A Comparative Study of the Ethics Philosophical Foundations from Perspective of Bergson and Tabataba'i and Its Educational Implications

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 PhD Student, Department of Educational Sciences, Shahed University, Tehran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Sciences, Shahed University, Tehran

10.22034/ijce.2021.269727.1279

Abstract

Bergson and Tabataba'i are among the philosophers who have paid more attention to ethics. In this research, an attempt has been made to examine the convergence and non-convergence of their views about ethics philosophical foundations. The research is qualitatively comparative with inferential approach using Bereday’s method for analysis of data. The findings show that both philosophers are similar in their belief in God, but Bergson sees God constantly changing and evolving whereas Tabataba'i considers it pure of any change. Also in philosophical foundations, the emphasis of both philosophers is on intuition, will, freedom, and a transformational view about world and human. In addition, Bergson emphasizes on authority and continuity in ethics, but Tabataba'i view it based on innate nature. In terms of educational goals, principles and methods, both philosophers emphasize adherence to moral values, reason and individual ethics along with social ethics and internalization of values. Bergson considers the ultimate goal of education to be the development of rational-intuitive human beings, while from Tabataba'i viewpoint the main goal of education to be the realization of human welfare and nearness to God. Study of the views of the two philosophers can comparatively contain clear implications for the philosophical foundations of ethics in the educational system of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the findings, it is suggested that the views of non-Muslim philosophers such as Bergson be considered by policymakers in the upstream documents of the Iran educational system.

Highlights

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Keywords

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Article Title [فارسی]

بررسی تطبیقی مبانی فلسفی اخلاق از دیدگاه برگسون و علامه طباطبایی و دلالت های تربیتی آن

Authors [فارسی]

  • مجید خاری آرانی 1
  • اکبر رهنما 2
1 دانشجوی دکتری ، گروه علوم تربیتی ، دانشگاه شاهد ، تهران
2 دانشیار ، گروه علوم تربیتی ، دانشگاه شاهد، تهران
Abstract [فارسی]

برگسون و طباطبایی در زمره فیلسوفانی هستند که برای اخلاق اهمیت وافری قائل شده اند. در این پژوهش سعی شده ­است با بررسی مبانی فلسفی اخلاق از دیدگاه این دو فیلسوف همگرایی و ناهمگرایی نظرات آنان مشخص گردد. روش پژوهش از نوع تطبیقی کیفی با رویکرد استنتاجی و بهره گیری از رویکرد بردی برای ارائه یافته ها می­ باشد. یافته ­های تحقیق نشان می­دهد که هر دو فیلسوف در ایمان به خدا شباهت دارند با این تفاوت که برگسون ، خدا را پیوسته در حال تغییر و تحول می بیند ولی از نظر طباطبائی ، خدا منزه از هر گونه تغییر و تحول است. همچنین در مبانی اخلاق ، تاکید هر دو فیلسوف بر شهود، اراده، آزادی و نگاه تحول گرایانه به هستی و انسان است ، اگرچه عمئتا تمرکز برگسون در اخلاق معطوف به شهود، زمان ، اراده و استمرار می­ باشد در حالی که از منظر طباطبائی ، اخلاق استوار بر فطرت است. در زمینه اهداف ،اصول و روش های اخلاقی نیز هر دو فیلسوف بر پرورش توانایی پایبندی به ارزش های اخلاقی و تعقل ، همزمانی پرورش اخلاق فردی با اخلاق اجتماعی و درونی سازی ارزش ها تاکید می ورزند. در خصوص هدف غایی تربیت ، برگسون بر پرورش انسان عقلانی – شهودی تاکید دارد در حالی که طباطبایی، هدف نهایی را رسیدن به سعادت و قرب الهی می داند. بررسی تطبیقی این دو دیدگاه می­ تواند حاوی دلالت­ های روشنی برای اعتلای تربیت اخلاقی در نظام آموزش و پرورش جمهوری اسلامی ایران باشد. طبق یافته ها ، پیشنهاد می شود در اسناد بالادستی نظام آموزشی ایران نظرات فیلسوفان غیر مسلمان - همچون برگسون -  مورد توجه سیاست گزاران قرار گیرد.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • اخلاق
  • فلسفه
  • شهود
  • اراده
  • برگسون
  • طباطبایی

