National Contours for Moral Education: Austria

Moral Contours

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Historical figures

ADLER, Alfred
1870 - 1937
Austria
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

A key figure in the development of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, with direct implications for the process and priorities for moral education. His emphasis on 'individual psychology' rooted personal identity and development in a 'wholeness' that included its social context as well as its own inwardness. The notions of birth order within family constellation, inferiority complex, and will to power were central to his approach (and differentiating it from that of Freud). From earliest years each person's sense of individual direction in life (teleology) is being worked out in its three main areas of application: occupation/work, society/friendship, and love/sexuality. Moreover, this sense is open to education and a basis for community feeling with all living creatures and the wider universe. In this, his Jewish heritage and later Christian faith were important. 

Life

http://www.notablebiographies.com/A-An/Adler-Alfred.html

 

Theory

http://www.alfredadler.edu/about/theory

http://www.sonoma.edu/users/d/daniels/Adler.html

5 lessons for everyone http://www.adleriansociety.co.uk/phdi/p3.nsf/supppages/0939?opendocument&part=3

 

Writings

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/at/adler.htm

Video

Alfred Adler; the psych of personality (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xczVfSurtrc

BUBER, Martin
1878 - 1965
Austria-Germany/Hungary
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

German educated, Jewish social philosopher for whom engagement with Hasidic life and thought and threat from Nazism inspired relocation to Palestine in 1938. His Zionist commitment was qualified by a sense of territory shared with Palestinians; he was a ‘Hebrew Humanist’. He published and lectured widely but his I and Thou book is what he is best known for. Whilst he was critical of self-centredness in philosophy, his own focus on the specialness of I-Thou relations led to criticism that that undervalues more inclusive I-You ones. He is central to the development of Jewish-Christian dialogue with its spirit of mutual appreciation, rooted in a sense of the ‘Eternal Thou’.

Life

Writings

EICHMANN, Adolf
1906 - 1962
Austria
POLITICS

An apparently ordinary man from a family evangelical Christian background who became an extraordinary practitioner of Nazi evil. In service of Hitler and the The Reich, he had overall responsibility for the management of Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo. This moved from initial programmes of deportation and Zionist support to the 'Final Solution' of active transport for extermination. A major Nazi war criminal. After the war he escaped to Argentina. In 1960 he was caught and flown to Israel where he was famously tried, found guilty and executed. .

Life

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/eichmann.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/genocide/eichmann_01.shtml

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007412

Writings/Oral testimony

Outcomes of Final Solutionhttp://alphahistory.com/holocaust/adolf-eichmann-outcomes-final-solution-1945

On Treblinka at trial http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/trials/eichmanfuhrerorder.html

Video

The trial of Adolf Eichmann (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrmTZs1iyX0

FREUD, Sigmund
1856 - 1939
Austria
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Probably the most pervasively influential name in Western psychology, known especially for his development of psychoanalysis as exposing human action as determined not by human reason but by unconscious drives and interests. These drives are mainly libidinal sexual energies, which are surfaced principally in doodles and dreams – or the occasional verbal ‘slip’. Both ethics and religion are exposed as rationalisations. Thus, moral sensitivity in the form of conscience is the introjection of parental prohibition, and religious sense either wishful thinking in place of disillusion with human carers or mystical retreat to pre-birth warmth and oneness.  

Life

 Work

Video

Freud speaks (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5-sBVWDoxE

HITLER, Adolf
1889 - 1945
Austria Germany
POLITICS

German dictator, inspired by belief in the superiority of the Aryan Race and resentment against the terms imposed on Germany as an outcome of World War 1. Well practised in the arts of charismatic speaking and of building resentment against a common foe, especially Jewish people (but also gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Slavs), who could be blamed for any failings that he might himself have been held responsible. The group rituals of the Nazi youth movement, as of the Nuremberg rallies, were essential aspects of national socialist education which appealed to a strong sense of loyalty and conviction of superiority, dulling the moral sensitivities of otherwise even highly educated people.

Life

Writings

Video

A Hitler speech (German with English subtitles) (10 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpdmVQDDKI

LOWIE RH
1883 - 1957
Austria United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Cultural anthropologist influenced by Franz Boas extrapolating from his field studies of Native American societies to characterise primitive human life and subsequent social organisation with the importance of moral reciprocity.

Life

Writings

POPPER, Karl
1902 - 1994
Austria United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

A family history which was grandparentally Jewish and parentally Lutheran was no guarantee of safety: he spent 9 years in New Zealand before settling in the UK. He was a strong advocate of the need for evidential grounding of belief system or philosophy of life – it need not be empirically proven, but it must be capable of passing the ‘falsifiability test’. Nazism failed this test, but so did any other ‘utopian’ approach – Marxism, Psychoananalysis and any Fundamentalism. Instead any properly human society must be liberally open to a plurality of views.

 

Video

'Uncertain truth' (12 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNpkvoxnmyk

STEINER, Rudolf
1861 - 1925
AUSTRIA
CURRICULUM, PHILOSOPHY

Rudolf Steiner was an educational reformer through schools designed to develop children’s inborn powers of spiritual perception so as to be able to rise above the material distractions of contemporary culture. He called his philosophy Anthroposophy - a form of spiritual science akin to Annie Bessant’s Theosophy, but focussing on human potential for liberation as archetypally visible in Christ. The school curriculum should give priority to art, dance and drama and be especially attentive to the needs of children with special needs. Enthusiastically articulate as lecturer and author (40+ books) the momentum he created continues. For some he is supremely wise and to others a dodgy occultist.

WITTGENSTEIN, Ludwig
1889 - 1911
Austria England
PHILOSOPHY

 

Ludwig Wittgenstein was an influential philosopher. He was initially stressing mathematical logic as the basis for a logically foolproof language which de-legitimised any talk of values. He subsequently came to recognise the subtlety of language as the continuous 'gaming' medium for expressing the beliefs and values which make up the natural history of humanity.

Wittgenstein: a wonderful life (49 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BoKjQfMihs

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