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A PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND THE ECONOMY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2017

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Abstract

The topics of education and the role of educational institutions in society are seldom far from the headlines, the lips of politicians, schoolteachers and parents. Discussion of education (and its associated institutions) within these forums tends to assume uncritically that its ultimate point is to benefit the economy and, by extension, empower the individual through increased prestige and material wealth. This article argues that such a conception of education is misguided and, indeed dangerous, as it estranges us from forms of thought that are frequently united with our conception of what it means to be human, alongside damaging prospects of long-term economic welfare. It is, therefore, the responsibility of our educational institutions to maintain a critical resistance to the culture of the times by ensuring that they do not merely become factories that train their students in ways purely designed to maximize economic impact and increased personal wealth.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2017 

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References

1 See especially the Platonic dialogues The Apology and Gorgias.

2 Gaita, R., A Common Humanity (Abingdon: Routledge, 2000), 242Google Scholar.

3 Rhees, R., ‘Responsibility to Society’, in Without Answers (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, 1969), 88Google Scholar.

4 Rhees, R., ‘Art and Philosophy’, in Without Answers (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, 1969), 140Google Scholar.

5 D. Matthews, ‘Oxford Survey Finds Humanities Degrees Pay’, Times Higher Education, <http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/oxford-survey-finds-humanities-degrees-pay/2005628.article> [accessed 18 November 2014].

6 R. Garner, ‘Education Secretary Nicky Morgan Tells Teenagers: Want to Keep Your Options Open? Then Do Science’, The Independent: <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/education-secretary-nicky-morgan-tells-teenagers-if-you-want-a-job-drop-humanities-9852316.html> [accessed 18 November 2014].

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A PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION: OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND THE ECONOMY
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