Philosophy and education—a symposium

Journal of Philosophy of Education 39 (4):615–632 (2005)
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This symposium begins with a critique by Paul Hirst of Wilfred Carr's ‘Philosophy and Education’(Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2004, 38.1), where Carr argues that philosophy of education should be concerned with ‘practical philosophy’ rather than ‘theoretical philosophy’. Hirst argues that the philosophy of education is best understood as a distinctive area of academic philosophy, in which the exercise of theoretical reason contributes critically to the development of rational educational practices and their discourse. While he acknowledges that these practices and their discourse must of their nature be directly developed in the exercise of practical reason, or phronesis, the notion of ‘practical philosophy’ is rejected as ultimately incoherent and illusory. In his reply to Hirst's critique, Carr identifies three central claims in Hirst's argument and takes issue with each of these. He reaffirms the need to draw upon the resources afforded by the Aristotelian tradition of practical philosophy in order to identify inadequacies in our present understanding of how philosophy is related to education. He suggests that it is only through bringing their own ‘prejudices’ into critical confrontation with this tradition that philosophers of education will be able to assess whether practical philosophy is incoherent and illusory, as Hirst claims, or whether it is indispensable to the future development of their discipline. In a rejoinder to Carr, Hirst, defends the claim that philosophy of education is a social practice concerned with developing justifiable propositional accounts of the conceptual relations, justificatory procedures and presuppositions of educational practices. He rejects the argument that this ‘theoretical philosophy’ approach must be replaced by that of a new ‘practical philosophy’.



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Citations of this work

Virtue Epistemology and the Philosophy of Education.James Macallister - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 46 (2):251-270.
Education for metaphysical animals.David Bakhurst - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 56 (6):812–826.
Education(al) Research, Educational Policy-Making and Practice.Charles Clark - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (1):37-57.
Troubled theory in the debate between Hirst and Carr.Fiachra Long - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (1):133-147.
Troubled Theory in the Debate between Hirst and Carr.Fiachra Long - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (1):133-147.

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References found in this work

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
Ethics and education.Richard Stanley Peters - 1966 - London,: Allen & Unwin.
The logic of education.Paul Heywood Hirst - 1970 - London,: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Edited by R. S. Peters.

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