'Anything you can do I can do better': Dialectical argument in philosophy of education

Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (3):339-355 (2009)
Abstract
Drawing upon my critical appropriation of Alasdair MacIntyre's account of the rationality of traditions, I undertake to explain and demonstrate how the competing conceptual frameworks of distinct traditions of educational inquiry and practice can be assessed through dialectical argument. To illustrate the 'method' of dialectic, I argue that the set of metaethical commitments I call 'the ethics of transcendent virtue' has important advantages for teaching courses in professional ethics over the 'constructivist-postmodern-moral-pragmatism' informing Robert J. Nash's text 'Real world' Ethics: Frameworks for Educators and Human Service Professionals. I conclude with reflections upon the conditions under which dialectical encounters among proponents of different conceptual schemes are likely to be productive.
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