. What in the intelligent child is a passing phase is for the idiot a fixed state. We have idiots of all grades, as we have children of all ages.

The above observations must not be taken to mean that children should never be taught to perform operations in arithmetic which they do not, in cant phrase, "perfectly understand," or to learn poetry whose whole meaning they cannot fathom. Into this error many teachers have fallen.

There can be no more profitable study for a teacher than to visit one of these numerous idiot schools. He finds the alphabet of his professional work there. As the philologist learns of the formation and growth of language by examining, not the perfectly formed languages, but the dialects of savage tribes, so with the teacher. In like manner more insight into the philosophy of teaching and of the nature of the mind can be acquired by teaching a class of children to read than in any other grade of work.

II.—The Form of Education.

Sec. 23. The general form of Education follows from the nature of mind. Mind is nothing but what it itself creates out of its own activity. It is, at first, mind as undeveloped or unconscious (in the main); but, secondly, it acquires the power of examining its own action, of considering itself as an object of attention, as if it were a quite foreign thing—i.e., it reflects (in this stage it is really ignorant that it is studying its own nature); and, finally, it becomes conscious that this, which it had been examining, and of whose existence it is conscious, is its own self: It attains self-consciousness. It is through this estrangement from itself, given back to itself again and restored to unity, but it is no longer a simple, unconscious unity. In this third state only can it be said to be free—i.e., to possess itself. Education cannot create; it can only help to develop into reality the previously-existent possibility; it can only help to bring forth to light the hidden life.

Sec. 24. All culture, in whatever line, must pass through these two stages of estrangement and of reunion; the reunion being not of two different things, but the recognition of itself by thought, and its acceptance of itself as itself. And the more complete is the estrangement—i.e., the more perfectly can the thought be made to view itself as a somewhat entirely foreign to itself, to look upon it as a different and independent somewhat—the more complete and perfect will be its union with and acceptance of its object as one with itself when the recognition does finally take place. Through culture we are led to this conscious possession of our own thought. Plato gives to the feeling, with which knowledge must necessarily begin, the name of wonder. But wonder is not knowledge; it is only the first step towards it. It is the half-terrified attention which the mind fixes on an object, and the half-terror would be impossible did it not dimly forebode that it was something of its own nature at which it was looking. The child delights in stories of the far-off, the strange, and the wonderful. It is as if they hoped to find in these some solution to themselves—a solution which they have, as it were, asked in vain of familiar scenes and objects. Their craving for such is the proof of how far their nature transcends all its known conditions. They are like adventurous explorers who push out to unknown regions in hopes of finding the freedom and wealth which lies only within themselves. They want to be told about things which they never saw, such as terrible conflagrations, banditti life, wild animals, gray old ruins, Robinson Crusoes on far-off, happy islands. They are irresistibly attracted by whatever is highly colored and dazzlingly lighted. The child prefers the story of Sinbad the Sailor to any tales of his own home and nation, because mind has this necessity of getting, as it were, outside of itself so as to obtain a view of itself. As the child grows to youth he is, from the same reasons, desirous of traveling.

Sec. 25. Work may be defined as the activity of the mind in a conscious concentration on, and absorption in, some object, with the purpose of acquiring or producing it. Play is the activity of the mind which gives itself up to surrounding objects according to its own caprice, without any thought as to results. The Educator gives out work to the pupil, but he leaves him to himself in his play.

Sec. 26. It is necessary to draw a sharp line between work and play. If the Educator has not respect for work as an activity of great weight and importance, he not only spoils the relish of the pupil for play, which loses all its charm of freedom when not set off by its antithesis of earnest labor, but he undermines in the pupil's mind all respect for any real existence. On the other hand, he who does not give to the child space, time, and opportunity for play prevents the originality of his pupil from free development through the exercise of his creative ingenuity. Play sends the child back to his work refreshed, because in it he loses himself without constraint and according to his own fancy, while in work he is required to yield himself up in a manner prescribed for him by another.

