. 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.. 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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
Besides the observable properties it exhibits and the actual processes it undergoes, a thing is full of threats and promises. The dispositions or capacities of a thing — its flexibility, its inflammability, its solubility — are no less important to us than its overt behaviour, but they strike us by comparison as rather ethereal. And so we are moved to inquire whether we can bring them down to earth; whether, that is, we can explain disposition terms without any reference to (...) occult powers. (shrink)
I discuss John Henry Newman's correspondence with William Froude, F.R.S., (1810–79) and his family. Froude remained an unbeliever, and I argue that Newman's disputes with him about the ethics of belief and the relationship between religion and science not only reveal important aspects of his thought, but also anticipate modern discussions on foundationalism, the ethics of beliefs and scientism.
Rauszer and Sabalski proved in  that distributivity with respect to inﬁ- nite joins and meets is a sucient and necessary condition making the RasiowaSikorski Lemma valid in distributive lattices. The main part of their proof is a direct construction of a required ﬁlter under distributivity. In this note we show that a generalization of the result can be obtained from the Rasiowa-Sikorski Lemma for Boolean algebras by using Gornemann’s result in  instead of a direct con- ¨ struction. Suppose (...) A is a distributive lattice and Q; R 2 A f;g. We call A complete if 8M 2 Q9 M 2 A and 8N 2 R9 F N 2 A. M 2 Q is -dis if 9 M 2 A and 8a 2 A a t M = m2M. N 2 R is F -dis if 9 F N 2 A and 8a 2 A a u F N = F n2N. is called distributive if every M 2 Q is -dis and every N 2 R is F -dis. Suppose A is complete and C; D A. By rC we mean the ﬁlter in A generated by C, in particular, let r; = ; = ;. is called complete if and , where 8M 2 Q 9m 2 MrC \ D[fmg = ;) 8N 2 R 9n 2 NrC[fng \ D = ;). (shrink)
This essay examines the origin of genotype-environment interaction, or G×E. "Origin" and not "the origin" because the thesis is that there were actually two distinct concepts of G×E at this beginning: a biometric concept, or \[G \times E_B\], and a developmental concept, or \[G \times E_D \]. R. A. Fisher, one of the founders of population genetics and the creator of the statistical analysis of variance, introduced the biometric concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in (...) the biometric tradition of biology - partitioning the relative contributions of nature and nurture responsible for variation in a population. Lancelot Hogben, an experimental embryologist and also a statistician, introduced the developmental concept as he attempted to resolve one of the main problems in the developmental tradition of biology - determining the role that developmental relationships between genotype and environment played in the generation of variation. To argue for this thesis, I outline Fisher and Hogben's separate routes to their respective concepts of G × E; then these separate interpretations of G × E are drawn on to explicate a debate between Fisher and Hogben over the importance of G × E, the first installment of a persistent controversy. Finally, Fisher's \[G \times E_B\] and Hogben's \[G \times E_D \] are traced beyond their own work into mid-2Oth century population and developmental genetics, and then into the infamous IQ Controversy of the 1970s. (shrink)
Values are an important part of human existence, his society and human relations. All social, economic, political, and religious problems are in one sense is reflection of this special abstraction of human knowledge. We are living in a globalized village and thinking much about values rather than practice of it. If we define religion and spirituality we can say that religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and (...) spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things. If we think rationally we can find the major evils related to religion exiting in present society are due to lack of proper understanding of religion and spirituality. If we really know our own religions and values associated with it, we can create a beautiful world, full or love and respect for each and every human being. The proper knowledge and practice of any religion’s values can make an integrated man. In the book, The Buddha and His Dhamma, Dr. Ambedkar elucidated the significance and importance of Dhamma in human life. The Dhamma maintained purity of life, which meant abstains from lustful, evil practices. The Dhamma is a perfection of life and giving up craving. Dhamma’s righteousness means right relation of man to man in all sphere of life. The basic idea underlying religion is to create an atmosphere for the spiritual development of the individual. He said that Knowing the proper ways and means is more important than knowing the ideal. The major objective of this paper is to the study the religious philosophy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and to study how he established that religious and spiritual values enables religious people in particular and humanity at large to solve contemporary problems. (shrink)