Balance: Benefit or bromide?

Journal of Philosophy of Education 56 (4):535-546 (2022)
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Abstract

There seem to be obvious virtues to keeping a sense of balance. In this paper, I consider some examples from ordinary life and education where the pursuit of balance would appear to be a benefit. Yet I also draw upon lines of thinking from John Stuart Mill and Adam Phillips to examine whether the apparent good sense of balance can be disturbed. I show how Mill's and Phillips’ ideas extend into a consideration of the aesthetics of balance and the idea that there might be something deceptively alluring about balance. I seek to develop these lines of thinking in relation to a work of modernist literature that works to dissipate balance's beguiling allure.

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Emma Williams
University of Canterbury

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