Occupational Therapy Philosophies Essay

Philosophy at its very core refers to wisdom, learning, and the “study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline” (Merriam-Webster). Philosophies are values that we live by and create as we go throughout our lives. We can create them ourselves, adopt old ones, and modify them all the time. Chances are that if you asked someone their philosophy on life, they wouldn’t really know what to say. There are certain types of philosophy and within that are even more branches.

With each branch comes more and more depth into a philosophy. Philosophies apply to our every day life, whether we think about it or not. They are a huge part of our value system and how we make decisions. The four discussed branches of philosophy are metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and axiology. Metaphysics is the “nature of reality” and essentially explains the nature of the world and human beings. Epistemology is the meaning of knowledge and how one acquires knowledge. Logic is simply reasoning in hopes to find the truth.

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Lastly, axiology is based on the values of society focusing on two main things, ethics and aesthetics. Within each of these branches are five deeper, traditional, educational philosophies. The first, idealism, focuses on characters and values. Realism states that science reveals the truth, meaning that the truth is something that can be observed and proven. Pragmatism says that individuals learn through their experiences. Naturalism places the individual’s importance over the importance of the society.

Finally, existentialism, states that individuals must accept responsibility for their actions and choices. I think to have an effective philosophy, you have to combine more than one type of philosophy and shape it fit your own beliefs. Learning outcomes and standards seem to stem from the branches of philosophy. The four classes of standards are movement competency, cognitive abilities, lifetime fitness, and responsible behaviors and values. I think it is easy to see where these standards have developed. Movement competency may have developed from realism.

Cognitive abilities could have developed from existentialism, pragmatism, or idealism. Lifetime fitness has roots in each of the five educational philosophies. Responsible behaviors and values also probably stems from each of the five philosophies. Because the learning standards seems to be so closely related to the philosophies, I think that it is nearly impossible to just choose one philosophy or idea and hold onto it. I think effective personal philosophies take hold of all of the traditional philosophies and use them as guidelines to personalize your own philosophy.

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