Mind, Reason, and Knowledge

Authored by: David Bakhurst

Handbook of Philosophy of Education

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032000053
eBook ISBN: 9781003172246
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter argues that philosophy of education stands in need of an adequate philosophy of psychology that can illuminate the nature and development of human thought and action against the background of human life and language. To achieve this, we must extricate ourselves from the familiar picture of the mind – influential since the 17th and 18th centuries – as a self-contained, self-sufficient, subjective world of thoughts and experiences set over against the external world of material things. Instead, we should adopt a more expansive conception on which our rational capacities are present in and expressed by our bodily engagement with the world and with each other. Such a view enables us to see education as more than merely the scaffolding of the natural development of children's minds, but as the formation and cultivation of their powers of reason through initiation into traditions of thought and action. The chapter explores the consequences of this view for educational theory and practice and for our conception of the ends of education.

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