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Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic SocietiesTeaching for Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities$
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Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199253668.001.0001

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LIBERAL EDUCATION: THE UNITED STATES EXAMPLE

LIBERAL EDUCATION: THE UNITED STATES EXAMPLE

Chapter:
(p.56) CHAPTER 2 LIBERAL EDUCATION: THE UNITED STATES EXAMPLE
Source:
Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies
Author(s):

K. Anthony Appiah

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253668.003.0003

Anthony Appiah’s essay on liberal education in the United States begins by identifying a distinctive feature of classical liberalism – namely, that the state must respect substantial limits with respect to its authority to impose restrictions on individuals, even for their own good. Nevertheless, Appiah points out, the primary aim of liberal education is to ‘maximize autonomy not to minimize government involvement’. Most of the essays in this volume, including Appiah’s, are attempts to address the question of what the liberal commitment to maximize personal autonomy means when it comes to the teaching of what Appiah refers to as ‘identity-related claims’. The aim of this chapter is to suggest how one might begin to think about some questions in the philosophy of education, guided by the liberal thought that education is a preparation for autonomy, and to show that this tradition is both powerful enough to help with this difficult question and rich enough to allow answers of some complexity.

Keywords:   education, liberal education, liberalism, personal autonomy, personal identity, philosophy of education, United States

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