 

  1. Introduction

          Ethics and moral education have been considered by thinkers and intellectuals throughout the history due to their important role in the well-being and salvation of human and society. For this reason, many scientific efforts have been made by experts and educators to understand and explain the ethics characteristics of human beings (Davoodi, 2006; Haghighat, & Mazidi, 1999; Vajdani, 2012). Nowadays, the educational system in Iran suffers from a lack of philosophical theorizing. In fact, despite the idea of ethics education based on Islamic teachings in the educational upstream documents, there is no clear picture in this regard. Therefore, it is duty of philosophers to help those involved in the educational system to better clarify and explain theoretical and conceptual patterns of ethics education. Given this necessity, in this study we try to compare the philosophical foundations of ethics as well as ethics education from the perspective of two great philosophers i.e. Bergson and Tabataba’i.

 

           Henri Bergson (1859-1941) a French philosopher was and specializes in philosophical, artistic and sociological fields. The focus of his thought is the "theory of time". He does not accept mechanical and naturalistic views and criticizes materialism. One of the obvious concepts of Bergson's ideas is the concept of "intuition", which considers the only way of understanding through "intuitive method" (Soulez & Worms, 2002). Bergson's works include “Time and Free Will” (1889), “Matter and Memory” (1896), “Introduction to Metaphysics” (1903), “Creative Evolution” (1907), and “The Two Sources of Morality and Religion” (1922). He has presented his philosophical views on ethics in these books.

 

            Seyyed Mohammad Hussein Tabataba'i (1904-1981) can be considered as one of the few philosophers among famous Islamic philosophers such as Ibn Muskawiyyah (932-1030), Ibn Sina (980-1037), Ghazali (1058-1111), and Khajeh Nasir al-Din Tusi (1201-1274) who has paid much attention to the subject of ethics. Tabataba'i received his primary education in Tabriz, West of Iran and then moved to Najaf City in Iraq for religious education. Simultaneously with the beginning of the Second World War, he back to Iran and entered the seminary of Qom City, where he tried to offer a new interpretation of Mulla Sadra's transcendent wisdom. In addition, Tabataba'i tried to promote the vacuum of the ethic system of the early Muslims. This system was influenced by Aristotle's ethic tries to educate good citizens (Bagheri, 2009), while Tabataba'i paid more attention to the position of God and its impact on the Islamic ethic system. Some of Tabatabai's works are “Al-Mizan Fi Tafsir Al-Quran” (Balance in the interpretation of the Qur'an), “Principles of Philosophy and Realism”, “The Beginning of Wisdom” and “The End of Wisdom” in Arabic and Persian languages (Hosseini Tehrani, 2005).

 

           Since both philosophers acknowledge the role of religion in ethic education, the present researchers considered it appropriate to identify their similarities and differences from a comparative perspective. In this regard, several studies have been done. For example, Sharafi Jam and Khalili (2010) through comparative study of the philosophical foundations of Sheikh Ishraq (1154-1191) and Bergson and its educational implications, considered the concept of intuition. The findings showed that according to both philosophers, the concept of intuition can be used in religious education. In addition, the views of Sheikh Ishraq and Bergson are complementary. Sheikh Ishraq deals with the hereafter aspect of intuition and Bergson considers its worldly dimension. Toews, (2001) in his doctoral dissertation examines social duties in the modern age based on the philosophy and social theories of Durkheim, Tarde, Bergson and Deleuze. He revealed that Bergson's view of existence is an organ-like view that creates a dynamic human society. Bergson's concept of "open society" is still tied to a model of the spirituality of the rare Christian perspective. The main premise of the present researchers is that comparing the views of Islamic philosophers with Western philosophers can be the first step to further the foundations of the philosophy of education in Iran. According to this goal, the specific objectives of the research are:

 

