Philosophy and Physical Education, Evolutionary Appendix?


SCHOENBERGER, Valdenir [1]

SCHOENBERGER, Valdenir. Philosophy and Physical Education, Evolutionary Appendix ?. Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal. Edition 08. Year 02, Vol. 02. pp. 122-130, November 2017. ISSN:2448-0959 


Philosophy and Physical Education, school disciplines considered in modern times as two distant relatives to very forgotten, which are sometimes supplanted by disciplines of greater importance in the present scenario (Portuguese and Mathematics), represent the evolutionary appendage of greater significance in the evolutionary field of sapiens. It was thanks to his cognitive ability to communicate and his physical ability to move that primitive man managed to climb the evolutionary steps and leave behind more adapted species in the race for survival. Thinking about climate change, the great migrations, the customs of animals, the use of utensils, warm up by fire, building clothes and societies, planting and cultivating them as subsistence, physical habits during hunting , collection and planting; the motor gestualization that accompanies man over time. These are the primary factors that have made man the dominant being on earth. Abstracts first of all, we are able to predict before trying. And, armed with an intellect that is in constant exclamation about everything and everyone, paired with an enormous physical capacity, which has transformed us from quadrupeds into bipeds, we establish a new parallel in the evolutionary sense of evolution. The present study aimed to promote a discussion about the importance of the disciplines of physical education and philosophy throughout human history and its present school significance. It is concluded that physical education and philosophy are extremely important components in the evolutionary path of man, in this way they must be given primacy in an integral uninterrupted way in the current school scene.

Keyword: Philosophy, Physical Education, Pedagogy.

The sapiens and their first steps towards philosophy

When our first ancestors walked the earth about 2.5 million years old, with a brain of about 600 cc, and nothing more than the will to prevail over the other species (that is, if they had this idea in mind), we have come a long journey from standing up, producing the first tools and weapons, forming groups for gathering and hunting, domestication of fire, food production, language development and cognitive revolution (Harrison, 2015) . In a way we can diagnose that we have evolved quickly and successfully, taking into account the existing and non-existent biodiversity that accompanies us throughout history.

But what comes to mind is a pertinent and common unknown to all, what has favored us along this evolutionary journey? We may suggest that maturation and a significant improvement in our neural system may have provided us with such an advantage; or the formation of social networks and cooperatives that over time have turned into villages and then into cities.

When we think of anything (people, objects, relations, etc.) we can abstract from what we already know and understand about other situations, as if we sought in our memories a certain desired image and formulate from it a wide range of situations in order, nevertheless, we can formulate these abstractions together and in society.  As he states (Harrison, 2015, p.33):

"It's relatively easy to agree that only homo sapiens can talk about things that do not really exist and believe in half a dozen impossible things[…]."

"We can weave shared myths, such as the history of the biblical creation, the myths of the Australian Aboriginal dream time, and the nationalist myths of modern states. Such myths give the sapiens the unprecedented ability to cooperate in a versatile and large number. "

In this way man has survived and prospered over other species with a vast and vast capacity for abstraction over all possible things. The vision of something, the glimpse of the nonexistent, the imaginary; all this range of possibilities belonging to the hominid created and expanded bonds, built possibilities, influenced and encouraged, exercised the creative capacity; defined new rules and established parameters of what can and should be done; and how it should be done. We may marvel at the great capacity of building bees, how beautiful is the dwelling place of certain birds, but only man is able to visualize in advance; to predict incoherence and impossibilities in the course of the project, to calculate and analyze the pros and cons during a hunt, to reflect what was yesterday and to calculate what tomorrow will be to believe in a new life after its end, and in this way the sapiens , rose on two legs and defined his trajectory on himself and on the scenery that surrounds him. And in this way man became conscious, in this way he can look at himself and look at the world, in this way man can philosophize, his greater evolutionary capacity, the act of reflecting. According to these statements we can list the considerations of (CHAUI, 2000, p. 05) which define:

"In our daily lives, we affirm, deny, desire, accept or reject things, people, situations. We ask questions like "what time is it?" Or "what day is today?". We say phrases such as "he's dreaming" or "she's gone crazy". We make statements such as "where there is smoke, there is fire," or "do not go out in the rain to keep from getting cold." We evaluate things and people, saying, for example, "this house is more beautiful than the other" and "Maria is younger than Glorinha".

The philosophical heart, the questioning epicenter of philosophy, begins by asking and refuting the maxims stipulated by the said truths or beliefs, so we could define it in a simple sentence: we can not consider correct what we imagined to be the truth, so we bring the exemplification of Socrates, where he claimed to be the unquestionable philosophical truth, the dictum: "I know that I know nothing" (CHAUI, 2000). The principle of knowledge is to consider our ignorance (not beastly), but an ignorance where we are disconnected from the truths that surround us, and where, the first step would be the recognition itself of such a situation.

When the first hominids questioned why they felt hungry, cold, thirsty, sleepy, defecating, having sex, needing clothing, fire, food, housing; where they should unite for a better accomplished in the collection and hunting; when they decided that it would be better to stand on the savannas for a better observation of the surroundings, since the bush was somewhat tall and posted at four the observation became difficult; when they established bonds of friendship and family, thus creating an organized society; when rules were created and established for a better support of the group of people where dictates were guiding to what I can and can not do, we establish a deep connection of ourselves with ourselves, with the world around us and with the rest of our species , it was only then that we began to create a society based on physical, psychological, emotional, historical, social and cultural principles. I must understand myself before understanding the world around me, I must understand the world around me before I understand the next, I must understand the next one before understanding the historical, social and cultural relations that overwhelmed man to the level where we are today. We are rooted in a vicious circle that establishes the right answers to the most prepared to ask.

As he defines it, philosophy is: "the study that aims […]to unceasingly expand the understanding of reality, in the sense of apprehending it in its entirety", in this way we can consider philosophy as a means of absorption and understanding of everything that surrounds us, without even discarding anything.

And this physical education, what is it anyway?

When we hear the following popular saying: "who has a mouth goes to Rome," we must consider it a significant truth to the evolutionary act of man. In this small sentence we raised two significant points to which the quadruped hominid would never have exited or evolved to current levels. In the first place, we must stick to the verbal act, that is, to speak, to gesticulate through speech with third parties in obtaining and propagating information, and as we saw in the previous topic, it was thanks to our capacity for abstraction, that we can excel in the other species. Subsequently we must consider our physical capacity, to get something or to get somewhere we must move, perform the physical act of getting out of our state of inertia and moving us. And in this case as a complete good (TOJAL, 2004, pp. 153-154):

"Human motricity emerges from corporeality as a sign of who is in the world for something, that is, as a sign of a project, and in this way man is presence in space and history, with the body in the body from the body and through the body, since there is basically no difference between motor and corporeality, since both are part of the biological complexity of the human. "

In this way the primitive man managed, through pre-existing and later trained and automated movements to reverberate his athletic skills in the African battlefield, that is, to hunt or to be hunted. The first hominids called collecting hunters constantly moved (month, week, day) carrying with them their belongings, we must also point out that in this historical period there were no animals of burden nor the advent of the wheel as a form of division of charge, which was carried by tens or hundreds of kilometers (HAHARI, 2015). Still according to the author (2015, pp. 57-58):

"The sapiens did not just go out looking for food and materials. They also went out looking for knowledge. To survive, they needed a detailed mental map of their territory. To maximize the efficiency of their daily quest for food, they needed information on the growth patterns of each plant and the habits of each animal. They needed to know which foods were nutritious, which ones were harmful and which ones could be used as a medicine and in what form. They needed to know the progress of the seasons and the warning signs that preceded a storm or a period of drought. They studied every stream, walnut, bear cave, and flint deposit in the vicinity. Each individual needed to understand how to make a stone knife, how to mend a torn robe, how to prepare a trap for a rabbit, and how to deal with avalanches, snakebites, or hungry lions. "

At first glance or in the eyes of a layman, one may think of a delay / deficiency of learning and motor enhancement in regard to the physical abilities developed by hominids. But as we are well aware (HARARI, 2015) a hunter-gatherer should turn a piece of rock into a spearhead in a matter of minutes, a task which we would shamefully fail to imitate, for most of us lack deep knowledge (flint and basalt) and the lack of fine motor skills for the full development of the work.

