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It is worth noting that a article in Time , reprinted in Lucas , had put forward the same criticism of mainstream philosophy.

See Mehta Fourth, during the decade of the seventies when these various critiques of analytic philosophy were in the process of eroding its luster, a spate of translations from the Continent stimulated some philosophers of education in Britain and North America to set out in new directions, and to adopt a new style of writing and argumentation. In more recent years all these trends have continued. APE was and is no longer the center of interest, although, as indicated below, it still retains its voice.

As was stressed at the outset, the field of education is huge and contains within it a virtually inexhaustible number of issues that are of philosophical interest. To attempt comprehensive coverage of how philosophers of education have been working within this thicket would be a quixotic task for a large single volume and is out of the question for a solitary encyclopedia entry. Nevertheless, a valiant attempt to give an overview was made in A Companion to the Philosophy of Education Curren , which contains more than six-hundred pages divided into forty-five chapters each of which surveys a subfield of work.

The following random selection of chapter topics gives a sense of the enormous scope of the field: Sex education, special education, science education, aesthetic education, theories of teaching and learning, religious education, knowledge, truth and learning, cultivating reason, the measurement of learning, multicultural education, education and the politics of identity, education and standards of living, motivation and classroom management, feminism, critical theory, postmodernism, romanticism, the purposes of universities, affirmative action in higher education, and professional education.

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education Siegel contains a similarly broad range of articles on among other things the epistemic and moral aims of education, liberal education and its imminent demise, thinking and reasoning, fallibilism and fallibility, indoctrination, authenticity, the development of rationality, Socratic teaching, educating the imagination, caring and empathy in moral education, the limits of moral education, the cultivation of character, values education, curriculum and the value of knowledge, education and democracy, art and education, science education and religious toleration, constructivism and scientific methods, multicultural education, prejudice, authority and the interests of children, and on pragmatist, feminist, and postmodernist approaches to philosophy of education.

Given this enormous range, there is no non-arbitrary way to select a small number of topics for further discussion, nor can the topics that are chosen be pursued in great depth. The issue of what should be taught to students at all levels of education—the issue of curriculum content—obviously is a fundamental one, and it is an extraordinarily difficult one with which to grapple.

Routledge philosophy guidebook to Plato and the trial of Socrates (Book, ) [reitermapasdo.ga]

In tackling it, care needs to be taken to distinguish between education and schooling—for although education can occur in schools, so can mis-education, and many other things can take place there that are educationally orthogonal such as the provision of free or subsidized lunches and the development of social networks ; and it also must be recognized that education can occur in the home, in libraries and museums, in churches and clubs, in solitary interaction with the public media, and the like.

In developing a curriculum whether in a specific subject area, or more broadly as the whole range of offerings in an educational institution or system , a number of difficult decisions need to be made. Issues such as the proper ordering or sequencing of topics in the chosen subject, the time to be allocated to each topic, the lab work or excursions or projects that are appropriate for particular topics, can all be regarded as technical issues best resolved either by educationists who have a depth of experience with the target age group or by experts in the psychology of learning and the like.

Is the justification that is given for teaching Economics in some schools coherent and convincing? The justifications offered for all such aims have been controversial, and alternative justifications of a single proposed aim can provoke philosophical controversy. Consider the aim of autonomy.

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These two formulations are related, for it is arguable that our educational institutions should aim to equip individuals to pursue this good life—although this is not obvious, both because it is not clear that there is one conception of the good or flourishing life that is the good or flourishing life for everyone, and it is not clear that this is a question that should be settled in advance rather than determined by students for themselves. Thus, for example, if our view of human flourishing includes the capacity to think and act autonomously, then the case can be made that educational institutions—and their curricula—should aim to prepare, or help to prepare, autonomous individuals.

A rival justification of the aim of autonomy, associated with Kant, champions the educational fostering of autonomy not on the basis of its contribution to human flourishing, but rather the obligation to treat students with respect as persons Scheffler []; Siegel It is also possible to reject the fostering of autonomy as an educational aim Hand Assuming that the aim can be justified, how students should be helped to become autonomous or develop a conception of the good life and pursue it is of course not immediately obvious, and much philosophical ink has been spilled on the general question of how best to determine curriculum content.

