It is technically possible to clone a human being. The result of the procedure would be a human being in its own right. Given the current level of cloning technology concerning other animals there is every reason to believe that early human clones will have shorter-than-average life-spans, and will be unusually prone to disease. In addition, they would be unusually at risk of genetic defects, though they would still, probably, have lives worth living. But with experimentation and experience, seriously unequal (...) prospects between cloned and non-cloned people should erode. We shall ignore arguments about cloning that focus on the potential for harm to the fetus or resultant human being, where harm is understood solely .. (shrink)
What is education for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught? In this compelling and controversial book, HarryBrighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that children share four fundamental interests: the ability to make their own judgements about what values to adopt; acquiring the skills that will enable them to become economically self-sufficient as adults; being exposed to a range (...) of activities and experiences that will enable them to flourish in their personal lives; and developing a sense of justice. He criticises sharply those who place the interests of the economy before those of children, and assesses the arguments for and against the controversial issues of faith schools and the teaching of patriotism. Clearly argued but provocative, On Education draws on recent examples from Britain and North America as well as famous thinkers on education such as Aristotle and John Locke. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of education and its future. (shrink)
HarryBrighouse’s essay concludes Part I of the book by taking up one aspect of the task of clarifying the role of common education, by applying it to the teaching of patriotism in public schools. He asks whether liberal and cosmopolitan values are compatible with a common education aimed at fostering patriotic attachment to the nation. He examines numerous arguments recently developed to justify fostering patriotism in common schools from a liberal–democratic perspective, and finds them all wanting. However, (...) even if liberal–democratic arguments for teaching patriotism could be found that withstand the criticisms he advances, Brighouse argues that common schools should avoid using history as the vehicle for fostering patriotic loyalty, since even the most honest, clear-sighted, unsentimental attempts to teach national history are likely to degrade and undermine the other purposes that teaching history properly has. The chapter proceeds as follows: Section 6.1, discusses briefly the justifications of patriotism and the further arguments that patriotism is something that should be taught to children in school – and in particular the argument that history is an appropriate vehicle for teaching it; Section 2 casts doubt on the arguments for patriotism and even more doubt on the idea that it should be taught; Section 6.3 argues that history is a discipline particularly inappropriate for conveying patriotic feeling; Section 6.4 concludes. (shrink)
In this essay, HarryBrighouse responds to the collection of articles in the current issue of Educational Theory, all concerned with nonideal theorizing in education. First, he argues that some form of ideal theory is indispensable for the nonideal theorizer. Brighouse then proceeds to defend Rawls against some critics of his kind of ideal theorizing by arguing that a central feature that is often misconstrued as unduly idealizing — the full compliance assumption — in fact constrains utopianism. (...) Next, he discusses each of the contributions in turn, and he concludes by sounding a warning that lack of humility is an ever-present danger for nonideal theorizers who seek to evaluate, and provide guidance for, policy and practice. Falling prey to this vice, Brighouse cautions, can seriously dent the value of nonideal scholarship. (shrink)
Some of the barriers to the realisation of equality reflect the value of respecting prerogatives people have to favour themselves. Even G.A. Cohen, whose egalitarianism is especially pervasive and demanding, says that.