Nowadays we do not need a wide range of hunting and hunting skills, thanks to the understanding of the importance and the formulation of societies by sapiens, we enjoy a social life today, with which we can count on: home, school, pharmacy, hospital, parks, etc. We become civilized beings, social beings at the dawn of scientificity. But to a certain extent, we are still lacking in movement, we need this human ability to perform complex gestures for a complete energy expenditure and an escape from latent sedentarism. In the same way that philosophy is for a perfect questioning about the various unknowns of life, physical education is for a perfect cultural movement. As our ancestor thought and moved to survive in the beginnings of humanity, today too; we must think and move towards a perfect quality of physical and intellectual life.

The discipline of physical education has at its core, in its most significant interior a pedagogical consolidation, that is, in a normative discipline that exposes and concretizes its teachings through a didactic, instructive practice that results in concrete objectives in the formative bias, in this way, it can not be understood or confined to its own gnosiological principles, being of a scientific or philosophical nature (GAYA, 1994). Concomitantly, the author emphasizes (1994, 32):

"In our understanding, it means configuring it as a set of knowledge (discipline), which concretely states (through our classes, in short our action or pedagogical practice) a set of abstract formulas (ethical, moral, political and aesthetic) that indicate how something should be in any situation where judgments are admitted. "

The fundamental significance of physical education is contained in its relevance as an educational and pedagogical component, reverberating its unshakable and indispensable valence as a curricular discipline, and as it has been configured as an action that promotes values ​​and attitudes, skills and human behaviors, which is expressed in pedagogical mediator (the teacher of physical education), who from the elements of physical culture (sport, play, dance, gymnastics and play activities) imposes an intentional maturational growth that becomes mainly to the specificity of physical education) in the formation of children and young people, this understanding predisposes that physical education is above all movement, operating in the pedagogical field, in this way it assumes a normative cadence of values ​​as to what should be taught or learned as relevant in physical culture, lifestyle and promo- tion (GAYA, 1994).

In this way we consider to be of great importance a profound reassessment as to the value and importance attributed to philosophy and physical education, because as presented in previous topics, these two disciplines originated and evolved together with the human being, molding and being shaped along of our short trajectory.

Final considerations

We consider human evolution, from the remnants of apes (still latent when we lack logic) a short, but significantly productive walk. Philosophy and Physical Education are two valences that go hand in hand from the beginning and which have had a great value for our species, philosophy (as an act of thinking out of nothing), unlike the present one, which disagrees with the observations made (such as the pure movement of walking, jumping, crouching, etc.), unlike that presented to contemporary man, arranged as bodily movements and ludic historical and cultural activities.

Over the years, philosophy and physical education have shaped and been shaped by the action of man, essential for survival in the African savannas, we have today a saving strand in these two disciplines, that of preparing man for physical and mental sedentarism. Modern man in his energetic conservatism lives a corporeal inertia, where we represent only supporting roles. Little is practiced thinking and little thought is given to physical activity. We remain almost unchanged compared to homo sapiens in the physical structure, but we distance ourselves and much when it comes to initiative and autonomy in thinking and moving, we create a network of amenities that prevent us from being proactive.

We believe that school – a dynamic and complex system – is the main stage for a full and complete execution and continuity of this evolutionary journey for both physical education and philosophy. It was thanks to these assumptions that we set out to formulate this analysis presented here, whose aspects suggest significant aspects to consider about the disciplines mentioned above. We conclude that the debate about the valuation of the disciplines and their significance in the course of the construction of the man must be strongly based on educational formations spaces, in both initial and continuing formation, propitiating a social restructuring rooted in values ​​of solidarity and full coexistence with the other.


CHAUI, Marilena. Invitation to Philosophy. Ed. Attica, São Paulo, 2000.

FERREIRA, Aurelio Buarque de Holanda. Dictionary of the Portuguese language. 6th ed. 896f. Curitiba: Positivo, 2005.

GAYA, Adroaldo. But what, after all, is physical education? Movement, Porto Alegre, year 01, n. 01, p. 29-34, Sept. 1994.

HAHARI, Yuval Noah, Sapiens – A Brief History of Humanity – 1st ed. – Porto Alegre, RS: L & PM, 2015.

TOJAL, J. B. A. G., From Physical Education to Human Motricity – The preparation of the professional. Lisbon / Portugal: Piaget Publishing House, 2004.

[1] Professor of the State Education Network of Mato Grosso – Graduated in Physical Education, Post Graduated in Physical School Education and Master in Education Sciences.


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