Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, and of the institutions which regulate schooling no less than others. Education policy, just like social policy more generally, should be guided principally by considerations of justice and only secondarily by pragmatic considerations such as what compromises must be made with existing social forces opposed to justice in order to optimize the justice of the existing institutions. But of course, in an otherwise unjust society there are sharp limits on what can be (...) done to pursue justice in any given policy arena. Justice is, furthermore, complex. It is not simply captured by identifying a single value -- say, educational equality -- because other values that are also important to justice -- like, for example, benefiting the least advantaged, or instituting the preconditions for flourishing familial relationships may, in some circumstances, conflict with that value. This makes it all the more difficult to do what I want to do in this paper -- explore a particular educational reform idea in terms of its potential contribution to (or detriment from) social justice. (shrink)
In my contribution today I want to talk about the place of private schooling in a society devoted to educational justice. I should say at the outset that although there are no principled reasons for opposing private schooling - certainly none in favour of the idea that the state should have a monopoly on provision - I do not share the enthusiasm that many of today's speakers have shown for private schools. Whether or not they are consistent with a just (...) distribution of schooling is a highly contingent matter. (shrink)
It is technically possible to clone a human being. The result of the procedure would be a human being in its own right. Given the current level of cloning technology concerning other animals there is every reason to believe that early human clones will have shorter-than-average life-spans, and will be unusually prone to disease. In addition, they would be unusually at risk of genetic defects, though they would still, probably, have lives worth living. But with experimentation and experience, seriously unequal (...) prospects between cloned and non-cloned people should erode. We shall ignore arguments about cloning that focus on the potential for harm to the fetus or resultant human being, where harm is understood solely .. (shrink)
Some of the barriers to the realisation of equality reflect the value of respecting prerogatives people have to favour themselves. Even G.A. Cohen, whose egalitarianism is especially pervasive and demanding, says that.
Some theorists argue that rather than advocating a principle of educational equality as a component of a theory of justice in education, egalitarians should adopt a principle of educational adequacy. This paper looks at two recent attempts to show that adequacy, not equality, constitutes justice in education. It responds to the criticisms of equality by claiming that they are either unsuccessful or merely show that other values are also important, not that equality is not important. It also argues that a (...) principle of educational adequacy cannot be all there is to justice in education. (shrink)
This paper is an engagement with Equality by John Baker, Kathleen Lynch, Judy Walsh and Sara Cantillon. It identifies a dilemma for educational egalitarians, which arises within their theory of equality, arguing that sometimes there may be a conflict between advancing equality of opportunity and providing equality of respect and recognition, and equality of love care and solidarity. It argues that the latter values may have more weight in deciding what to do than traditional educational egalitarians have usually thought.
In a period of rapid internationalization of trade and increased labor mobility, is it relevant for nations to think about their moral obligations to others? Do national boundaries have fundamental moral significance, or do we have moral obligations to foreigners that are equal to our obligations to our compatriots? The latter position is known as cosmopolitanism, and this volume brings together a number of distinguished political philosophers and theorists to explore cosmopolitanism: what it consists in, and the positive case which (...) can be made for it. Their essays provide a comprehensive overview of both the current state of the debate and the alternative visions of cosmopolitanism with which we can move forward, and they will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, political theory, and law. (shrink)
In 1990 at the Jomtein Conference in Thailand organised by UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank the 157 governments present agreed to a Declaration, the World Declaration on Education for All that signalled their commitment to achieve Education for All (EFA) by 2000. EFA was not defined succinctly, but was laid out as comprising: universal access to education services ‘of quality’; equity with regard to removing disparities ‘in access to learning opportunities’ for certain groups (girls.
In arguing for government withdrawal from funding and regulating schooling, James Tooley claims that equality of opportunity in education implies only that all deserve an adequate minimum education. However, he concedes the 'abstract egalitarian thesis' that all should be treated with equal concern and respect. I show that this thesis indeed implies educational equality, and that Tooley's arguments against educational equality rest on a misunderstanding of the foundations of egalitarianism.
We have found that a sparse version of the claim that alienated labor is a bad thing can inform a political morality without turning that morality into one which makes more comment on people's ends than the liberal can accept. We have also seen that a modification of the ideas of alienation from our species being can play a limited role in a liberal political morality, but that the rational kernel of the critique from species alienation is already a familiar (...) part of the liberal tradition. However, the substantive view of the good life - as one which essentially involves engagement in communal ties and satisfying labor - cannot play the role which certainly many Marxists would like it to play in their critique of capitalism, at least if their critique is to be recognizably liberal. Why should it matter so much that Marxists be able to accommodate central liberal insights? It is not because a political morality has to be liberal in order to be successful in the real world: history and the contemporary world are full of examples of political views which command wide assent despite (or because of) their illiberality. But the foreseeable stages of a socialist society will be plagued by the circumstances of justice as they have been classically conceived. A socialism which is sufficiently better than capitalism to be worth the significant risk and sacrifice it is likely to require must be liberal in the sense that it can be regarded as defensible to each person who is actually subject to it. This does not require that it accommodate the greed of the greedy or the injustice of the unjust. But it does require that it not presume the unworthiness of the moral commitments of its reasonable citizens. 47. (shrink)
Most of the estimated 855 million people in the world (one sixth of the population) without access to schooling are women and girls. Two thirds of the 110 million school age children not in school are girls (UNGEI, 2002). This injustice has been a focus of attempts at coordinated international policy interventions since the 1990s, sometimes loosely referred to as the Education for All (EFA) movement. The first of the millennium development targets - gender equity in education - is supposed (...) to be reached by 2005, but it is widely acknowledged that it will be missed. A number of different social theories underpin the EFA policies. By the late 1990s a widespread consensus was emerging that the concept of rights provided a fruitful theoretical, political and policy way forward on this issues. Policy documents and declarations took on a language of rights, which supplanted earlier ideas of basic needs and gender interests. In these documents rights appeared isomorphic with the more philosophically developed versions of basic needs and gender interests in the work on capabilities undertaken by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. (shrink)