Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1071-1093 (2018)

Gina Schouten
Harvard University
Several philosophers of education argue that schooling should facilitate students’ development of autonomy. Such arguments fall into two main categories: Student-centered arguments support autonomy education to help enable students to lead good lives; Public-goods-centered arguments support autonomy education to develop students into good citizens. Critics challenge the legitimacy of autonomy education—of the state imposing a schooling curriculum aimed at making children autonomous. In this paper, I offer a unified solution to the challenges of legitimacy that both arguments for autonomy education face. I first defend a particular construal of liberal legitimacy, and then consider each legitimacy challenge in light of that construal. I argue that the legitimacy challenges confronting both types of argument can be overcome. Further, I explain why we should pursue both arguments, rather than resting the entire case for autonomy education on one or the other. I conclude that each argument—if it can justify autonomy education at all—can justify autonomy education consistent with the requirements of liberal democratic legitimacy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1071-1
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: 72,577
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

Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.C. L. Ten - 2003 - Mind 112 (447):563-566.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On the Duty to Be an Attention Ecologist.Tim Aylsworth & Clinton Castro - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (1):1-22.
Autonomy Education Beyond Borders.Danielle Zwarthoed - 2020 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 12 (1):100-120.
The Demise of Education.Doron Yosef-Hassidim - 2021 - Philosophy of Education 77 (1):111-125.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Multicultural Education as Fostering Individual Autonomy.Michele S. Moses - 1997 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 16 (4):373-388.
Compulsory Autonomy‐Promoting Education.Anders Schinkel - 2010 - Educational Theory 60 (1):97-116.
Compulsory Autonomy-Promoting Education.Anders Schinkel - 2010 - Educational Theory 60 (1):97-116.
Liberalism and Education.Peter Loveday de Marneffe - 1989 - Dissertation, Harvard University
Forbidden Ways of Life.Ben Colburn - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):618-629.
Education for Autonomy and Open-Mindedness in Diverse Societies.Rebecca M. Taylor - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (14):1326-1337.
The Autonomy of the Political.Joshua Flaherty - 2003 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Heteronomous Citizenship: Civic Virtue and the Chains of Autonomy.Lucas Swaine - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (1):73-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
62 ( #187,828 of 2,533,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #261,212 of 2,533,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes