A new understanding of Kant’s theory of a priori knowledge and his natural philosophy emerges from Jeffrey Edwards’s mature and penetrating study. In the Third Analogy of Experience, Kant argues for the existence of a dynamical plenum in space. This argument against empty space demonstrates that the dynamical plenum furnishes an a priori necessary condition for our experience and knowledge of an objective world. Such an a priori existence proof, however, transgresses the limits Kant otherwise places on transcendental arguments (...) in the _Critique of Pure Reason_ because it establishes a _material_ transcendental condition of possible experience. This finding motivates Edwards to examine the broader context of Kant’s views about matter, substance, causal influence, and physical aether in connection with the developmental history of his theory of transcendental idealism. Against the backdrop of early modern metaphysics and contemporaneous physical theory, Edwards explicates the origins of the Third Analogy in Kant’s early work on the metaphysics of nature. The argument against empty space presented in the Third Analogy reveals a central aspect of Kant’s transcendental theory of experience that Edwards explains lucidly. By clarifying the epistemological standpoint at issue in the Third Analogy, he shows that the fundamental revisions to which Kant subjects his theory of knowledge in the _Opus postumum_ not only originate in his precritical metaphysics of nature but are developments of an argument central to the _Critique of Pure Reason_ itself. Edwards’s work is important to scholars working in the history of philosophy and the history and philosophy of science, as well as to Kant specialists. (shrink)
This book presents Robert S. Hartman’s formal theory of value and critically examines many other twentieth century value theorists in its light, including A.J. Ayer, Kurt Baier, Brand Blanshard, Paul Edwards, Albert Einstein, William K. Frankena, R.M. Hare, Nicolai Hartmann, Martin Heidegger, G.E. Moore, P.H. Nowell-Smith, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Charles Stevenson, Paul W. Taylor, Stephen E. Toulmin, and J.O. Urmson.
. Is R.S. Peters' way of mentioning women in his texts detrimental to philosophy of education? Some considerations and questions. Ethics and Education: Vol. 7, Creating spaces, pp. 291-302. doi: 10.1080/17449642.2013.767002.
This article aims to highlight why R. S. Peters' conceptual analysis of ‘education’ was such an important contribution to the normative field of philosophy of education. In the article, I do the following: 1) explicate Peters' conception of philosophy of education as a field of philosophy and explain his approach to the philosophical analysis of concepts; 2) emphasize several (normative) features of Peters' conception of education, while pointing to a couple of oversights; and 3) suggest how Peters' analysis might be (...) used to reinvigorate a conversation on one central educational aim—that of how we might educate citizens for the 21st century. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, which is the first of two to examine the ideas of R. S. Peters on moral education, consideration is given to his justificatory arguments found in Ethics and Education. Here he employs presupposition arguments to show to what anyone engaging in moral discourse is committed. The result is a group of procedural principles which are recommended to be employed in moral education. This article is an attempt to examine the presupposition arguments Peters employs, to comment on (...) the procedural principles he believes are presupposed, and to consider the strength of the presupposition argument. My conclusion is that Peters's arguments fail to establish the conclusion he arrives at, and that any gains from the form of argument he uses are hollow. (shrink)
I Once gave a series of talks to a group of psychoanalysts who had trained together and was rather struck by the statement made by one of them that, psychologically speaking, ‘reason’ means saying ‘No’ to oneself. Plato, of course, introduced the concept of ‘reason’ in a similar way in The Republic with the case of the thirsty man who is checked in the satisfaction of his thirst by reflection on the outcome of drinking. But Plato was also so impressed (...) by man's ability to construct mathematical systems by reasoning that he called it the divine element of the soul. And what has this ability to do with that of saying ‘No’ to oneself? And what have either of these abilities to do with the disposition to be impartial which is intimately connected with our notion of a reasonable man, or with what David Hume called a ‘wonderful and unintelligible instinct’ in our souls by means of which men are able to make inferences from past to future? It must readily be admitted that there are few surface similarities between the uses of ‘reason’ in these contexts. No obvious features protrude which might be fastened on as logically necessary conditions for the use of the term ‘reason’. But beneath the surface there may be lurking common notions that are, or can be, of importance in our lives. To make them explicit is to give structure and substance to what is often called ‘the life of reason’ and to show that this is not inconsistent with a life of passion as is often thought. This seems eminently worth attempting at a time when many people seem hostile to reason. For those who demand instant gratification, who adopt some existentialist stance, who cultivate violence or mystical experience, or who merely do what others do, are all, in various ways, resisting the claims of reason on them. And what they are resisting is not just the demand that they should reflect and calculate; it is also the influence of passions and sentiments that underlie a form of life. (shrink)
