Liberalism and the Justification of Public Education

Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada) (1994)

Although contemporary liberal political philosophy does not provide an explicit account of the nature and value of public education, it nevertheless contains the moral and conceptual resources to do so. In this dissertation, I develop a specifically liberal justification of public education by examining the relationships which obtain between civic virtue, cultural membership, education and citizenship--relationships which are at the core of liberal political morality. I analyse how each of these concepts relates to our most fundamental ethical interests, and specifically our essential interest in living a truly good life. The central claim of the dissertation is that education is the pre-eminent value for the realization of a liberal citizenry. That is, I argue that education is a necessary condition of what is required for citizens to live lives of true meaning and worth, to live lives that are good in fact. Education is thus a "primary good"--an all-purpose means for the living of a good life--and ought to be recognized as such by liberal theories of justice and equality. By granting education status as a "primary good" within a liberal theory of justice and equality, liberals would be in a position to articulate a powerful and compelling justification of public education, a vital project for contemporary liberal political morality
Keywords Education   Education and state   Educational equalization   Liberalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0315902892
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,141
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Non-Cognitive Challenge to a Liberal Egalitarian Education.Jennifer M. Morton - 2011 - Theory and Research in Education 9 (3):233-250.
Liberalism, Multiculturalism, and Education.Robert C. Reich - 1998 - Dissertation, Stanford University
Moral Education in the Liberal State.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2013 - Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (2):24-63.
The Subversive Nature of Liberal Education.Jim Shelton - 2010 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 17 (2):25-29.
Political Liberalism and Citizenship Education.Blain Neufeld - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):781-797.
A Politically Liberal Conception of Civic Education.Barry L. Bull - 2008 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 27 (6):449-460.
The Conservative Limits of Liberal Education.Charles W. Harvey - 2010 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 17 (2):30-36.
He Formation of Liberal Education in England and Scotland.Heinz Rhyn - 1999 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 18 (1):5-14.
Educating for Life.Peter J. Mehl - 2010 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 17 (2):105-118.


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes