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ERIC Number: EJ1075029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
How the West Was One: The Western as Individualist, the African as Communitarian
Metz, Thaddeus
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v47 n11 p1175-1184 2015
There is a kernel of truth in the claim that Western philosophy and practice of education is individualistic; theory in Euro-America tends to prize properties that are internal to a human being, such as her autonomy, rationality, knowledge, pleasure, desires, self-esteem and self-realisation, and education there tends to adopt techniques focused on the individual placed at some distance from others. What is striking about other philosophical-educational traditions in the East and the South is that they are typically much more communitarian. I argue that since geographical terms such as "Western", "African" and the like are best construed as picking out properties that are salient in a region, it is fair to conclude that the Western is individualist and that the African is communitarian. What this means is that if I am correct about a noticeable contrast between philosophies of education typical in the West and in sub-Saharan Africa, and if there are, upon reflection, attractive facets of communitarianism, then those in the West and in societies influenced by it should in some real sense become less Western, in order to take them on.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A