One influential line of argument was developed by Paul Hirst, who argued that knowledge is essential for developing and then pursuing a conception of the good life, and because logical analysis shows, he argued, that there are seven basic forms of knowledge, the case can be made that the function of the curriculum is to introduce students to each of these forms Hirst ; see Phillips ch.

Scheffler [ —5]. In the closing decades of the twentieth century there were numerous discussions of curriculum theory, particularly from Marxist and postmodern perspectives, that offered the sobering analysis that in many educational systems, including those in Western democracies, the curriculum did indeed reflect and serve the interests of powerful cultural elites.

A closely related question is this: ought educational institutions be designed to further pre-determined social ends, or rather to enable students to competently evaluate all such ends? Scheffler argued that we should opt for the latter: we must. The function of education…is rather to liberate the mind, strengthen its critical powers, [and] inform it with knowledge and the capacity for independent inquiry. Scheffler [ ]. Third, should educational programs at the elementary and secondary levels be made up of a number of disparate offerings, so that individuals with different interests and abilities and affinities for learning can pursue curricula that are suitable?

Or should every student pursue the same curriculum as far as each is able?

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The thinking here can be explicated in terms of the analogy of an out-of-control virulent disease, for which there is only one type of medicine available; taking a large dose of this medicine is extremely beneficial, and the hope is that taking only a little—while less effective—is better than taking none at all. Medically, this is dubious, while the educational version—forcing students to work, until they exit the system, on topics that do not interest them and for which they have no facility or motivation—has even less merit. For a critique of Adler and his Paideia Proposal , see Noddings Over time, as they moved up the educational ladder it would become obvious that some had reached the limit imposed upon them by nature, and they would be directed off into appropriate social roles in which they would find fulfillment, for their abilities would match the demands of these roles.

Those who continued on with their education would eventually become members of the ruling class of Guardians. The book spurred a period of ferment in political philosophy that included, among other things, new research on educationally fundamental themes. Fair equality of opportunity entailed that the distribution of education would not put the children of those who currently occupied coveted social positions at any competitive advantage over other, equally talented and motivated children seeking the qualifications for those positions Rawls 72— Its purpose was to prevent socio-economic differences from hardening into social castes that were perpetuated across generations.

One obvious criticism of fair equality of opportunity is that it does not prohibit an educational distribution that lavished resources on the most talented children while offering minimal opportunities to others. So long as untalented students from wealthy families were assigned opportunities no better than those available to their untalented peers among the poor, no breach of the principle would occur.

Routledge philosophy guidebook to Plato and the trial of Socrates

Even the most moderate egalitarians might find such a distributive regime to be intuitively repugnant. All citizens must enjoy the same basic liberties, and equal liberty always has moral priority over equal opportunity: the former can never be compromised to advance the latter. Further, inequality in the distribution of income and wealth are permitted only to the degree that it serves the interests of the least advantaged group in society. But even with these qualifications, fair equality of opportunity is arguably less than really fair to anyone.

But surely it is relevant, given that a principle of educational justice must be responsive to the full range of educationally important goods.

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Suppose we revise our account of the goods included in educational distribution so that aesthetic appreciation, say, and the necessary understanding and virtue for conscientious citizenship count for just as much as job-related skills. An interesting implication of doing so is that the rationale for requiring equality under any just distribution becomes decreasingly clear. That is because job-related skills are positional whereas the other educational goods are not Hollis If you and I both aspire to a career in business management for which we are equally qualified, any increase in your job-related skills is a corresponding disadvantage to me unless I can catch up.

Positional goods have a competitive structure by definition, though the ends of civic or aesthetic education do not fit that structure. If you and I aspire to be good citizens and are equal in civic understanding and virtue, an advance in your civic education is no disadvantage to me. On the contrary, it is easier to be a good citizen the better other citizens learn to be.

At the very least, so far as non-positional goods figure in our conception of what counts as a good education, the moral stakes of inequality are thereby lowered. In fact, an emerging alternative to fair equality of opportunity is a principle that stipulates some benchmark of adequacy in achievement or opportunity as the relevant standard of distribution.

But it is misleading to represent this as a contrast between egalitarian and sufficientarian conceptions. Philosophically serious interpretations of adequacy derive from the ideal of equal citizenship Satz ; Anderson This was arguably true in A Theory of Justice but it is certainly true in his later work Dworkin —; Rawls The debate between adherents of equal opportunity and those misnamed as sufficientarians is certainly not over e. Further progress will likely hinge on explicating the most compelling conception of the egalitarian foundation from which distributive principles are to be inferred.

