Chapter 2. The Nature of Learning: Recognition of Different Perspectives

Table of Contents
Ideas of Interest From "The Nature of Learning"
The Role of Facts In Understanding
"In the Laboratory With Agassiz," by Samuel H. Scudder
Facts and Theories
Facts Are Often Theory-Dependent
Related Ideas
Topics Worth Investigating

Road to Nicholson Hollow, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Library of Congress

Ideas of Interest From "The Nature of Learning"

  1. Explain what John Dewey means when he points out, "The ideal of using the present simply to get ready for the future contradicts itself."

  2. Samuel Scudder writes, "…what I had gained by this outside experience has been of greater value than years of later investigation…." What is it that Samuel Scudder thinks he learned by studying with Professor Agassiz?

  3. If we seek an explanation for a state of affairs, how do we select the relevant facts of the situation? Does an explanatory theory need to be based on all of the facts in order to be true?

  4. How does Samuel Scudder's experience illustrate the view that philosophy begins when "we don't know our way about?"

  5. Discuss whether or not Tycho Brahe and Nicolaus Copernicus see the same thing at dawn.