  • Identifying and determining the similarities between Bergson and Tabataba'i's views on the philosophical foundations of ethics and its educational implications
  • Identifying and determining the differences between Bergson and Tabataba'i's views on the philosophical foundations of ethics and its educational implications

 

  1. Research Method

 

         The present research method is qualitatively comparative and the research population includes all primary and secondary sources that were selected through purposive sampling method. The method of data collection was documentary by searching keywords such as ethics, ethical education, ethical challenges, Bergson and Tabataba'i's in international and Iran’s information databases such as ISI, Scopus, ISC and IRANDAK. The result of this search was in the first stage to find 1379 sources and in the second stage to select 50 sources according to two criteria related to the research topic and the availability of the source. The inferential method was used to analyze the data. In this approach, the results are presented using Bereday’s four-steps of description, interpretation, juxtaposition, comparison and John Stuart Mill's method of agreement and difference.

 

  1. Findings

 

        Using the four-step method of Bereday, in the first stage the ethic philosophy of Tabataba'i and Bergson is described. The philosophical foundations of both philosophers and educational perspectives (goals and principles) are also described. In next two stages of interpretation and juxtaposition, the ideas of two philosophers were examined. Finally, in the comparison phase, similarities and differences were analyzed in terms of philosophical foundations of educational ethics and views.

 

  1. A) Description

 

According to Bereday's approach, in description stage the researchers take notes and providing sufficient data to examine the subject of the research. Accordingly through review of the books and articles, data about the goals and principles of education were collected and presented separately.

 

1) Bergson's philosophical foundations

 

           In this section, using Bergson's ideas, we examine the philosophical structure of his thoughts, which includes ontology, anthropology, and axiology. According to Bergson, the universe is not a huge mechanism, but a living organism that is affected by the living drive. Bergson's existence is in the form of a cone and the absolute (God) is at its top (Russell, 1945). This existence is a creative, complementary, and evolutionary flow, and creativity in it is like the process of art creation. In Bergson's existence, substance and the force of existence are constantly in conflict, but what matters is the force of existence. Precession is the force that makes everything unpredictable (Lawlor, 2003). Bergson himself gives a special name to his philosophy and calls it "philosophy of change". The universe and everything in it are constantly changing (Sharifi Jam & Khalili, 2010). According to Bergson, the world has two distinct aspects: Substance and life. Substance can be depicted in space, but life is movement, process, continuous transit, and time. He talks about the fundamental difference between matter and life:

 

“Life does not proceed with the collection and increase of its elements, it progress is in line with separations and fragmentations. Life not only goes beyond the level of physical and chemical modes, but also beyond the level of all scientific identifications and intelligence perceptions (Naqibzadeh, 2001: 227).

 

          Bergson believes that the existence of God is self-evident and He manifests himself clearly. But knowing Him requires a superior and transcendent spirit. That is why Bergson says: "God is the one who reveals Himself clearly, the one who illuminates and warms the higher spirits with his presence" (Bergson, 1935: 214). According to Bergson, mankind is composed of two components: Body and soul (Sharifi Jam & Khalili, 2010; Piri & Ismailov, 2011). Normal experiences consider person to be a body surrounded by space and time that mechanically reacts to external influences. From the perspective of the soul, mankind is free and without limits. Consciousness is not the product of the body. It is mechanism of the brain for a psychological function. However brain is not the agent of consciousness. Bergson believes that the brain should not be confused with the mind. Let us show the difference between these two. The brain is like a clothesline, and the mind is like a cloth hung on it. If you remove the clamp, still there is cloth. Human consciousness and conscience are undoubtedly related to the brain, but this does not mean that there is no consciousness and conscience without the brain (Thomas, 1941).

 

         The brain is the place where the soul is affected by the body. But the disappearance of the brain does not mean the destruction of consciousness, because consciousness is eternal. However, it works exactly within the body, and shows the changes in the world. In fact, mankind is consisting of two parts of cognition and memory. The first is rational cognition, which is like a labor in charge of changing the world, and the second is intuitive knowledge that makes him an intelligent person. Mechanical memory perpetuates the mechanisms of motion in the brain. Memory means pure reminder which is recognized through consciousness. Thus, mankind has a free nature and in practice she/he is an agent - under pressure of matter conditions and habits which are results of communication among human beings. In this situation, habit indicates self-superficial which goes beyond self-deep and limits human freedom (Ebrahim Dinani & Pir Moradi, 2000). In book “Matter and Memory”, Bergson states that "we know nothing about theories of matter and the external world, and nothing as fact or thought about the real world" (1896: 1). He continues:

 

While I am in the presence of images, my senses open to them and interact with each other; I find an important sense of the world. One of these senses is distinct from the others, and I perceive it not through external perceptions but from within and through influences. This is my body (p: 1).

 

Bergson also writes in his book “An Introduction to Metaphysics”:

 

When I turn my attention to thinking about myself, I realize that as a hard shell I am on the surface of all the perceptions that come into me from the outside world. These perceptions are clearly distinct, albeit side by side. They tend to categorize by subject. Then I noticed the memories that cling to these perceptions and interpret them. Memories detach from the depths of my being and come to the surface through perceptions. They rest on the surface of my mind without being completely me. But if I draw myself from the things around me to the center, I come to something different (1903: 8).

 

        This different thing is a kind of "consciousness"; a type of knowledge about “self” and a knowledge that is "intuitive and pure" and is done over a period of time. The “Time” which is not material drawn with the help of images, but is immaterial and intuitive, and "self" always evolves in it.

 

         Bergson begins his discussion of value and moral issues with freedom and individuality. He then discusses the interaction relationship between the individual and society, and concludes with two types of spirituality (morality and religion). According to Bergson, despite the importance of each person, what makes sense to him is the communication and social network. It is within this network that one approaches progress. At the same time, however, society develops and opposes orders and habits to neutralize individual freedom. Bergson believes that there is always an interaction between the individual and society, and that both the individual and society are influential. Therefore, no human being will be able to live away from society. Base on this Bergson writes: "Social solidarity exists only from the moment in which in each of us a “socially conscious” added to 'individual consciousness.' Cultivating the “socially conscious” is the essence and foundation of our duty to society (Bergson, 1967: 10). Conscience is also very important to Bergson. In his opinion, ethic feelings originate from this source and base on the person recognizes values. The more a person listens to the voice of conscience, the more he adheres to values. Considering the relationship between the individual and society on the one hand and the relationship between spirituality and ethical values on the other, Bergson arrives at two types of dynamic and static spirituality.

 

 

2) Bergson's philosophical foundations effective on process of education

 

Main Goal

 

  • Cultivation Of rational-intuitive human beings: According to Bergson, the main goal for human beings is to be able to use the power of their intellect and to rely on the power of intuition to understand some of the facts.

 

Principles

 

  1. Change and reform: One of the key concepts in Bergson's philosophy is continuous change and reform. The world and everything in it is always moving in a creative direction towards perfection. Therefore, education must be dynamic. Understanding this principle in education makes the learners always hope to change the situation and move towards a better situation through more effort. Also, she / he should not give up in the face of difficult situations and problems; try to improve in the shadow of the process of change and time. Such a principle strengthens the spirit of effort in the learner. Method for this Principle is discovering the truth. Considering the rule of change and reform, the learner is constantly searching for the truth and discovering a new situation and does not accept stillness. As a result, education becomes an active process.

 

  1. Perfectionism: Bergson believes that the world, man and even God, are moving towards perfection. To realize this principle, one must use the method of foresight. According to this principle, the learner will not be limited to the present and will constantly consider the future.

 

  1. Creativity: New ideas and creativity are important principles that Bergson emphasizes. He believes that the world is a creative process like art creation. He considers the emergence and peak of this creativity in God (Sharifi Jam & Khalili, 2010). As a method, the learner should learn to create new ideas and to avoid imitation and repetition. Creativity takes the process of education out of its static state and gives it freshness and dynamism. In this way, the process of education is not fixed and predetermined rules, but every moment is the process of creation. In this case, the teacher has a supervision role instead of transmitting information, and the student himself is the center of effort to solve problems.

