Re: Philosophy underlying LO? LO177

Danny Bennett (
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 12:28:37 -0600

On Feb 17, 16:01, Joe Kilbride wrote in LO142:

> Bacon-DesCartes-Hobbes-Spinoza-Leibniz. In studying these philosophers, it
> does not take long to understand how the mechanistic, "world as clockwork"
> notion came into being and evolved through the 16&1700s into our
> predominant worldview.
> One way to represent the "spreading" of this worldview is:
> Philosophy--->Physics--->In time, all other disciplines
> ---------- ------- --------------------------------
> DesCartes Newton Dalton in chemistry
> etc. Darwin in biology, etc.
[snip -- Mr. Kilbride goes on to ask some good questions]

I recently read an interview of John Taylo Gatto; a former teacher in New
York. Some of his teaching (perhaps most) ideas fit more along the lines of
learning-org conversation than main stream school (which is why he is a
_former_ teacher :-).

A particular idea, that I am curious if anybody else has an opinion on, is
Mr. Gatto's historical interpretation of our modern school setting. He
places the roots of dividing of teaching (and thus our minds) up into
'subjects' in early Prussia, circa 1806 - 1820. He goes on state things
that "they knew" (still talking about Prussia) in the early 1900's
consequences of dividing things, particularly if they do it early in a
child's life (kindergarden age), thus implying a more-or-less planned

Mr. Gatto doesn't - in the interview I read - speculate on the
mechanistic world view (getting back to Mr. Kilbride's post). However, I
have to wonder if there is a link. Did the groundwork laid by Newton, et
al. allow this 'innovation' by Prussia? Was Prussia, or a similar
historical setting, necessary to bring the dividing of subjects into their
current extent?