Let the teacher watch his pupils while at play if he would discover their individual peculiarities, for it is then that they unconsciously betray their real propensities. This antithesis of work and play runs through the entire life, the form only of play varying with years and occupations. To do what we please, as we please, and when we please, not for any reason, but just because we please, remains play always. Children in their sports like nothing better than to counterfeit what is to be the earnest work of their after-lives. The little girl plays with her dolls, and the boy plays he is a soldier and goes to mimic wars.

It is, of course, an error to suppose that the play of a child is simply muscular. The lamb and the colt find their full enjoyment in capering aimlessly about the field. But to the child play would be incomplete which did not bring the mind into action. Children derive little enjoyment from purely muscular exercise. They must at the same time have an object requiring mental action to attain it. A number of children set simply to run up and down a field would tire of the exercise in five minutes; but put a ball amongst them and set them to a game and they will be amused by it for hours.

Exceptional mental development is always preceded, and is, indeed, produced by, an exceptional amount of exercise in the form of play on the part of the special faculties concerned. The peculiar tendencies exhibited in play are due to the large development of particular faculties, and the ultimate giant strength of a faculty is brought about by play. The genius is no doubt born, not made; but, although born, it would dwindle away in infancy were it not for the constant exercise taken in play, which is as necessary for development as food for the maintenance of life.

Sec. 27. Work should never be treated as if it were play, nor play as if it were work. Those whose work is creative activity of the mind may find recreation in the details of science; and those, again, whose vocation is scientific research can find recreation in the practice of art in its different departments. What is work to one may thus be play to another. This does not, however, contradict the first statement.

Sec. 28. It is the province of education so to accustom us to different conditions or ways of thinking and acting that they shall no longer seem strange or foreign to us. When these have become, as we say, "natural" to us—when we find the acquired mode of thinking or acting just what our inclination leads us to adopt unconsciously, a Habit has been formed. A habit is, then, the identity of natural inclination with the special demands of any particular doing or suffering, and it is thus the external condition of all progress. As long as we require the conscious act of our will to the performance of a deed, that deed is a somewhat foreign to ourselves, and not yet a part of ourselves. The practical work of the educator may thus be said to consist in leading the mind of the pupil over certain lines of thought till it becomes "natural" or spontaneous for him to go by that road. Much time is wasted in schools where the pupil's mind is not led aright at first, for then he has to unlearn habits of thought which are already formed. The work of the teacher is to impress good methods of studying and thinking upon the minds of his pupils, rather than to communicate knowledge.

Sec. 29. It is, at first sight, entirely indifferent what a Habit shall relate to—i.e., the point is to get the pupil into the way of forming habits, and it is not at first of so much moment what habit is formed as that a habit is formed. But we cannot consider that there is anything morally neutral in the abstract, but only in the concrete, or in particular examples. An action may be of no moral significance to one man, and under certain circumstances, while to another man, or to the same man under different circumstances, it may have quite a different significance, or may possess an entirely opposite character. Appeal must be made, then, to the individual conscience of each one to decide what is and what is not permissible to that individual under the given circumstances. Education must make it its first aim to awaken in the pupil a sensitiveness to spiritual and ethical distinctions which knows that nothing is in its own nature morally insignificant or indifferent, but shall recognize, even in things seemingly small, a universal human significance. But, yet, in relation to the highest interests of morality or the well-being of society, the pupil must be taught to subordinate without hesitation all that relates exclusively to his own personal comfort or welfare for the well-being of his fellow-men, or for moral rectitude.

When we reflect upon habit, it at once assumes for us the character of useful or injurious. The consequences of a habit are not indifferent.