 

  1. Graduality: In Bergson's philosophy, it is possible to move from the material to the abstract and from the part to the whole. In this way, mankind first realizes his knowledge and the existence of "I" and slowly achieves the knowledge of the world and God. Therefore, mankind learns to consider everything in a meaningful and related set.

 

  1. Reason: According to Bergson, one of the tools of wisdom is the power of reason and intelligence. He believes that the path to knowledge begins with the help of reason. He considers the main base of reason as the mechanical and natural world (Bergson, 1992). Therefore, reason seems to be the primary cornerstone for building the foundations of education. The use of the power of reason teaches the learner to judge without prejudice and impartiality.

 

  1. Intuition: Although Bergson puts a special place on reason, but knows its power limit. According to him, the reason needs intuition in order to go beyond material and mechanical matters, and to grow more. Intuition is linked to spirit of life and spirituality. Therefore, intuition in education will unravel many unresolved issues because the reason is incapable of confirming and proving everything. This is especially true in spiritual and religious education. For example, some beliefs and faith can be understood only with the help of rational arguments, but to feel it one must resort to intuition.

 

  1. Human freedom: This principle governs individual consciousness and the power of choice. Bergson (1967) emphasizes religious consciousness in religious teachings when referring to static and dynamic religions. He does not accept education that is associated with blind obedience and coercion. As a result, the learner considers himself a thoughtful and knowledgeable person who chooses the right way of life and learning.

 

  1. Self-transcendence: In addition to “I” as an "individual conscious", Bergson (1358) also refers to it as a "social conscious" and considers the role of conscience in moral issues to be significant. Therefore, each person must be able to go beyond himself and step on higher levels of value. In this regard, Bergson uses mystical education as a method of education. Bergson mysticism is "full of action, creation and love" (Bergson, 1967). Actions and beliefs must be consistent. Through this method, the learner demonstrates her/his beliefs in the action takes a step towards perfection and goes beyond personal desires.

 

 

3) Tabataba'i's philosophical foundations

 

         The explanation of the Tabataba'i's philosophical foundations of ethical education can be provided through review of his ontology, anthropology and axiology. Tabataba'i believes that the discussion about God rooted from human being nature. The benefit of such a discussion is to be aware of human rational explorations for achieving peace of mind, moral support and social justice in the shadow of belief in God. In ontology, Tabataba'i bases the social system on monotheism and believes that all beings in the universe are united and related to each other, which originates from God's plan. Accordingly, existence is not limited to the material world. According to Tabataba'i, man is a creature that is composed of body and mind and these two are in fact related to each other (Tabataba'i, 2012).

 

        From anthropological view, he believes that mankind has two primary and secondary natures. Mankind is an “employer creature” which originates from her/his original nature. In other words, mankind is influenced by her/his original nature is a beneficent being, and all his actions are for more benefit. In the face of a large amount of needs, human beings come to the conclusion that without the help of others, she/he will not be able to satisfy their needs (Salehi & Yar Ahmadi, 2008). Mankind turns to society because of her/his employer spirit. For this reason, Tabataba'i considers mankind to be a civil being, in the sense that: "The necessity of civil society and social justice is something that human beings are forced to accept" (Tabataba'i, 1995: 166). One of the characteristics of mankind is that she/he was created free and the natural and developmental root of this freedom is her/his will (Tabataba'i, 1995). Mankind, especially in relation to her/his voluntary actions, clearly finds that she/he is a free and authoritative person (Tabataba'i, 1995).

 

          One of the key words in Tabataba’i’s thought is innocence (fitrah in Arabic). He writes about innocence: "Mankind, like other types of creatures, has a fitrah that has guided her/him to complete her/his shortcomings and satisfy needs. Innocence inspires what is good for man and what is necessary for her/him. So mankind have a special nature that leads them to life in a certain relation and has a certain path that leads to a certain end......man who lives in this intoxication is the only kind who - due to being the same soul and body-, has a common benefit and loss "( Tabataba'i, 1995: 287). According to Tabataba'i, ethics paves the way for the study of human perfection. The mechanism of achieving perfection is theoretically explainable with the principle of substantial motion and action. Practically, perfection can be explained and interpreted through contingents. Ethic responsibility is a type of moral validity that is based on external facts and realities, such as the soul and perceptions, will, and free will. On this basis, the real effects of ethic responsibility can be categorized to: First, the effects that arise in worldly life; and Second, the works that appear in the Hereafter. This collection radiates both the necessity of ethic responsibility and its end (Mousavi Moghadam, 2011).