Some theorists argue that rather than advocating a principle of educational equality as a component of a theory of justice in education, egalitarians should adopt a principle of educational adequacy. This paper looks at two recent attempts to show that adequacy, not equality, constitutes justice in education. It responds to the criticisms of equality by claiming that they are either unsuccessful or merely show that other values are also important, not that equality is not important. It also argues that a (...) principle of educational adequacy cannot be all there is to justice in education. (shrink)
Defends a theory of social justice for education from within an egalitarian version of liberalism. The theory involves a strong commitment to educational equality, and to the idea that children's rights include a right to personal autonomy. The book argues that school reform must always be evaluated from the perspective of social justice and applies the theory, in particular, to school choice proposals. It looks at the parental choice schemes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in England and Wales, and argues that (...) they fall short of the requirements of justice, but that not all such schemes must do so. It elaborates an abstract voucher scheme that would combine choice with justice, and offers ways by which actual choice‐based reform can be modified to meet the requirements of justice. (shrink)
According to the interest theory of rights, the primary function of rights is the protection of fundamental interests. Since children undeniably have fundamental interests that merit protection, it is perfectly sensible to attribute rights, especially welfare rights, to them. The interest theory need not be hostile to the accommodation of rights that protect agency because, at least in the case of adults, there is a strong connection between the protection of agency and the promotion of welfare. Children have welfare rights (...) similar to those of adults. But children lack the agency rights adults have because children initially lack and only gradually develop the kinds of capacities for agency that are necessary for agency rights. Children's rights to culture, religion, and free expression are ill‐conceived. (shrink)
This paper is an engagement with Equality by John Baker, Kathleen Lynch, Judy Walsh and Sara Cantillon. It identifies a dilemma for educational egalitarians, which arises within their theory of equality, arguing that sometimes there may be a conflict between advancing equality of opportunity and providing equality of respect and recognition, and equality of love care and solidarity. It argues that the latter values may have more weight in deciding what to do than traditional educational egalitarians have usually thought.
In 1990 at the Jomtein Conference in Thailand organised by UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank the 157 governments present agreed to a Declaration, the World Declaration on Education for All that signalled their commitment to achieve Education for All (EFA) by 2000. EFA was not defined succinctly, but was laid out as comprising: universal access to education services ‘of quality’; equity with regard to removing disparities ‘in access to learning opportunities’ for certain groups (girls.
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, and of the institutions which regulate schooling no less than others. Education policy, just like social policy more generally, should be guided principally by considerations of justice and only secondarily by pragmatic considerations such as what compromises must be made with existing social forces opposed to justice in order to optimize the justice of the existing institutions. But of course, in an otherwise unjust society there are sharp limits on what can be (...) done to pursue justice in any given policy arena. Justice is, furthermore, complex. It is not simply captured by identifying a single value -- say, educational equality -- because other values that are also important to justice -- like, for example, benefiting the least advantaged, or instituting the preconditions for flourishing familial relationships may, in some circumstances, conflict with that value. This makes it all the more difficult to do what I want to do in this paper -- explore a particular educational reform idea in terms of its potential contribution to (or detriment from) social justice. (shrink)
In arguing for government withdrawal from funding and regulating schooling, James Tooley claims that equality of opportunity in education implies only that all deserve an adequate minimum education. However, he concedes the 'abstract egalitarian thesis' that all should be treated with equal concern and respect. I show that this thesis indeed implies educational equality, and that Tooley's arguments against educational equality rest on a misunderstanding of the foundations of egalitarianism.
We have found that a sparse version of the claim that alienated labor is a bad thing can inform a political morality without turning that morality into one which makes more comment on people's ends than the liberal can accept. We have also seen that a modification of the ideas of alienation from our species being can play a limited role in a liberal political morality, but that the rational kernel of the critique from species alienation is already a familiar (...) part of the liberal tradition. However, the substantive view of the good life - as one which essentially involves engagement in communal ties and satisfying labor - cannot play the role which certainly many Marxists would like it to play in their critique of capitalism, at least if their critique is to be recognizably liberal. Why should it matter so much that Marxists be able to accommodate central liberal insights? It is not because a political morality has to be liberal in order to be successful in the real world: history and the contemporary world are full of examples of political views which command wide assent despite (or because of) their illiberality. But the foreseeable stages of a socialist society will be plagued by the circumstances of justice as they have been classically conceived. A socialism which is sufficiently better than capitalism to be worth the significant risk and sacrifice it is likely to require must be liberal in the sense that it can be regarded as defensible to each person who is actually subject to it. This does not require that it accommodate the greed of the greedy or the injustice of the unjust. But it does require that it not presume the unworthiness of the moral commitments of its reasonable citizens. 47. (shrink)