Whatever action tends as a harmonious means to the realization of our purpose is desirable or advantageous, and whatever either partially contradicts or wholly destroys it is disadvantageous. Advantage and disadvantage being, then, only relative terms, dependent upon the aim or purpose which we happen to have in view, a habit which may be advantageous to one man under certain circumstances may be disadvantageous to another man, or even to the same man, under other circumstances. Education must, then, accustom the youth to consider for himself the expediency or inexpediency of any action in relation to his own vocation in life. He must not form habits which will be inexpedient with regard to that.

Sec. 31. There is, however, an absolute distinction of habits as morally good and bad. From this absolute stand-point we must, after all, decide what is for us allowable or forbidden, what is expedient and what inexpedient.

Sec. 32. As to its form, habit may be either passive or active. By passive habit is meant a habit of composure which surveys undisturbed whatever vicissitudes, either external or internal, may fall to our lot, and maintains itself superior to them all, never allowing its power of acting to be paralyzed by them. It is not, however, merely a stoical indifference, nor is it the composure which comes from inability to receive impressions—a sort of impassivity. It is that composure which is the highest result of power. Nor is it a selfish love of ease which intentionally withdraws itself from annoyances in order to remain undisturbed. It is not manifested because of a desire to be out of these vicissitudes. It is, while in them, to be not of them. It is the composure which does not fret itself over what it cannot change. The soul that has built for itself this stronghold of freedom within itself may vividly experience joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, and yet serenely know that it is intrenched in walls which are inaccessible to their attacks, because it knows that it is infinitely superior to all that may chance or change. What is meant by active habit in distinction from passive habit is found in our external activity, as skill, facility, readiness of information, etc. It might be considered as the equipping of our inner selves for active contest with the external world; while passive habit is the fortifying of our inner selves against the attack of the external world. The man who possesses habit in both these forms impresses himself in many different ways on the outer world, while at the same time, and all the time, he preserves intact his personality from the constant assaults of the outer world. He handles both spear and shield.

Sec. 33. All education, in whatever line, must work by forming habits physical, mental, or moral. It might be said to consist in a conversion of actions which are at first voluntary, by means of repetition, into instructive actions which are performed, as we say, naturally—i.e., without any conscious volition. We teach a child to walk, or he teaches himself to walk by a constant repetition of the action of the will upon the necessary muscles; and, when the thinking brain hands over the mechanism to the trained spinal cord, the anxious, watchful look disappears from the face, and the child talks or laughs as he runs: then that part of his education is completed. Henceforth the attention that had been necessary to manage the body in walking is freed for other work. This is only an illustration, easily understood, of what takes place in all education. Mental and moral acts, thoughts, and feelings in the same way are, by repetition, converted into habits and become our nature; and character, good or bad, is only the aggregate of our habits. When we say a person has no character, we mean exactly this: that he has no fixed habits. But, as the great end of human life is freedom, he must be above even habit. He must not be wholly a machine of habits, and education must enable him to attain the power of breaking as well as of forming habits, so that he may, when desirable, substitute one habit for another. For habits may be (Sec. 29), according to their nature, proper or improper, advantageous or disadvantageous, good or bad; and, according to their form, may be (Sec. 32) either the acceptance of the external by the internal or the reaction of the internal upon the external. Through our freedom we must be able, not only to renounce any habit formed, but to form a new and better one. Man should be supreme above all habits, wearing them as garments which the soul puts on and off at will. It must so order them all as to secure for itself a constant progress of development into still greater freedom. In this higher view habits become thus to our sight only necessary accompaniments of imperfect freedom. Can we conceive of God, who is perfect Freedom, as having any habits? We might say that, as a means toward the ever-more decided realization of the Good, we must form a habit of voluntarily making and breaking off habits. We must characterize as bad those habits which relate only to our personal convenience or enjoyment. They are often not essentially blameworthy, but there lies in them a hidden danger that they may allure us into luxury or effeminacy. It is a false and mechanical way of looking at the affair to suppose that a habit which had been formed by a certain number of repetitions can be broken off by an equal number of refusals. We can never utterly renounce a habit which we decide to be undesirable for us except through decision and firmness.

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