Postmodern And Holism In The Philosophy Of Modern Education


The purpose of this work is to show the main aspects of the methodology of modern mass education, their advantages and disadvantages, the influence on the processes of globalization and on the general development of human civilization. In this work the following are considered: general methodological approaches to the organization and functioning of educational systems; methodological aspects of modern education; the phenomenon of pluralism in worldview, science, education and culture; its particular postmodern interpretation in the philosophy of modern education. It is shown that the education system in any country should initially be built not only for the reproduction of society and social relations, but also for its preservation and further development. At the same time, the postmodern philosophy reduces the ordered diversity of knowledge to conceptual chaos, as a result of which the main problems of education cannot be solved. On the basis of this philosophy in most educational systems there is a transition from education itself, to a system of professional training that reduces the main goal of education to gaining skills, the so-called competencies. Such a goal does not allow trainees to achieve a balance in the trinitarian knowledge-experience-understanding structure. This problem is solved only by the philosophy of holism, on the basis of which institutions of integral education are created in the world, examples of which are given in the work.

Keywords: Development, education, holism, ideology, pluralism, postmodern


The life world of modern human civilization is, for most people, a world of rapid development of technologies, high speeds of technical and social processes, compression of social time, which creates the psychological effect of acceleration and calendar time. This is a world of increasing information flows, for which there are no borders. Flows that penetrate the consciousness of people through the media, drag minds into virtual worlds, become an integral part of the lives of those who, without realizing everything that is happening and without thinking about the consequences, were involved in these information flows. The sources of knowledge at the same time multiply, as do their content, and qualitative differences. The authority and, in a way, the monopoly of science as the discoverer and bearer of objective truth for mass consciousness in such conditions ceases to be a priority, since knowledge is now broadcast not so much by science and educational systems as by the holders of mass communications and media for the masses. Against this background, the mechanisms of globalization that have already become natural, the erosion of the boundaries of cultures, the intensification of dialogue between different traditions and their carriers are developing, which also generates a new array of knowledge that the consumer finds difficult to comprehend and systematize.

Institutions of education for the masses in all countries, of course, cannot but fall under the influence of these information flows, this increasing pluralism of knowledge, opinions, new problems in decision-making, arising in these conditions of increasing uncertainty. As a result, transformations occur in education systems, which are far from always reflected by the leadership of these systems. Not always managers can find time to analyze the causality of processes, which allows external control factors to increase shadow influence;

Problem Statement

Since the education system in any country is originally designed not only to reproduce society and social relations, but also to ensure the safety of its further development, the question arises: how, in conditions of continuous growth of knowledge, which are not always connected to each other in a single system, i.e. in conditions of uncertainty, to ensure the achievement of the original goals and objectives of education. Finding an adequate answer to this question is the problem of this study.

Research Questions

This problem can be presented in the form of a combination of its individual questions, the main ones of which, in our opinion, are the following.

  • The emergence and mainstreaming of the multiplicity of unsystematic knowledge that hinders educational decision-making.
  • The current state of the philosophy of education in the world, methodological approaches and specific solutions.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to show and substantiate the methodology for the development of modern education in the context of the expansion of postmodern philosophy.

Research Methods

deductions, integral vision, orienting generalizations


The study of the genesis of the problem shows that in the conditions of a compressed social time, many people have no time to think about the fundamental problems of peace and their own existence, world universals remain unrecognized by new generations born in the already existing "digital" world. At the same time, the role of applied knowledge increases, allowing you to get quick profits, quick education, quickly feel something, quickly live it, far from always understanding what it was, accumulating this fleeting experience without its understanding and assessment. The cultivated emphasis on applied knowledge creates illusion of their equivalence, as different people, using different knowledge, can gain the same economic effect, identical income, identical social success. Thanks to such a situation, as it were, the idea of​ the absence of a hierarchy of knowledge, and then the absence of hierarchies in general, about the depravity of ideologies and methadiscurs, which are supposedly only vicious totalitarian, hierarchical regimes, was introduced into the consciousness of the masses. Instead of the principle of hierarchy of the world order, the masses were offered the principles of pluralism and egalitarianism, which imply universal equality of "everything before everything" without the opportunity to single out the best or worst, top or bottom (Baudrillard, 1994; Wilber, 2011). This is the essence of the ideology and philosophy of postmodern, which is rooted in all spheres of life and in the education of all economically developed countries, among other things.

Thus, initially, a grandiose social experiment was staged on American society, the time of which was called the post-modern era by experimenters. Naturally, it was announced to the masses that such freedom of all and everything is possible only in such a country where a unique, extremely advanced, so-called "information society" was formed. Politicians from science to promote this idea to the masses quickly wrote articles and books: about the charms of postmodern; the freedom of the individual, which has finally become accessible to all; the collapse of all ideologies, as the emergence of totalitarian regimes; about the collapse of all hierarchies, as the only breeding grounds of evil and the product of Superego; about simulation and simulation (exact copies of non-existent objects) (Baudrillard, 1994; Wilber, 2011, etc.). Along the way, since everything is allowed, they began to promote in many countries legislation on the possibility of homo marriages, incest, the removal of children for the slightest "criminality" of parents from traditional families and their transfer to the upbringing of LGBT people. And all this under the flag of freedom of sexual self-realization of the person.

However, it turned out that postmodern is also an ideology that seeks expansion, and therefore not all freedom to the liking and authors of postmodernism. And for their commitment to traditional values, professors began to be dismissed from universities, and gay men, lesbians and representatives of the "eternal" profession were invited to the student audience, who told how to have sexual "freedom," more precisely, promiscuity and permissiveness (Adams, 2013). It came to the point that one outstanding philosopher and psychologist of the transpersonal direction was forced to go to the shutter for three years to home in order to avoid the persecution of postmodernists. Postmodernists could not forgive him for the fact that the principle of the hierarchy of the world became the main postulate of the methodology of integral vision.

The result of this large-scale social experiment shocked even the developers themselves. Education for the masses in the country fell to an unacceptable level, which he bitterly wrote in article "We pretend to teach, they pretend to learn" Geoffrey Collier: "And what else can be expected from the culture in which everyone is a star" (Collier, 2013, para. 4). The people at the mythical level of consciousness development (Wilber, 2017) began to regress at such a speed that they had to urgently announce the end of postmodern in the United States, as in the entire advanced country. At the same time, measures were taken to export the developed ideology and methodology for its introduction into the education systems of many countries, since this made it possible to simplify the expansion of the sphere of influence of interested clans in the processes of globalization of the economy.

To promote the philosophy of postmodern, long-tested technologies for translating half the truth were used in the education system. So, in education they began to promote at first glance the beautiful idea that every student has the right to an independent educational trajectory. But this is only half the truth. In fact, this is just a distracting slogan. Yes, every student has the right to an independent educational trajectory, but in order to realize this right, he must first obtain a qualitative basic idea of the world and world universals, which only allows him to consciously and independently see the multiplicity of paths and freely choose further path not under the control of social networks, but under the control of his own individuality. It's the whole truth. But postmodern wipes this truth in every way from the consciousness of people and especially from the consciousness of the not yet strengthened, young personalities of school students and students.

"It is necessary that at each university teachers form the student competencies, necessary in their life." This requirement is recorded in the state standards of Russia, and Rosobrnadzor officially monitors its implementation.

The whole truth: competence cannot be "formed" by external efforts either theoretically or practically, since they are in the space of "subjective space," where there are no forms. Forms exist only in objective space (Wilber, 2011). Competence is not formed, but comprehended by students. The teacher can only specify the path, and the university can create conditions. Competence appears only when in the process of cognition in the consciousness of the student's personality the process of holistic perception of the subject is completed and the trinitarian structure " knowledge-ability-understanding " appears as a result. When economists who have assumed the functions of education management argue that education should provide mainly "skills," which are called competencies, this means only one thing – the desire to deprive students of the opportunity to understand what is happening and what is being studied.

