- Praxis (process)
Praxis is the process by which a
theory, lesson, or skill is enacted or practiced.
Ancient Greekthe word "praxis" (πρᾱξις) referred to activity engaged in by free men. Aristotleheld that there were three basic activities of man: theoria, poiesisand praxis. There corresponded to these kinds of activity three types of knowledge: theoretical, to which the end goal was truth; poietical, to which the end goal was production; and practical, to which the end goal was action. Aristotle further divided practical knowledge into ethics, economicsand politics. He also distinguished between "eupraxia" (good praxis) and "dyspraxia" (bad praxis, misfortune).Fact|date=July 2007
The concept of praxis is important in
Marxistthought. In fact, "philosophy of praxis" was the name given to Marxism by 19th century socialist Antonio Labriola. Marx himself stated in his Theses on Feuerbachthat "philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." Simply put, Marx felt that philosophy's validity was in how it informed action. Georg Lukácsheld that the task of political organization is to establish professional discipline over everyday political praxis, consciously designing the form of mediation best suited to clear interactions between theory and practice. As used by Paulo Freire, "praxis" is a synthesis of theory and practice in which each informs the other. Praxis is also a dominant theme in the political philosophy of Helmut Fleisher. [ [http://www.praxisphilosophie.de/fleischer.htm Helmut Fleisher website] (in German)] .
Praxis is used by educators to describe a recurring passage through a cyclical process of experiential
learning, such as the cycle described and popularised by David A. Kolb. [Kolb, D., [http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-explrn.htm david a. kolb on experiential learning] , "Informal Education Encyclopedia."] Paulo Freirewrites about praxis in his "Pedagogy of the Oppressed".
In the BBC television documentary "New Order: Play At Home",
Factory Recordsowner Tony Wilsondescribes praxis as "doing something, and then only afterwards, finding out why you did it".
Praxis is also key in
meditationand spirituality, where emphasis is placed on gaining first-hand experience of concepts and certain areas, such as union with the Divine, which can only be explored through praxis due to the inability of the finite mind (and its tool, language) to comprehend or express the infinite. In an interview for " YES! Magazine", Matthew Fox explained it this way:
:Wisdom is always taste -- in both Latin and Hebrew, the word for wisdom comes from the word for taste -- so it's something to taste, not something to theorize about. "Taste and see that God is good," the
psalmsays; and that's wisdom: tasting life. No one can do it for us. The mystical tradition is very much a Sophia tradition. It is about tasting and trusting experience, before institution or dogma. [ [http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1323 Holy Impatience: an interview with Matthew Fox] , "YES! Magazine".]
According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, the Hebrew word, ta‛am, is; properly a taste, that is, (figuratively) perception; by implication intelligence; transitively a mandate: - advice, behaviour, decree, discretion, judgment, reason, taste, understanding.
While praxis usually refers to the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice, the strategic and organizational usage of the word emphasizes the need for a constant cycle of conceptualizing the meanings of what can be learned from experience in order to reframe strategic and operational models.Fact|date=February 2007
social worktheory, praxis is the reflexive relationship between theories and action. It describes a cyclical process of social work interactions developing new theories and refining old ones, as well as theories directing the delivery of social work interactions.
Christian theological praxis
Paulo Freire(1970), " Pedagogy of the Oppressed", Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN.
* [http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-praxis.htm Entry for praxis at the Encyclopaedia of Informal Education] .
* [http://habituspraxis.sprinterweb.net/praxisintervention.pdf Praxis intervention article]
* [http://generalpraxis.blogspot.com General Praxis, arts and education consultancy based in Glasgow]
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