In his earlier book, the theory of justice had been presented as if it were universally valid. But Rawls had come to think that any theory of justice presented as such was open to reasonable rejection. A more circumspect approach to justification would seek grounds for justice as fairness in an overlapping consensus between the many reasonable values and doctrines that thrive in a democratic political culture. Rawls argued that such a culture is informed by a shared ideal of free and equal citizenship that provided a new, distinctively democratic framework for justifying a conception of justice.

But the salience it gave to questions about citizenship in the fabric of liberal political theory had important educational implications. How was the ideal of free and equal citizenship to be instantiated in education in a way that accommodated the range of reasonable values and doctrines encompassed in an overlapping consensus? Political Liberalism has inspired a range of answers to that question cf. Callan ; Clayton ; Bull Other philosophers besides Rawls in the s took up a cluster of questions about civic education, and not always from a liberal perspective.

As a full-standing alternative to liberalism, communitarianism might have little to recommend it. But it was a spur for liberal philosophers to think about how communities could be built and sustained to support the more familiar projects of liberal politics e. Furthermore, its arguments often converged with those advanced by feminist exponents of the ethic of care Noddings ; Gilligan One persistent controversy in citizenship theory has been about whether patriotism is correctly deemed a virtue, given our obligations to those who are not our fellow citizens in an increasingly interdependent world and the sordid history of xenophobia with which modern nation states are associated.

The controversy is related to a deeper and more pervasive question about how morally or intellectually taxing the best conception of our citizenship should be. The more taxing it is, the more constraining its derivative conception of civic education will be. Contemporary political philosophers offer divergent arguments about these matters. The need arises from the obligation of reciprocity which they like Rawls believe to be integral to citizenship. Because I must seek to cooperate with others politically on terms that make sense from their moral perspective as well as my own, I must be ready to enter that perspective imaginatively so as to grasp its distinctive content.


  • Literatur unter Wert - Kurzgeschichten für Hektiker mit Anspruch (German Edition)?
  • PHIL 311: Plato's Theaetetus (HC): Reference Materials.
  • 1. Problems in Delineating the Field;
  • Religion and common sense (1918).

Many such perspectives prosper in liberal democracies, and so the task of reciprocal understanding is necessarily onerous. Still, our actions qua deliberative citizen must be grounded in such reciprocity if political cooperation on terms acceptable to us as diversely morally motivated citizens is to be possible at all. This is tantamount to an imperative to think autonomously inside the role of citizen because I cannot close-mindedly resist critical consideration of moral views alien to my own without flouting my responsibilities as a deliberative citizen.

Civic education does not exhaust the domain of moral education, even though the more robust conceptions of equal citizenship have far-reaching implications for just relations in civil society and the family. The study of moral education has traditionally taken its bearings from normative ethics rather than political philosophy, and this is largely true of work undertaken in recent decades.

The major development here has been the revival of virtue ethics as an alternative to the deontological and consequentialist theories that dominated discussion for much of the twentieth century. The defining idea of virtue ethics is that our criterion of moral right and wrong must derive from a conception of how the ideally virtuous agent would distinguish between the two. Virtue ethics is thus an alternative to both consequentialism and deontology which locate the relevant criterion in producing good consequences or meeting the requirements of moral duty respectively.

The debate about the comparative merits of these theories is not resolved, but from an educational perspective that may be less important than it has sometimes seemed to antagonists in the debate. To be sure, adjudicating between rival theories in normative ethics might shed light on how best to construe the process of moral education, and philosophical reflection on the process might help us to adjudicate between the theories.

There has been extensive work on habituation and virtue, largely inspired by Aristotle Burnyeat ; Peters But whether this does anything to establish the superiority of virtue ethics over its competitors is far from obvious. Related to the issues concerning the aims and functions of education and schooling rehearsed above are those involving the specifically epistemic aims of education and attendant issues treated by social and virtue epistemologists.

The papers collected in Kotzee and Baehr highlight the current and growing interactions among social epistemologists, virtue epistemologists, and philosophers of education. There is, first, a lively debate concerning putative epistemic aims.