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The Concept of “Person” between Educational Theory and Practice

In this text, we tried to summarize some historical moments (from the Greek paideia to the new present instances) to flow within the sense of humanum and to find its transformations. Wishing to find the deep sense of the person in a renewed paideia, careful to the primary need to transform any self into otherness, even being aware of the philosophical-anthropological problem slowing a common thought down.
In the double theoretical-practical profile of pedagogy we can find those elements common to personalism, pushing the desire of pedagogy for the discovery, in an ethical-practical application, of the revenge on the care of the person, without excluding the theoretical value, which is a consistent and inalienable part.
The work of personalism has laid the bases and has established a possibility of research on the value of the person as a universal reference in the consideration of history as humanum fieri, and as a new approach to the dynamism contained in the principle of personality. Personalism becomes a new hermeneutical compass to rediscover the principle of typological recomprehension, dimmed by historical events and by the shades of the various philosophical thoughts of previous history.
Re-understand man through the principles gushed from the analysis on the person’s reality; re-establish the supremacy of the person on the idea of the person; re-visit the possibility of giving place to the other to find the sense of oneself; re-educate to the discovery of a transcendent presence occupying the places and times of the humanum and transcending the pragmaticity of each experience and becoming concrete in the highest of the creature’s expressions: the person.

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I ntroduction Producing data and pursuing the objective to know better what we intend for person and possibly discovering a sense giving calmness to our mind in the present tangle of thoughts on our present time, we have thought it could be useful to run through the history of a concept , which has taken, nowadays more than ever, meanings of different entities. Nothing more effective, rethinking on the past, would be to catch spaces and times where the principle regulating the humanum is self-determined, even if with a presence- absence, in the statement on the person . In it is the center of recapitulation of the “ already historical ” and the propulsive and dynamic spur towards the “ not yet ”; as a Kair ó s 1 renovating its existence miracle in the concentration of all the real within the history of the person. Only in the rediscovery of an ontological transcendentality will be possible to catch, in the person, the signs of a seal overpassing physicalness- materiality and finding in itself the stereotype of each humanitas . From Greek paideia up to the present times, the debate has never been closed: how and why to give the person the supremacy in philosophical and pedagogical attention? Theories supporting a just theoretical dimension of educational contribution and the ones supporting some due practicalness for the idea- concept of person to be educated clash and meet. The development of the person, so his/her education, in the new vision of pedagogy is seen in the active and present way to care and improve . The present text, then, cannot have the boldness to cover the historical analysis of this long period, but it strives to present some essential points of the evolution of the concept and the controversies born around it, to focus, in the European personalism , a moment of recapitulation of the long historical trouble and an optimal response to philosophical and pedagogical instances of that moment. We have tried to find elements to determine the double value (theoretical-practical) of pedagogy, rejecting any possible interpretative fundamentalism and receiving the trace already marked by pedagogues and philosophers, in a behavior considering the necessary interdisciplinarity which can lead us to a comparison among different ideas pursuing the same objective. The concept of person created by primitive Christianity, reconsidered and widened by the Church Fathers in the first centuries; revised by Thomas Aquinas in the re-examination and in the overcoming of Aristotle’s categories; brought forth, in history, and accepted by Max Scheler’s Formalism and by Emmanuel Mounier’s Personalism with the important contribution of Jacques Maritain; considered by the rising pedagogic personalism as a focal point for the birth of a new metaphysical and ethical vision of man, finds a wide place in the statement determining a necessary practicization and ethicization of the concept of person, through the personalistic movement . It would not be a mistake to define personalism as a sort of Archimedean point from which to leave to travel through the past and to find in it the fragments of what the thought of every time has offered thinkers. So, running along historical data, it has been possible to find the origins of the concept of person and all the conceptual variables determining a universal definition. The historical path is the primary source of any consideration on the possibility to reconstruct the meaning of person , the sense of educational care, the catching of the possibility of a transcendentality overpassing the characteristics of pure historicity. 1 We translate it as the present time of opportunity . So, not only chromos indicating time measurable in years, months, days, hours, that is to say a scientific measure. Kairòs is the hermeneutical opportunity to understand better man and his humanitas in the dimension of hic et nunc , deriving also from St. Augustine’s statement on time, which is fixed in the present reality, as the past is no more and the future is not yet.


Facoltà: Scienze della Formazione

Traduttore: Gioia Nasti Contatta »

Composta da 35 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 38 click dal 29/02/2012.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.