"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Monday, June 16, 2014


It seems as if the rest of you had SIMILAR problems, trying to distinguish/pronounce/spell/etc. episteme and phronesis. After reading the Flyvbjerg article, I found my way over to what seems to be his personal website which discusses his research of "Phronetic Planning" and "Phronetic Social Science". After reading this over, I slowly began to formulate answers to our discussion.

In my response to Dr. Muth, I attempted to compare the two approaches to our lecture last week with Dr. Susan Clair. Phronesis would be best used to answer the question of “Who gains and who loses from the GED restructuring and by which mechanisms of power? Is it desirable to base federal funding for ABE based on population? Which direction do we, as a nation, want to go with ABE? Of course, I'm not even sure if this makes total sense, but I felt that those were all questions that we could use phronetic science to answer...how many forms of this word can I use?

Episteme seemed a little easier to define. It literally translates to science. It's analytic information gained from controlled experiments. The major difference here is that it does not involve judgement, values, or interest. This is where phronesis goes BEYOND episteme. Phronesis involves social interaction/discussion vs strict observation, which seems to be at the core of episteme.

1 comment:

  1. First, yes, I like the way you consider phronesis as "value rationality" (i.e., sorting out conflicting situated and competing values that clash and are positioned by power relations) and episteme as "scientific method" (i.e., the de-contextualized analysis of variables that can be isolated, re-introduced under trial conditions, and then evaluated for their effects on another variable). But you go a bit too far: even hard scientists' so called "objective" studies are underpinned with values (they still decide what to study and how to study it based on values). AND, be careful how you use the world "science!" Flyvbjerg disagrees with Foucault, who considers the study of the social as not science. For Flyvbjerg (and me too), social science (which can involve empisteme and phronesis designs) requires as much rigor as so called hard science. Physics envy be damned! :)


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