ERIC Number: EJ723138
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Philosophy and Education--A Symposium
Hirst, Paul; Carr, Wilfred
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v39 n4 p615-632 Nov 2005
This symposium begins with a critique by Paul Hirst of Wilfred Carr's "Philosophy and Education" ("Journal of Philosophy of Education, 2004, 38.1"), where Carr argues that philosophy of education should be concerned with practical philosophy rather than "theoretical philosophy." Hirst argues that the philosophy of education is best understood as a distinctive area of academic philosophy, in which the exercise of theoretical reason contributes critically to the development of rational educational practices and their discourse. While he acknowledges that these practices and their discourse must of their nature be directly developed in the exercise of practical reason, or phronesis, the notion of "practical philosophy" is rejected as ultimately incoherent and illusory. In his reply to Hirst's critique, Carr identifies three central claims in Hirst's argument and takes issue with each of these. He reaffirms the need to draw upon the resources afforded by the Aristotelian tradition of practical philosophy in order to identify inadequacies in our present understanding of how philosophy is related to education. He suggests that it is only through bringing their own "prejudices" into critical confrontation with this tradition that philosophers of education will be able to assess whether practical philosophy is incoherent and illusory, as Hirst claims, or whether it is indispensable to the future development of their discipline. In a rejoinder to Carr, Hirst, defends the claim that philosophy of education is a social practice concerned with developing justifiable propositional accounts of the conceptual relations, justificatory procedures and presuppositions of educational practices. He rejects the argument that this "theoretical philosophy" approach must be replaced by that of a new practical philosophy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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