Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (2):24-63 (2013)

Authors
Kyla Ebels-Duggan
Northwestern University
Abstract
I argue that political liberals should not support the monopoly of a single educational approach in state sponsored schools. Instead, they should allow reasonable citizens latitude to choose the worldview in which their own children are educated. I begin by defending a particular conception of political liberalism, and its associated requirement of public reason, against the received interpretation. I argue that the values of respect and civic friendship that motivate the public reason requirement do not support the common demand that citizens “bracket” their comprehensive commitments in politics. Rather, citizens should seek to enact policies the justification of which is compatible with the truth of their fellow reasonable citizens’ worldviews. Next I argue that no single educational approach can meet this standard of justification. Many believe that state sponsored education in a pluralist, liberal society ought to present multiple worldviews in a neutral way. I argue that this aspiration is unrealizable, and no other educational model will plausibly meet the justificatory demand. Finally, I address two objections to my favored alternative: that it may allow for the inculcation of disrespect, and that it violates children’s autonomy. Against the first, I claim that political liberals have no grounds for thinking that reasonable citizens will seek to inculcate disrespect. Finally, I argue that there is no conception of autonomy that can sustain the second.
Keywords political liberalism  state-sponsored education  worldview
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References found in this work BETA

The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.
Collected Papers.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Civic Education: Political or Comprehensive?Elizabeth Edenberg - 2016 - In Johannes Drerup, Gunter Graf, Christoph Schickhardt & Gottfried Schweiger (eds.), Justice, Education, and the Politics of Childhood: Challenges and Perspectives. pp. 187-206.

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