Contemporary Educational Philosophy

All human societies, past and present, have had a vested interest in education; and some wits have claimed that teaching (at its best an educational activity) is the second oldest profession. Kant’s process of education take place in three different steps:specific care (maintenance and support), discipline (training), and instruction together with formation. Postmodern philosophers and philosophers of education challenge basic aspects of traditional philosophical theorizing by calling into question the possibility of objectivity, the neutrality of reason, the stability of meaning, and the distinction between truth and power. Thus, these thinkers, in a sense, present an anti-Platonic formula of education.

Advocates of this educational philosophy are Robert Maynard Hutchins who developed a Great Books program in 1963 and Mortimer Adler, who further developed this curriculum based on 100 great books of western civilization. Part of the explanation for this diffuse state of affairs is that, quite reasonably, many philosophers of …

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