 

4) Tabataba'i's philosophical foundations effective on process of education

 

 

Main Goal

 

Ethical education

 

         The main goal of ethic education in Tabataba'i's perspective is the closeness to absolute perfection and the attainment of monotheistic transcendence in the shadow of belief alongside other human beings. In this regard, he states: "In Islam, there is no goal for the creation of man and life, except faith and monotheism of God” (Tabataba'i, 1995: 407). Therefore; prosperous life and social life - in which perfect perfection is achieved in man is fundamental goal of worldly life. Accordingly, perfection and happiness will be possible with the formation of such a society. This perfection corresponds to the true characteristics of mankind, and since man is a combination of body and soul, her/his perfection is also related to these two (Tabataba'i, 1995: 407). Social development - the readiness and capabilities of social life - is the basic goal that underlies the realization of one's happiness. Therefore, there is a connection between the perfection of society and of the individual.

 

Principles and methods of education

 

          Achieving the ultimate goal requires general and specific rules and regulations that the learners must follow. These general guidelines are the principles of education (Bagheri, Sajjadieh & Tavassoli, 2019). Review of each philosopher opinion about ethic principles, one can derive the principles and methods of education. Here are the educational principles considered by Tabataba'i:

 

  1. Acquired dignity: Tabataba’i considers the fundamental role of beliefs and righteous deeds in achieving human dignity and believes that acquired dignity is a function of inner properties and qualities that are rooted in monotheistic beliefs. In other words, acquired dignity is the attainment of existential value and perfection through belief in the right worldview, good morals and behavior. Through this pattern, the person who believes in correct beliefs - as a result of being adorned with virtues and virtues-, achieves existential perfection and righteous deeds are issued from her/him. Therefore, a person who has acquired dignity is called “Generous”. (Tabataba’i, 1992). There are two methods to achieve this principle. The first method is to use the negligence method. In this method, the teacher ignores the student's mistake to maintain their self-esteem. Neglect ensures that the students do not lose their trust of the teacher and thus takes steps to achieve monotheistic excellence by correcting himself. Next method is honoring and respecting. This method actualizes the abilities and talents of students' dignity because all human beings want to respect themselves.

 

  1. Freedom: Tabataba’i considers true freedom as full free from all restrictions except divine worship (Tabataba’i, 1995). He believes that mankind initially resists the formation of social life, but eventually accepts it and makes laws for the survival of society and enjoyment of freedom (Tabataba’i, 1995). According to him, the law should be based on monotheism, resurrection, ethic principles and observance of reason. He considers monotheism and faith based on morality as the backbone of the law (Tabataba’i, 1995). The "inclusive responsibility" method and the "selectivity" method should be used to realize this principle. Inclusive responsibility means to create conditions for the individual to accept responsibility of social - in a way requires freedom. In selective method the learner becomes convinced of her/his beliefs. She/he freely explores and chooses things without any force.

 

  1. Comprehensive observation: According to Tabataba’i, although man is a selfish being, he tends to shape moral values and norms. The chain of credit of society and justice causes people to seek change and excellence. This requires change, the presence of the individual in society. Therefore, in the process of education, the learner must, in addition to paying attention to his own needs, must also respect the needs and expectations of others. (Tabataba’i, 1983). In education, this is done through comprehensive observation by the teachers to help both themselves and others’ growth and excellence. Imitating others and attention to individual differences are two methods of realizing this principle. Modeling method is a learning process in which students change by observing the teacher's behavior in benefit of self and others (Salman Poursiavashi, 2014). Attention to individual differences is recommended to achieve the previous principle. In fact, this method increases students' self-esteem and makes them realize the human values as well as the usefulness of their existence for the growth and excellence of self and others.

