NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1126226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Constructing the University: Towards a Social Philosophy of Higher Education
Barnett, Ronald
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v49 n1 p78-88 2017
Almost 40 years ago, a book appeared by J.S. Brubacher entitled "On the Philosophy of Higher Education". Today, we have neither its successor nor a sense as to what such a book might contain. The argument here is that we currently lack a recognised subfield of study that might be termed "the philosophy of higher education". The paper attempts to begin to remedy this situation by assembling the main planks of such a field, and identifying broadly the kinds of resources that might be brought together. A particular approach is argued for that builds from a recognition of the university both as institution and as idea. This approach would understand both that the university possesses a social ontology and that the university is accompanied by a widening conceptual hinterland. An undue pessimism is noted, such that the contemporary university is sometimes seen as being subject to overwhelming global forces, which underplays the university's potential as an agent. It is suggested that an adequate philosophy of higher education would seek to widen the conceptual landscape by identifying universal and imaginative concepts that can assist not merely in understanding the university or in defending the university but in changing it.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A