One more half of the truth: "Improvement of quality of education requires extremely use of information and communication technologies and online education. Behind them the future". All truth: digital technologies in education can reduce expenses of time for routine not creative work therefore their application in education is very perspective. But they can't dominate, and can be used safely only as supportive application as frequent immersion of human consciousness to the virtual worlds leads not only to regress of sight (perception of flat pictures doesn't require binocular sight), but the main thing to an atrophy of those sites of a brain which are responsible for information processing of integrated images of reality. The person as the creator, plunging into the world of computer simulations, loses the opportunities. Besides, digital technologies are unacceptable at children's age also because nervous system of the person grows up to 30 years. Actually, to this age the brain has to develop at full capacity, processing complete integrated images of reality, and not just their two-dimensional digital simulations. Naturally, it is clear to all that to this age it is theoretically impossible to protect from the digital world of the modern child and the young man now, but to enter into school programs computer science from the first classes is a crime against children and mankind in general, as it is confirmed with modern science (Kurpatov, 2020).

Here only the most striking examples of half-truth which strongly take root under the flag of innovations in mass formation of all countries where both the pupil, and the teacher turn into the digitized programmable beings who are torn off from reality and shipped in the world of simulacra and simulations are given (Baudrillard, 1994).

On it the list of the postmodern "innovations" transforming education per se to narrow-purpose vocational training naturally isn't exhausted. But for a portrayal of genesis of a problem of it, in our opinion, it is quite enough.

Thus, realities are that that we closely face a problem of further evolution of mankind about which the famous anthropologist of Fuerle in the work "Erectus Walks Amongst Us. The evolution of modern humans" wrote (Fuerle, 2008, p. 408). And the key part of the problem comes down to the fact that "Homo Erectus" actively enters space of "Homo Sapiens", forcing out him by digitalization of his activity.

Nobody can cancel the second beginning of thermodynamics therefore withdrawal of consciousness of the person from the world of reality and immersion in extremely simplified world of digital simulations of reality inevitably will lead it also to simplification of the human brain serving in the person as the interface between his consciousness (essence) and a biological form of existence. This problem is a concern of many, including those organizations that are actively engaged in the introduction of information and communication technologies in all spheres of human life and, first of all, in the field of education (Kurpatov, 2020).

The problem of the advanced development of technology in relation to human consciousness and man as a whole is not new. As you know, there were already human civilizations on earth, which, falling under the magic of technology and the illusion of the need for a comfortable life, missed the point of no return and went into oblivion. It was they who left not only high-tech traces on the planet, but also traces in its noosphere, from where science fiction writers draw "inspiration" by predicting certain events to us. Therefore, in the world of fiction, this problem has been discussed for a long time and quite interesting options for solving this problem have even been proposed. One such solution is to nurture and educate children in the natural environment until all the creative potential of the person is revealed so that the trained person can overcome the high wall that separates him from the technosphere of the city by means of levitation. Only then is he allowed to live in a city whose technological environment can no longer significantly interfere with its further development.

Since such a way out of the current situation is known to many, on Earth, from time to time, settlements and educational institutions with such a functional purpose appear, causing ambiguity among those who dream of ruling forever and all, by inhibiting the development of the lower strata of the social pyramid.

But happens and vice versa when the mighty of this world organizes such settlements to trace the course of evolutionary development of the person and not to lag behind it this process. An example of such actions is "The institute of integrated development of the person" Esalen (2021) who was founded in 1962 on the western coast of California by large financial clans with attraction as founders of two American psychologists – Michael Murphy and Richard Price. The first devoted life to a research of reserve opportunities of the person, the second practiced gestalt therapy. Both studied the Yoga system and other east spirituality.

In 1993 Michael Murphy (1992) generalized in the fundamental work "The future of the body. Explorations into the further evolution of human nature" (p. 16) yielded and results more than 10000 researches conducted by then in Esalen which are testifying to a possibility of global transformation of the person and indicating approach of the following stage of human evolution. It, according to experts, – the most thorough work from ever written in the world of the western science about the relations between consciousness and a body. It is the most considerable western experiment in the field of the integrated education constructed on the philosophy of holism.

