Children must be taught morality. They must be taught to recognise the authority of moral standards and to understand what makes them authoritative. But there’s a problem: the content and justification of morality are matters of reasonable disagreement among reasonable people. This makes it hard to see how educators can secure children’s commitment to moral standards without indoctrinating them. -/- In A Theory of Moral Education, Michael Hand tackles this problem head on. He sets out to show that moral education (...) can and should be fully rational. It is true that many moral standards and justificatory theories are controversial, and educators have an obligation to teach these nondirectively, with the aim of enabling children to form their own considered views. But reasonable moral disagreement does not go all the way down: some basic moral standards are robustly justified, and these should be taught directively, with the aim of bringing children to recognise and understand their authority. -/- This is an original and important contribution to the philosophy of moral education, which lays a new theoretical foundation for the urgent practical task of teaching right from wrong. (shrink)
What is the future of Philosophy of education? Or as many of scholars and thinkers in this final ‘future-focused’ collective piece from the philosophy of education in a new key Series put it, what are the futures—plural and multiple—of the intersections of ‘philosophy’ and ‘education?’ What is ‘Philosophy’; and what is ‘Education’, and what role may ‘enquiry’ play? Is the future of education and philosophy embracing—or at least taking seriously—and thinking with Indigenous ethicoontoepistemologies? And, perhaps most importantly, what is that (...) ‘Future’? These debates have been located in the work of diverse scholars: from the West, from Global South, from indigenous thinkers. In this collective piece, we purposefully juxtapose diverse takes on the future of these intersections. We have given up the urge to organise, place together, separate with subheadings or connect the paragraphs that follow. Instead, we let these philosophers of education and thinkers who use philosophical texts and ideas to sit together in one long read as potentially ‘strange and unusual bedfellows’. This text urges us to understand how these scholars and thinkers perceive our educational philosophical futures, and how the work and thinking they have done on thinking about what the future of that new key in philosophy of education may look like is embedded in a much deeper and richer literature, and personal experience. (shrink)
There is an emerging consensus that to teach something as controversial is to present it as a matter on which different views are or could be held and to expound those different views as impartially as possible. This raises an important normative question that has yet to receive the attention it deserves from educational theorists: how are we to decide which topics to teach in this way? The answer suggested by Robert Dearden is that we should apply the epistemic criterion: (...) a matter should be taught as controversial when contrary views can be held on it without those views being contrary to reason. In this essay, Michael Hand aims to defend that answer. In the first part of the article he revisits Dearden’s rather thin and unsatisfactory justification for the epistemic criterion and attempts to mend its deficiencies. In the second part, Hand examines an alternative to the epistemic criterion in the area of moral education, an alternative he labels the political criterion, and explains why he thinks we should reject it. (shrink)
In this inaugural lecture, delivered at the University of Birmingham in January 2014, I sketch the outline of a theory of moral education. The theory is an attempt to resolve the tension between two thoughts widely entertained by teachers, policy-makers and the general public. The first thought is that morality must be learned: children must come to see what morality requires of them and acquire the motivation to submit to its authority. The second thought is that morality is controversial: there (...) is deep uncertainty about both the requirements of morality and the reasons to comply with them. I draw distinctions between two kinds of moral education and between two kinds of moral inquiry . I argue that some basic moral standards are robustly justified and that schools should promote subscription to these standards by means of both moral formation and directive moral inquiry. (shrink)
Should philosophy be a compulsory subject in schools? I take it as read that philosophy has general educational value: like other academic disciplines, it cultivates a range of intellectual virtues in those who study it. But that may not be a good enough reason to add it to the roster of established school subjects. The claim I defend in this article is that philosophy also has distinctive educational value: there are philosophical problems that feature prominently and pressingly in ordinary human (...) lives and that all children should be equipped by their education to tackle. Among these are the problems of justifying subscription to moral, political and religious standards. The significance of these problems for everyone is sufficient to warrant the inclusion of philosophy in the school curriculum. (shrink)
Discussion is widely held to be the pedagogical approach most appropriate to the exploration of controversial issues in the classroom, but surprisingly little attention has been given to the questions of why it is the preferred approach and how best to facilitate it. Here we address ourselves to both questions. We begin by clarifying the concept of discussion and justifying it as an approach to the teaching of controversial issues. We then report on a recent empirical study of the Perspectives (...) on Science AS-level course, focusing on what it revealed about aids and impediments to discussion of controversial ethical issues. (shrink)
R.S. Peters' arguments for the worthwhileness of theoretical activities are intended to justify education per se, on the assumption that education is necessarily a matter of initiating people into theoretical activities. If we give up this assumption, we can ask whether Peters' arguments might serve instead to justify the academic curriculum over other curricular arrangements. For this they would need to show that theoretical activities are not only worthwhile but, in some relevant sense, more worthwhile than activities of other kinds. (...) I argue that Peters' hedonistic and transcendental arguments do not show this, but that his account of theoretical activities is suggestive of an instrumental argument which might fit the bill. (shrink)
Building on Miranda Fricker’s work on epistemic injustice, Karin Murris has recently argued that children in school characteristically receive a credibility deficit based on a disparaging stereotype of children, and charged teachers with eschewing such stereotypes and committing to epistemic equality. I raise some objections to Murris’s argument.
Truth’s universal knowability entails its discovery. This threatens antirealism, which is thought to require it. Fortunately, antirealism is not committed to it. Avoiding it requires adoption (and extension) of Dag Prawitz’s position in his long-term disagreement with Michael Dummett on the notion of provability involved in intuitionism’s identification of it with truth. Antirealism (intuitionism generalized) must accommodate a notion of lost-opportunity truth (a kind of recognition-transcendent truth), and even truth consisting in the presence of unperformable verifications. Dummett’s position cannot abide (...) this, while Prawitz’s can. Antirealism’s epistemic notion of truth derives from general features of its meaning theory, not from a universal knowability principle. (shrink)
There is, on the face of it, a logical difficulty as well as a practical one about ascribing to parents both a right to give their children a religious upbringing and a duty to avoid indoctrinating them. Curiously, this logical difficulty was largely overlooked in the debate on religious upbringing and parental rights between Terence McLaughlin, Eamonn Callan and Peter Gardner in the 1980s. In this paper I set out the terms of the logical problem and propose a solution to (...) it. (shrink)
In the face of rising concerns about citizenship, national identity, diversity and belonging in Britain today, politicians from all sides of the political spectrum have looked to schools to inspire and invigorate a strong, modern sense of patriotism and common purpose, which is capable of binding people together and motivating citizens to fulfil their obligations to each other and to the state.In this timely and astute analysis, Michael Hand unpacks the claims made on both sides of the debate to assess (...) whether love of country is a defensible aim of education. Remarking on the curious failure of engagement between defenders and opponents of patriotic education, he looks beyond the usual arguments for and against, to offer original insight into whether teaching patriotic attachment can be defended on rational grounds. Rather than looking merely to the practical difficulties of cultivating common bonds without misrepresenting or distorting the country's history, Hand's tightly argued conclusion is that reasonable disagreement about the desirability of loving one's country rules out the explicit teaching of Patriotism in schools, and therefore, it should not be actively promoted but rather taught as a controversial issue in the classroom.Breaking new ground in the intellectual debates around teaching citizenship and promoting common patriotic purpose, Patriotism in Schools is an illuminating treatment of a pressing contemporary issue, which will animate and provoke debate amongst parents, teachers, students, academics, politicians and policy-makers alike. (shrink)
Religious Education (RE) currently enjoys the status of a compulsory curriculum subject in state schools in England and Wales. Though it is not part of the National Curriculum, and therefore not subject to a nationally prescribed syllabus, it is part of the basic curriculum to which all children are entitled. The question I raise in this chapter is whether RE merits this status. Is the study of religion sufficiently central to the task of preparing children for adult life to justify (...) the existence of a separate and compulsory curriculum subject? (shrink)
The ‘new school system’ described in the Schools White Paper (DfE, ) presents religious organisations with two interesting opportunities. The first is an opportunity to play a significantly enhanced role in the management of faith-based schools. The second is an opportunity to rethink quite radically the content of their curricula. In this article I advance a proposal for the consideration of religious organisations: that they take up the opportunity to develop innovative, religiously distinctive curricula whilst eschewing the activity of confessional (...) religious education. I show how non-confessional, faith-based curricula are possible and offer some suggestions about what they might include. (shrink)
The so-called knowability paradox results from Fitch's argument that if there are any unknown truths, then there are unknowable truths. This threatens recent versions of semantical antirealism, the central thesis of which is that truth is epistemic. When this is taken to mean that all truths are knowable, antirealism is thus committed to the conclusion that no truths are unknown. The correct antirealistic response to the paradox should be to deny that the fundamental thesis of the epistemic nature of truth (...) entails the knowability of all truths. Correctly understood, the antirealistic conditions on a proposition's truth do not require that the proposition possess a verification-procedure which, when executed under the given conditions, issues in an agent's recognition of truth, but merely that there be a verification-procedure which, under these conditions, takes the value true. The knowability paradox and the related idealism problem draw attention to the fact that certain propositions, those that are about verification-procedures themselves, may under certain conditions take the value true despite their unperformability under these circumstances. Thus these propositions' procedures can only be performed when the propositions are false, and they gain the appearance of antirealistic impossibility. This differs from the unperformability that antirealists object to, pertaining merely to matters of execution rather than to the logical structure of the procedures themselves. The force of antirealism's notion of epistemic truth is piecemeal, rather than consisting in a blanket characterization of truth as knowable. (shrink)
How should patriotism be handled in schools? We argue that schools cannot afford to ignore the topic, but nor are they justified in either promoting or discouraging patriotic feeling in students. The only defensible policy is for schools to adopt a stance of neutrality and teach the topic as a controversial issue. We go on to show that there is general support among British teachers and students for school neutrality on patriotism and that the currently preferred classroom practice is to (...) address patriotic ideas in the context of open discussion. We conclude with some discussion of the extensive and often hostile coverage of our research in the British press. (shrink)
This fascinating monograph tackles a well-established problem in the philosophy of education. The problem is the threat posed to the logical possibility of non-confessional religious education by the claim that religion constitutes an autonomous language-game or form of knowledge. Defenders of this claim argue that religion cannot be understood from the outside: it is impossible to impart religious understanding unless one is also prepared to impart religious belief. Michael Hand argues for two central points: first, that non-confessional religious education would (...) indeed be impossible if it were true that religion constitutes a distinct form of knowledge; and, second, that religion does not in fact constitute a distinct form of knowledge. >. (shrink)
The structure of strategies for semantical games is studied by means of a new formalism developed for the purpose. Rigorous definitions of strategy, winning strategy, truth, and falsity are presented. Non-contradiction and bivalence are demonstrated for the truth-definition. The problem of the justification of deduction is examined from this perspective. The rules of a natural deduction system are justified: they are seen to guarantee existence of a winning strategy for the defender in the semantical game for the conclusion, given winning (...) strategies for that player in the games for the premises. Finally, it is shown how semantical games and the truth-definition can be given for languages lacking individual constants. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** AZ902009 00003. (shrink)
Assuming that the issue of same-sex marriage should be discussed in schools, how should the discussion be framed? Michael Hand first distinguishes this question from the related but distinct question of whether discussion on this topic should be steered. He then examines three possible frames for discussion of same-sex marriage: the perfectionist frame, the antiperfectionist frame, and the practical accommodation frame. He defends the perfectionist frame over the two alternatives: the purpose of state involvement in marriage is to promote valuable (...) forms of intimate relationship, so the case for enabling same-sex couples to marry turns on the ethical claim that same-sex and opposite-sex intimate relationships are similarly valuable. Interrogation of this ethical claim must be central to classroom discussion of same-sex marriage. (shrink)
Adding branching quantification to a first-order language increases the expressive power of the language,without adding to its ontology. The present paper is a defense of this claim against Quine (1970) and Patton (1991).
