Learning and Grief

In preparing to teach a class for the first time, I’ve been reading past posts on the blog In Socrates’ Wake (which is a great resource!). I came across a posted titled “Learning as a process of grieving”, which quotes a part of the Wikipedia entry on the Kubler-Ross Model:

Studies of epistemology, the process of learning, suggest that the patterns of grief are one way of describing the basic patterns of integrating new information that conflicts with previous beliefs. 

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” said Arthur Schopenhauer of the learning process, which corresponds to the five stages of grief with denial being ridicule, opposition being anger and bargaining, and acceptance being depression and acceptance.

I don’t know that all truth passes through these stages. However, I was struck by how well this description mapped my own deconversion from Christianity, and other major changes to my own philosophical views.

About Matt DeStefano

Matt is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Arizona.


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