Goals for the Liberal Curriculum I: Powers of Prehension

Donald N. Levine

in Powers of the Mind

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226475530
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475783 | DOI:
Goals for the Liberal Curriculum I: Powers of Prehension

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Disciplined observation requires a trained ability to use organs of prehension, a capacity to use the mind to interpret the sensations that those organs prehend, and a cultivated awareness and control over the observer's prejudices. Using available organs involves familiarity with the range of pertinent observational methodologies and the ability to concentrate focus in utilizing them. Using the mind involves learning how to analyze and relate the elements of objects and to grasp their significance. Overcoming prejudices requires the cultivation of openness toward the unknown or unfamiliar. These prejudices derive from cultural bias, parochial limitations, and psychological blocks. Powers of observation include the first two of eight powers of the mind: audiovisual powers and kinesthetic powers. This chapter discusses four of eight powers of the mind: audiovisual powers, kinesthetic powers, understanding verbal texts, and understanding worlds.

Keywords: liberal education; liberal learning; audiovisual powers; kinesthetic powers; observation

Chapter.  5595 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy and Theory of Education

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