 

 

  1. B) Interpretation

 

        The interpretation phase includes the evaluation and interpretation of the findings obtained in the description phase. Accordingly, the four elements of educational foundations, goals, principles and methods in the thought of Bergson and Tabataba’i were evaluated and interpreted separately by researchers.

 

Philosophical foundations

 

          In Bergson foundations of philosophy, ethic belongs to God, who is constantly changing and evolving. Bergson's philosophy of ethics is full of terms such as intuition, intellect, and creativity. Bergson sees the beginning of ethic as freedom and individuality which is possible through social networking. For Bergson, ethical education comes from conscience. In the ethic philosophy foundations, Tabataba’i believes in an infinite God who is free from any change. An important dimension of ethical philosophy is Fitra, which explains method of social justice and morality. He also sees man as an employer who seeks to achieve social justice by employing others in society. Therefore; ethics paves the way for the study of perfection through a set of foundations, principles, and methods that lead to the cognitive, emotional, and practical advancement of learners. Ethics also provides the ground for conscious choice and inclination towards the attributes of innate goodness and avoidance of vices.

 

Educational Foundations

 

         From Bergson’s perspective the ultimate goal of ethic education is to cultivate a rational and intuitive human being. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to use the power of reason and intuition in the path of evolution.  From Bergson's ethical education, the person educated is a perfectionist who is always changing. According to this goal, methods such as individual and social education, foresight, reason and intuition can be extracted. Tabataba’I believes that the ultimate goal of ethical education from his point of view is to achieve worldly and otherworldly happiness. Achieving this goal will be possible by achieving monotheism in the stage of belief and action. According to Tabataba’i, an educated person is one who considers herself/himself obliged to carry out divine commands and avoid sins. According to this goal, principles such as carnal dignity, freedom, observing learners and methods such as honoring and respecting, learners’ responsibility, attention to individual differences and modeling can be extracted.

 

 

  1. C) Juxtaposition

 

         During this stage, the information that was examined in the initial stages is classified in terms of similarities and differences based on the element of foundations, goals, principles and methods.

 

Similarities

 

  • Both philosophers emphasize theism in the philosophy of ethics.
  • Both philosophers believe that mankind is a combination of body and soul.
  • Both philosophers believe in the alignment of human will and divine will in transforming human personality and morality.
  • Both philosophers believe in their worldviews a transformational and move towards perfection.
  • Both philosophers emphasize the freedom and will of man affecting ethical and moral behavior
  • Commitment between belief and action in ethics is of interest to both thinkers
  • Both philosophers emphasize individual and social values.
  • Both philosophers emphasize the intertwining of religion and morality

 

 

Differences

 

  • In Bergson's perspective, ethics focused on intuition, time, will and continuity, while from Tabataba’i's point of view, Fitrah has a special place.
  • There are differences between Bergson and Tabataba’i's ideas about God. He believes that God is a perfect being who has existed from beginning to eternity. According to Bergson, God, like everything continues evolutionary movement in time, while in Tabataba’i's thought; there is no way to change God.
  • The end of intuition from Tabataba’i's point of view is the realization of the essence of God, while the end of intuition from Bergson's point of view is the immediate understanding of truth.
  • Both philosophers emphasize ethical values, but the nature of these values ​​from Tabataba’i's point of view is more religious and otherworldly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1) Similarities and differences between moral principles from the perspective of Bergson and Tabataba’i

Tabataba’i

Bergson

Foundations

*

*

Emphasis on theism in the philosophy of ethics

*

*

Entanglement of religion and morality

*

*

Alignment of human will and divine will in the transformation of human ethical character

*

*

An evolutionary and perfectionist view of the world

*

*

Emphasis on human will and freedom

*

*

Attention to belief and practice

*

*

Emphasis on individual and social values

 

*

Ethics focused on intuition, time, will and continuity

*

 

Ethics focused on  innocence

 

*

end of intuition is to reach the truth

*

 

Purpose of intuition is to understand the nature of God

*

 

