Decision in the pedagogical professional practice and the abduction’s function

Franco Blezza


The aim of this short contribution is to present a summary of the decision problem within the profession of the pedagogist, and the fundamental role of the abduction  (’απαγωγή, retroduction) process in its proper context, in professional practice of the pedagogist, as in all professional practice involving the social and professional pedagogy. Pedagogy is a field for reflection, application and commitment or engagement to education. Moreover, pedagogy is establishing itself as a profession, the profession of the pedagogist (not of the educator, who is a different figure), in the socio-health, intellectual, cultural and aid profession field, even in spite of heavy delays and failures of the Italian laws and the resistance of professional groups related but already recognized both by law and by society. The so-called “pedagogical interlocution” is a paradigmatic form of the professional pedagogical practice. Decision in professional pedagogy, properly speaking, must be reached by the interlocutor(s), who must debate and develop it, with the aid of the professional pedagogist. Abduction is not a valid syllogism: it concerns a possible example of a general case or of a rule, whose the actual pertinence to this general case or this rule is mediated by the professional or expert assumptions. The professional approach of the pedagogist, from methodological point of view, is casuistic (case based) and situational as a form of aid given to the person, alternative and other than to the statistical-operational methodology that addresses rather to populations composed of individuals. Cases of general interest in professional pedagogy can be labeled as “casuistries” or “case study” categories. A good collection of casuistries - case study categories is provided by Erich Fromm, concerning the problems of family education; and by Viktor E. Frankl in his search for sense, Lebenssinn or λόγος. A further range of examples of categories based on case studies which can be dealt with a pedagogical professional methodology are the life and studies orientation problems. A fourth class of examples, applicable differently but methodologically similar, offers to us the autogenic training, particularly the choice of the propositional formula, called and eventually repeated both in the opening and in the closure, which must be adapted to the particular case of each single person; and this can be considered a specific pedagogical competence as the gradual training to the technique proposed by Johannes Heinrich Schultz reveals to be. Professional pedagogy, by this way, can make an important and an authentic and specific contribution to general discussion about decision in the social, human and cultural sciences (or human- sozial- geistes- Wissenschaften).


pedagogy; professional pedagogist; methodology; professional practice technique

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Science & Philosophy - Journal of Epistemology, Science and Philosophy. ISSN 2282-7757; eISSN  2282-7765.