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View Diary: Is teaching an art or a science? (24 comments)

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  •  This is one of those areas where another (1+ / 0-)
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    teacherken

    language was simply very helpful to me.

    The words "art" and "science" have very deeply set connotations in English. Until the 15th century there wasn't much science about, everything was art. You went to school and learned the liberal arts, which in the Trivium has to do with language and communication and the Quadrivium were also considered arts, even though they encompassed arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music.

    The concept, science, comes from the Latin sciro, "I know". Hence, science is at base "a way of knowing". The emphasis is on A way, not THE way.

    Along come the Germans, as just one example, with their word Wissenschaft (literally, "knowingship"). There are the Naturwissenschaften (we would say, natural sciences), but there are also the Geisteswissenschaften (sciences of the mind). This is not the same as "hard" and "soft" by any means, as the concepts describe specifically different ways of knowing.  While "humanities" is how we generally translate the latter term into English, it does not carry the same connotations as the German word. For this reason, Naturwissenschaftler and Geisteswissenschafter can approach each other on more equal ground for they are both Wissenschaftler (people who are trying to know).

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    by achronon on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:57:08 PM PST

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