Education, Knowledge, and Truth: Beyond the Postmodern Impasse

Education, Knowledge, and Truth: Beyond the Postmodern Impasse

Education, Knowledge, and Truth: Beyond the Postmodern Impasse

Education, Knowledge, and Truth: Beyond the Postmodern Impasse

Synopsis

Seeking to reinstate the importance of knowledge, truth and curriculum in contemporary intellectual debate, this book fills a major gap in the literature and greatly advances an exciting area of research.

Excerpt

Epistemology in the new philosophy of education

It is beyond serious dispute that a large role in the development of that analytical revolution in educational philosophy which swept through the English speaking world in the sixth and seventh decades of the twentieth century was played by British philosophers-notably those influenced by the seminal work of Richard Peters at the London Institute of Education. With hindsight it is also fairly clear, I suppose, why the United Kingdom was singularly well placed to host any such development in what is no doubt a fairly recherché branch of academic enquiry. First, Britain-like other western European countries-was faced with a huge task of economic reconstruction following the devastatation of a terrible modern war. But, after a relatively short period of austerities, a new climate of social and economic optimism emerged from the post-war settlement emphasizing the potential of education for social and economic progress and the need for a better educated, perhaps all-graduate, teaching workforce; in turn, this indicated some overhaul of existing courses of professional education for teachers embodying a significantly more rigorous and critical basis for professional educational reflection. Thus, armed with recently forged tools of modern analytical philosophy-well tested, so it seemed, in the fires of mainstream philosophizing-Peters and associates stepped into the breach to dispel the confusion they took to be characteristic of received educational theorizing.

This is not to deny or belittle broadly similar movements elsewhere; there was, for example, important new American work in the philosophy of education-under the leadership, most notably, of Israel Scheffler-which was, in terms of insight, analytical rigour and influence, easily of equal quality to that of Peters and his followers. But there were also significant differences.

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