Two Views of Education

Topics: United States Constitution, Linguistics, Meaning of life Pages: 4 (1503 words) Published: February 9, 2013
Leonardo Osborne Eng 101

Two Views of Education

In his essay on education, “The Dream Deferred, Again, In San Antonio”, Jonathan Kozol addressed education with terms like “necessary,” “sufficient,” “full,” and “minimal.”(qtd. in Created Equal 254, 256, 260) Before we can begin to understand these terms, we must first look at the context in which they were used, who used them and why. Kozol implied the meaning of “necessary education” was learning essential for a person to have complete membership in culture and society. He also seemed to indicate that “minimal” was the smallest quantity suitable for “necessary citizenship” and “sufficient” as setting a minimal standard of comprehensive involvement. Seen from Nietzsche’s viewpoint as expressed in “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”, words and the way we give meaning to them is flawed. He thinks words begin in the formation of concepts, and man, to shore up his existence, creates concepts. As Nietzsche states, “Every word immediately becomes a concept, inasmuch as it is not intended to serve as the unique…original experience to which it owes its birth, but must at the same time fit innumerable, more or less similar cases – strictly speaking – never equal.”(qtd. in The Portable Nietzsche 46) Nietzsche uses the example of a leaf to sharpen the point that, a single word can be used to describe or name a particular thing, but no two things with the same name are really exactly alike, (i.e. no two leaves are exactly alike). Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics clearly demonstrates how words and the meanings tied to them can differ. He first breaks language down into its basic unit, the sign and its sub-parts, the “signified” or concept and the “signifier” or sound image. (Saussure 963) Saussure also alludes to the arbitrary nature of words, by first establishing that words are...

Cited: DeMott, Benjamin, ed. Created Equal. Harper Collins. 1996. 254-263
De Saussure, Ferdinand. “Course in General Linguistics” The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Vincent B. Leitch, ed. W.W. Norton & Company. 2001 961-966
Kaufmann, Walter, The Portable Nietzsche. “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1952) 1984 pg. 42-47
Moon, Brian. Literary Terms: A practical Glossary. Urbana, Illinois: Note, 1999 25
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