Plato himself would be pleased at the recent emergence of a certain highly Platonic variety of platonism concerning mathematics, viz., the structuralism of Michael Resnik and Stewart Shapiro. In fact, this species of platonism is so Platonic that it is susceptible to an objection closely related to one raised against Plato by Parmenides in the dialogue of that name. This is the Third Man Argument against a view about the relation of Forms to particulars. My objection is not a TMA (...) against structuralism; the position avoids that objection, but is vulnerable to a different one precisely at the point where it avoids the TMA. The way structuralism avoids the TMA has in fact been considered, as one of Plato’s options, by at least one commentator on the Parmenides, Colin Strang, who explicitly rejects it on logical grounds. In the course of the discussion, I shall clarify the reason that I believe led Strang to reject this option, and shall modify his own statement of that reason. (shrink)
Serious difficulties attend the reading of David Hilbert's 1925 classic paper ?On the infinite?. I claim that the peculiarities of presentation plaguing certain parts of that paper, as well as of the earlier ?On the Foundations of Logic and Arithmetic? (1904), are due to a tension between two incompatible semantical approaches to numerical statements of elementary arithmetic, and accordingly two incompatible metaphysical conceptions of the natural numbers. One of these approaches is the referential, or model-theoretical one; the other is the (...) iterativist's approach. I draw out the two tendencies in these works, with more attention paid to Hilbert's iterativistic tendency because of the unfamiliarity of iterativism generally. I begin with an exposition of this view. (shrink)
Presents a self-contained introduction to logic suitable for majors and nonmajors, and can be covered entirely in a one-semester course. Natural deduction systems of sentential logic and of first-order logic, truth tables, and the basic ideas of model theory are presented without superfluous discussion.
Moral inquiry - inquiry with children and young people into the justification for subscribing to moral standards - is central to moral education and philosophical in character. The community of inquiry (CoI) method is an established and attractive approach to teaching philosophy in schools. There is, however, a problem with using the CoI method to engage pupils in moral inquiry: some moral standards should be taught directively, with the aim of bringing it about that pupils understand and accept the justification (...) for subscribing to them; but directive moral teaching is widely thought to be impermissible in the CoI. In this article I identify, and push back against, three sources of resistance to directive teaching in the CoI literature: (i) the idea that imparting moral beliefs is indoctrinatory; (ii) the idea that questions discussed in the CoI must be open; and (iii) the idea that teachers in the CoI must be philosophically self-effacing. I argue for a more expansive understanding of the CoI method - one in which there is, after all, room for directive moral teaching. (shrink)
In this rejoinder to the foregoing responses to my article ‘Moral education in the community of inquiry’, I address what I take to be the four most fundamental objections to my proposed expansion of the community of inquiry (CoI) method. My proposal is that we make room in the CoI for directive teaching of moral standards we know to be justified or unjustified, in addition to nondirective teaching of moral standards whose justificatory status is unknown. The four objections I consider (...) are: (i) that the dominant conception of the CoI method already permits directive moral teaching; (ii) that permitting directive moral teaching in the CoI would edge out other valuable kinds of inquiry; (iii) that all moral standards are controversial; and (iv) that the task of distinguishing justified and unjustified moral standards from controversial ones is unreasonably demanding. I argue that none of these objections is successful. (shrink)
_Education, Ethics and Experience_ is a collection of original philosophical essays celebrating the work of one of the most influential philosophers of education of the last 40 years. Richard Pring’s substantial body of work has addressed topics ranging from curriculum integration to the comprehensive ideal, vocational education to faith schools, professional development to the privatisation of education, moral seriousness to the nature of educational research. The twelve essays collected here explore and build on Pring’s treatment of topics that are central (...) to the field of philosophy of education and high on the agenda of education policy-makers. The essays are by no means uncritical: some authors disagree sharply with Pring; others see his arguments as useful but incomplete, in need of addition or amendment. But all acknowledge their intellectual debt to him and recognise him as a giant on whose shoulders they stand. This book will be a welcome and lively read for educational academics, researchers and students of Educational Studies and Philosophy. (shrink)
The present paper is a response to Hugh Lehman’s “Intuitionism and Platonism on Infinite Totalities,” which appeared in this journal in 1983. I think that Lehman has attributed to the intuitionist a position which is not that of intuitionism, and hence that his criticisms of what he takes to be the intuitionist’s objections to the classical notion of infinity carry no weight against the intuitionist position.