By Bryan R. Warnick
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Extra resources for Imitation and Education: A Philosophical Inquiry into Learning by Example (S U N Y Series in Philosophy of Education)
1874/1995, p 178). These exemplars are to be imitated in a sense. It is true we are to “take our examples” from them (p. 181). ” Or rather, we become The Historical Tradition of Human Exemplarity 25 like our models in the sense that we become who we are just like they have become who they are. Examples provoke a productive process; they instill an urge to shape oneself by engaging creatively with the resources of the historical age. The exemplar’s call to become “who you are” presents an ideal of human life and stimulates an inquiry aimed at self-knowledge and self-creation.
176). Examples are important for Kant for several reasons. They strengthen judgment (Geisteskraft), provide useful metaphors, supply hope and inspiration, or serve as reminders of ideals (Louden, 1992). , self-legislated): “For, a maxim of virtue consists precisely in the subjective autonomy of each human being’s practical reason and so implies that the law itself, not the conduct of other human beings, serves as our incentive” (1797/ 1983, p. 148). Kant thus criticizes a model of imitation in which the fact that others are doing an action is the reason for the action.
We might believe that all paintings possess the properties of viscosity, but this belief alone is not sufficient for any one painting to be an example of viscosity. In a similar fashion, a belief that a person has desirable qualities will not make that person an example of a future self. The example must speak in ways that com- How Do People Become Examples? 45 municate her qualities, and this communicative function is a result of the stage or context in which the example functions. Evaluative beliefs, then, about the desirability of certain human traits play a more limited role in learning by example than we might initially be tempted to think.
Imitation and Education: A Philosophical Inquiry into Learning by Example (S U N Y Series in Philosophy of Education) by Bryan R. Warnick