R. S. Peters never explicitly talks about wisdom as being an aim of education. He does, however, in numerous places, emphasize that education is of the whole person and that, whatever else it might be about, it involves the development of knowledge and understanding. Being educated, he claims, is incompatible with being narrowly specialized. Moreover, he argues, education enables a person to have a different perspective on things, ?to travel with a different view? [Peters, R. S. (1967). What is an (...) educational process? In R. S. Peters (Ed.), The concept of education (pp. 1?23). Routledge and Kegan Paul]. In asserting this about education, Peters has more in common with another great English educator, John Henry, Cardinal Newman, than one might expect, given they are separated by about a century and start from different philosophical perspectives, namely Kant to a significant degree in the former and Aristotle in the latter. Both nevertheless acknowledge the importance of reason and its development in any education worthy of the name. I will argue that in describing the ?educated person? Peters is not far from the view of Newman, who saw education as being about the ?enlargement of mind?. Although Newman hesitates to call ?enlargement of mind? wisdom, and Peters does not use either term, there are good grounds for proposing that in distinguishing between education and training, and in asserting education is moral education because it is concerned to improve persons, Peters acknowledges the higher purposes of education and hence, we can add, its connection with wisdom. Significantly, what such a reading of Peters emphasizes is his insistence on the intrinsic value of education, a view seemingly lost in modern market-driven conceptions of education. (shrink)
R. S. Peters never explicitly talks about wisdom as being an aim of education. He does, however, in numerous places, emphasize that education is of the whole person and that, whatever else it might be about, it involves the development of knowledge and understanding. Being educated, he claims, is incompatible with being narrowly specialized. Moreover, he argues, education enables a person to have a different perspective on things, ‘to travel with a different view’ [Peters, R. S.. What is an educational (...) process? In R. S. Peters, The concept of education. Routledge and Kegan Paul]. In asserting this about education, Peters has more in common with another great English educator, John Henry, Cardinal Newman, than one might expect, given they are separated by about a century and start from different philosophical perspectives, namely Kant to a significant degree in the former and Aristotle in the latter. Both nevertheless acknowledge the importance of reason and its development in any education worthy of the name. I will argue that in describing the ‘educated person’ Peters is not far from the view of Newman, who saw education as being about the ‘enlargement of mind’. Although Newman hesitates to call ‘enlargement of mind’ wisdom, and Peters does not use either term, there are good grounds for proposing that in distinguishing between education and training, and in asserting education is moral education because it is concerned to improve persons, Peters acknowledges the higher purposes of education and hence, we can add, its connection with wisdom. Significantly, what such a reading of Peters emphasizes is his insistence on the intrinsic value of education, a view seemingly lost in modern market-driven conceptions of education. (shrink)
In his 1973 paper ?The Justification of Education? R.S. Peters aspired to give a non-instrumental justification of education. Ever since, his so-called ?transcendental argument? has been under attack and most critics conclude that it does not work. They have, however, thrown the baby away with the bathwater, when they furthermore concluded that Peters? justificatory project itself is futile. This article takes another look at Peters? justificatory project. As against a Kantian interpretation, it proposes an axiological-perfectionist interpretation to bring out the (...) permanent importance of this project and suggests some possible strategies for its successful execution. (shrink)
The concept of respect plays a central role in several recent attempts to re-actualise the programme of a critical social theory. In Axel Honneth's most prominent version of that concept, respect is closely tied to the sphere of law, and it is limited to the recognition of a Kantian-type moral autonomy of the individual. So interpreted, the concept of respect can only have a very limited application in the field of education, where concern for the particular desires, intentions and beliefs (...) of mostly immature persons is at stake.However, more than forty years ago R. S. Peters did develop an extended concept of respect as a central component in education. This concept focuses exactly on those desires, intentions and beliefs, instead of on the very demanding capability of practical reasoning orientated towards the Kantian Categorical Imperative. My task in this paper is to explore the potential of Peters' concept of respect for the identification and description of educational pathologies and ultimately for the founding of a critical theory of education. (shrink)
This article examines the work of R. S. Peters on moral development and moral education, as represented in his papers collected under that name, pointing out that these writings have been relatively neglected. It approaches these writings through the lens of the ‘familiar story’ that philosophical work on this topic switched during, roughly, the 1980s from an emphasis on rational principles to an emphasis on virtues and care. Starting from what Peters called ‘the paradox of moral education’—roughly, that a rational (...) morality must be developed in part through habit—the article discusses not only Peters' rational morality of principles and rules but also elements of his thought concerning virtues and care. Running through the discussion is the question of whether Peters, in drawing for instance on Aristotle as well as Kohlberg, is attempting to combine incompatible ideas. Against this, it is suggested that in reading Peters now we can learn from his explicit claim that we need a pluralistic, not a monolithic, approach to moral development and moral education. (shrink)
The contribution of philosophical ethics to the development of a just conception of education becomes increasingly complex under modern conditions of democratic pluralism. This is because the justification of moral policies for education faces the skeptical challenge of showing how the substantive moral principles upon which a policy rests do not arbitrarily privilege one culturally situated conception of justice over others. In this essay, Christopher Martin argues that this challenge highlights how any legitimate moral point of view on education requires (...) public justification, where a valid moral policy must be demonstrated to be worthy of recognition in a public setting and justified through the reciprocal exchange of reasons. He develops the scope and nature of public justification through an analysis of R.S. Peters’s Ethics and Education and the work of Jürgen Habermas. Both Peters and Habermas argue that public justification entails necessary and unavoidable presuppositions of practical reason, presuppositions that form the basis of a procedural theory of moral justification. Martin discusses the implications of such a procedural approach for the development of educational policy. (shrink)
This article aims to highlight why R. S. Peters' conceptual analysis of ‘education’ was such an important contribution to the normative field of philosophy of education. In the article, I do the following: 1) explicate Peters' conception of philosophy of education as a field of philosophy and explain his approach to the philosophical analysis of concepts; 2) emphasize several features of Peters' conception of education, while pointing to a couple of oversights; and 3) suggest how Peters' analysis might be used (...) to reinvigorate a conversation on one central educational aim—that of how we might educate citizens for the 21st century. (shrink)
_Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics and the Aims of Education_ reassesses British philosopher Richard Stanley Peters’ educational writings by examining them against the most recent developments in philosophy and practice. Critically reassesses R. S. Peters, a philosopher who had a profound influence on a generation of educationalists Brings clarity to a number of key educational questions Exposes mainstream, orthodox arguments to sympathetic critical scrutiny.
This article will begin by examining the extent to which R. S. Peters merited the charge of analytic philosopher. His background in social psychology allowed him to become more pragmatic and grounded in social conventions and ordinary language than the analytic philosophers associated with empiricism, and his gradual shift from requiring internal consistency to developing a notion of ?reasonableness?, in which reason could be tied to passion, grounded him in an idiosyncratic notion of ethics which included compassion and virtue as (...) well as reason. I describe his position on ethics as a systemic one of principled pragmatism. (shrink)
This introduction to this special issue offers an overview of R. S. Peters' seminal role in the development of modern philosophy of education, acknowledging the originality and range of his work, and indicating his continuing importance to the field. It explains the structure and organisation of the collection and provides a rationale for this body of work as a rereading of Peters in the light of current concerns.
John Dewey adopted a child-centered point of view to illuminate aspects of education he believed teacher-centered educators were neglecting, but he did so self-consciously and self-critically, because he also believed that ‘a new order of conceptions leading to new modes of practice’ was needed. Dewey introduced his new conceptions in The Child and the Curriculum and later and more fully in Democracy and Education. Teachers at his Laboratory School in Chicago developed the new modes of practice. In this article, I (...) explore Dewey’s new conception of education and compare it with the apparently opposed views of R. S. Peters and Paulo Freire. In doing so, I show that, despite their criticisms of Dewey, whether explicit or implicit, these influential philosophers, representing quite different traditions in philosophy of education were in substantial agreement with him. I also show that, despite our own differences, as important as they are, seeing teachers and learners at work in a rapidly changing society, now on a global scale, in classrooms which are also changing, driven largely by new technologies, the conception of education Dewey, Peters, and Freire developed can provide us with the foundation we need to understand the changing teacher–learner relationship and the purposes their shared activities serve. (shrink)
At the beginning of Book II of the Republic , Glaucon and Adeimantus ask Socrates to tell them what it is to be just or unjust, and why a man should be the former. Socrates suggests in reply that they consider first what it is for a polis to be just or unjust—a polis is bigger than an individual, he says, so its justice should be more readily visible. Now if we were to view in imagination a polis coming into (...) existence, he goes on, we should see also its justice and injustice coming into existence, and this might help us to discover what these qualities are. (shrink)