Exploring Modern Philosophies and Conceptions of Existence Through “The ‘Banking Concept’ of Education” And Appiah’s “Ethics of Individuality”

Powerful Essays
Both Paulo Freire and Kwame Anthony Appiah depict a world that would be bettered by authentic, individual thought. Freire demonstrates the differences between the “banking-concept” and “problem-posing” methods of teaching education and how an individual’s liberty is affected, while Appiah demonstrates the essentials for finding meaning and structure in one’s life based on that liberty. The bigger question in life though, seems to be: what makes everything a person does in their life worth it in the end? These two philosophers, along with John Stuart Mill, help to define several of life’s biggest questions.

In the “Banking Concept of Education,” Paulo Freire describes the flaws in the education system. He begins first by defining the banking concept as “an act of depositing” information into the students’ minds (Freire 244). The student is not allowed to ask questions, but only to absorb all of the information the teacher is giving to him or her. Freire, however, seems highly opposed to this banking concept, and continues to describe a second method of teaching, the problem-posing way of education, in which students are allowed to question ideas, with freedom. It is with this method of teaching that the students and the teachers are able to actively communicate with each other and exchange ideas. Freire continues to say that “Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information” (Freire 249). One must actively think and use reason to fully free one’s mind.

Freire lays the ground work of finding meaning in one’s life by saying that individuals attempting to determine their “perception” of life “must perceive their state not as fated and unalterable, but merely as limiting—and therefore challengin...

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... with integrity. Even though one may choose to be part of a social identity, it is up to the individual to choose what they do with their life. An individual may connect with a specific culture or religion or any other social identity, but one has the opportunity to choose what they do within those reigns.

Works Cited
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. "The Ethics of Individuality." Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 8th. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2008. Print.

Freire, Paulo. "The "Banking" Concept of Education." Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 8th. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin, 2008. Print.

Griffin, Susan. "Our Secret." Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers. 8th. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin, 2008. Print.

"Individualism." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 22 Feb. 2010

Unknown. "Individualism." Web. 22 Feb. 2010
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