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Two ways of education: Thinking and no thinking

logo and motto5Professor Futa Helu of 'Atenisi University once said that there are only two ways of education since the Greeks, ""Education for criticism and education for submissiveness, and there is no third." For Lo'au University, the two ways of education is education for thinking and education with no thinking. For the Lo'auans and Helu, the former is a concern with theoretical apparatus whereas the latter is technical. It is philosophical, logical and scientifc with classical and objective form, on one hand; and utilitarian, relevant and practical, on the other hand. Criticism is the key for education according to Helu, i.e. education is a system of thought that teaches critical thinking to students, not in the sense of Descartes in doubting everything under the sun but to question and criticize false and invalid assumptions in philosophical, logical and scientific ways for the mere purpose of finding out their validity and truth.

For Helu, no culture of criticism implies no education in the classical sense of the term in producing the "best and permanent productions of the human mind in thoughts and letters", to use Mathew Arnold and Edward Said's definitions. Without upholding it, we will in effect come to terms with education for submissiveness i.e. the total acceptance of things without the concern with truth and validity, as well as, the promotion of human likeness in whatever form it may be. Criticism is the awakeniing of the mind from submissiveness to scrutinze the invalidity and falsity of a given matter of concern. It is a process of suppression our human illusions over matters of facts, with deep respect to the objective nature of things. This is the essence of criticism vs submissiveness.

Helu believed that education for submissiveness is based on the doctrine of utilitarianism with its commercial and community nature of teaching technical and relevant principles for mere human survival and satisfaction. In doing so, it has effectively influenced the mind to see things largely in human interests. It is the promotion of non-critical and non-classical apparatus. As a result, man is enslaved by technical and relevant demands i.e. what is useful to us in a given moment, and this stands in opposition to the 'spirit of inquiry' with its morality of speaking and finding out about the true nature of things and nothing else. We can use knowledge to apply for something else and it is a by-product and secondary interest after publicity of criticism.

A long the same line, Lo'au University asserts that education for thinking is the essence with its theoretical character, and education with no thinking in technical and relevant terms is its opposite, but the former can be applied to direct the later positively and wisely. That is, the mind can be first taught in logic and philosophy, which are the only disciplines that teach the mind on how to think, and then this can be used for technical education with its non-thinking nature. It is no thinking because what we do is just the application of ideas, however it can be a thinking entity only if the mind is first taught logically, philosophically and scientifically on how to think freely, rationally and critically. Without doing so, the theoretical apparatus will always be the kind of education for thinking and the technical is the no thinking but just a working process of applying and using ideas.

In the words of Martin Heidegger, the mind can be able to think only if it is taught about philosophy, culture, art and poetry (literature). This is a reminder of Plato in which he claims that science distorts the free spirit of inquiry in the sense that it can cut off the importance of myth, religion and culture in which creativity of ideas are stored and developed throughout history. Aristotle later came up with science and logic in a more formal and thorough way despite the orginal works of the pre-Socratic philosophers like Parmendes, Heraclitus and Thales. Philosophy for Heidegger is the key for thinking, without it man will find it hard to examine and analyze things freely and rationally. Learning about art, poetry (literature) and culture is a bonus for the mind to be able to partake, absorb abd digest the 'best' from other minds and their creativity.  For Heiddeger, man must really dwell into the underlining basis of philosophy with its notion of 'being', as well as, the creativity of art, poetry (literature) and culture in order to be able to think freely and rationally.