Emphasis on religious and otherworldly values

 

Objectives, principles and methods

 

Similarities

 

 

  • One of the components and goals of ethical education in Bergson and Tabataba’i's thought is practical adherence to moral values.
  • Both philosophers emphasize the cultivation of ethic understanding and reason
  • Both philosophers consider the principles of reason, mysticism, and intuition in ethics.
  • Cultivating individual morality simultaneously with social morality is one of the methods of ethical education in the thought of two philosophers.
  • Gradual transcendence is one of the principles of ethic education in the thought of Bergson and Tabataba’i.
  • The method of internalization of moral values, which creates a sense of responsibility in society, is considered by both philosophers.

 

Differences

 

  • While Tabataba’i considers the end of education to be happiness and nearness to God, Bergson considers rational-intuitive human education.
  • Tabataba’i uses the method of appealing to religious faith and beliefs for moral education; Bergson prefers material methods such as selection and reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2) Similarities and differences among ethical Objectives, principles and methods of Bergson and Tabataba’i

Tabataba’i

 

Bergson

Objectives, principles and methods

*

*

Both philosophers emphasize the need to cultivate the ability to adhere to moral values

*

*

Alignment of human will and divine will in the transformation of human moral character

*

*

Cultivate moral understanding and reasoning

*

*

Fostering the principles of reason, mysticism and intuition in ethics and moral behavior

*

*

Emphasis on cultivating individual morality at the same time as cultivating social morality

*

*

Internalization of moral values

*

------

The goal of moral education is happiness and nearness to God

--------

*

The main purpose of moral education is to cultivate rational-intuitive human beings

*

-----

method of appealing to religious faith and beliefs

 

  1. D) Comparison

 

   At this stage, the ethic educational implications of Bergson and Tabataba’i are carefully examined and compared according to the similarities and differences. The design of this comparison is based on the agreement-disagreement method of John Stuart Mill. According to Table 3, in the philosophy of ethics, Bergson and Tabataba’i show the greatest similarity in principles. In terms of differences, the main difference between the two philosophers is in the goals. Although both thinkers have many similarities in the foundations of moral philosophy, the difference between the two philosophers can be attributed to Tabataba’i's emphasis on the hereafter as opposed to Bergson's emphasis on worldly affairs (Table 3).

 

Table 3. Number of similarities and differences in Bergson and Tabataba’i's views in terms of different components

Differences

 

Similarities

 

Educational implications

4

8

Foundations

2

6

Objectives, principles and methods

 

  1. Conclusion

 

         The Ethic is one aspects of human nature that plays an important role in the education, happiness and well-being of the individual and society. For this reason, ethics and its different dimensions have attracted the attention of many thinkers. Among these, there are Bergson and Tabataba’i. Approaches of these two philosophers to ethics and finding similarities and differences between their views raises awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of educational systems in ethic education although the intellectual sources of these two philosophers are separate from each other, but by comparing the similarities and differences of their views on foundations, goals, principles and methods of ethical education, educational implications are obtained. Important similarities between the ethical thought of the two philosophers are the theistic, evolutionary and perfectionist views that pay attention to issues such as commitment between belief and action, freedom in ethical and moral behavior, the entanglement of religion and individual-social ethics and values.

 

          Despite the similarity of Bergson and Tabataba’i's perspectives on the principles of ethical education, the main difference is in the goals of education. According to Tabataba’i, the ultimate goal of ethic education is to achieve absolute perfection, and according to Bergson, it is to cultivate rational-intuitive human beings. Based on this fundamental difference, the educational principles derived from Bergson's views are the principles of preserving dignity and freedom. According to Tabataba’i, the principles of moral education are: maintaining self-esteem and self-knowledge. Common and similar principles in ethical education from the perspective of the two philosophers are: emphasis on mysticism and intuition, principle of thought and reason. A comparative study of these two perspectives can have clear indications and implications for moral education to improve. Therefore, it is suggested that through “document of fundamental reform in education of Iran”, the views of non-Muslim philosophers be taken into consideration in order to increase the measurement, maturity and establishment of this document.

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