Volume 18, Issue 2 (2011)                   IQBQ 2011, 18(2): 19-35 | Back to browse issues page

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Mehr Mohammadi M, Hosseini Khah A. A Comparative Analysis of Ghazali and Egan’s Views on Imagination and Education: the Mythic Understanding and Children Learning. IQBQ. 18 (2) :19-35
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-7606-en.html
1- tarbiat modares university
Abstract:   (6699 Views)
“Naive imagination is like a dark glass that prevent the shining lights entering the heart, but when is ripe enough become a clear glass that points those lights.” (Ghazali, the Niche of Lights, P.73) Iranian philosopher and educator, Abu Hamid Ghazali (1058-1111 A.D.) is the author of more than seventy books and essays on philosophy, education, mysticism, ethics, jurisprudence and dialectical theology. Throughout his works, one can easily observe that among the tools of acquiring knowledge (i.e., the senses, the imagination, and the intellect), imagination has become subject of special attention due to its capacity in recalling, analyzing, and synthesizing pre-acquired images, concepts and meanings and creating new and noble ones. Because of his unequivocal attention to imagination, instead of intellect, and the great impact imaginative thinking has had on Islamic philosophy of his times, some critics have maintained that “Islam has turned against science in twelfth century.” This article consists of two parts. The first part deals about Ghazali’s perspective the place of imaginative faculty among the other faculties; the external faculties (i.e. the senses), the internal faculties (i.e. common-sense, imagery, memory, estimation), and the intellect and hence; it is observed that the faculty of imagination itself is a part of the internal faculties and links the external faculties with the intellect as well as comprehensive and continuous interaction with other internal faculties. Upon defining imagination, tasks and types associated with it, its priority and superiority over the intellect, the relationship between (1) the internal senses and the imagination and (2) the imagination and the intellect are addressed. In the second part, the authors follow the practical implications of such imaginative thought in Ghazali’s teaching approach. To do so, and because of the comparative analysis pursued in the article (i.e., comparing Ghazali with contemporary western educational thinker Kieran Egan) about children’s education, we concentrated on the “mythic understanding” that Egan has proposed for these ages and then, contrasted it with Ghazali’s works. The results show that as Egan, but not in such a complete and detailed form, Ghazali considered the elements of play, story, binary opposites, rhyme, rhythm, images, gossip, mystery, and metaphor in his approach. But there are no clear and sufficient evidence for other elements (i.e., joke and humor) in Ghazali’s teaching approach.
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Received: 2009/12/13 | Accepted: 2011/04/4 | Published: 2011/08/16

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