Here, to be fair, it should be noted that the idea of creation of institute came to Murphy and Price after visit by them Auroville – Sri Aurobindo ashram – community of adherents of integrated yoga which exists in India since 1926 to this day. Auroville was constructed in the State of Tamil Nadu (India), near Pondicherry under the auspices of UNESCO (Auroville, 2021), under the spiritual guide of Sri Aurobindo and Frenchwoman Myrrha Alfasa who, being a schoolgirl, and then Sri Aurobindo collaborator, by then already received the status of Mother. In Auroville the unique establishment of integrated education based on philosophy of unity of all real what the eternal philosophy always called mankind for was created by its founders (Huxley, 1946). As envisioned by founders the city and its educational institution are designed to become the place where men and women from any country could live in the world and in the developing harmony, following a world universal, and not being dependent on national identity, policy and religious preferences.

Bhagavan Satya Sai Baba, who devoted 35 years to the creation of the Integral University in India, made a special contribution to the development of integral education based on the philosophy of holism. The main goal of the university is to promote the education of an integral personality, in which "a harmonious synthesis of spiritually mature intelligence, a compassionate heart and golden hands is manifested; it is a wonderful combination of nobility and skill. Nobility without skill is useless to society, and skill without nobility is dangerous to it. Spiritual education is the basis of integral education. This is what Bhagavan calls educare (education of universal human values). In the end, all education should come down to this" (Sahni, 2005).

It is encouraging to note that experts in the field of integral vision of the world are manifested in the West, integral institutions are opened and environmental ethics is taught as one of the world universals – the moral law of coexistence in the world without harming each other (Wilber, 2017).


Turning to the methodology of modern post-classical science, which is based on integral vision and the method of orienting generalizations (Wilber, 1997, 2004, 2011), it is not difficult to note that Western educational systems for the masses are based solely on the objective perception of the world by the "eye of the body" (sensory systems) and the "mind" eye, which sees meanings in semantic systems (Wilber, 1997) The space of subjective (consciousness of these forms) is not taken into account. It is considered to belong to the ideal world, that is, existing only in the mentality of man in the form of a combination of ideas produced by this mentality that have no connection with the reality of this world. At the same time, all the integrity of this world is erroneously identified only with their forms, objectively delineated from each other. This gives rise to all kinds of philosophy of separatism and postmodern, including those that inevitably appear in educational systems.

Eastern philosophy has always looked at the world integrally. That is not only by the eye of the body and the eye of the mind, but also by the "eye of the soul" (sensual and supersensitive perception of the energy substances of the world), and by the "eye of the spirit" (controlled intuitive vision through space and time (Wilber, 1997; Huxley, 1946)), fixing that in subjective space (in the space of consciousness of forms) there are no boundaries (Wilber, 2004). Hence the main idea of ​ ​ the philosophy of holism is the idea of ​the unity of everything. Hence the desire to preserve and multiply the institutions of integral education.

There are many contradictions and misunderstandings in the context of globalization and interculturalism. So, some Western analysts are trying to evaluate the activities of integral institutions using objective indicators and the rating of systems related to the acquisition of specific (non-integral), only objectively registered skills and improvement of university existence. At the same time, they do not even think about the fact that "skill without nobility" is dangerous for both the individual and society. Ethics and adherence to world universals (universal laws of the universe) cannot be measured by objective means and tests, since the infinite cannot be described by the finite. So, there are low Western assessments of integral educational institutions by Western "experts," which is deeply regrettable about the lack of real, integral education among these experts.

Thus, modern humanity faces an inevitable choice: either learn to look at the world with all four "eyes," improving educational institutions in terms of increasing their integration, or, carried away by objectification and digitalization, get a chance to go into oblivion once again.


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29 November 2021

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Cultural development, technological development, socio-political transformations, globalization

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Nepomnyashchiy, A. V., & Neshchadim, I. O. (2021). Postmodern And Holism In The Philosophy Of Modern Education. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in The Context of Modern Globalism, vol 117. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1144-1151). European Publisher.