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Education's EpistemologyRationality, Diversity, and Critical Thinking$
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Harvey Siegel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190682675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190682675.001.0001

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Education as Initiation into the Space of Reasons

Education as Initiation into the Space of Reasons

(p.20) 2 Education as Initiation into the Space of Reasons
Education's Epistemology

Harvey Siegel

Oxford University Press

A long tradition in the philosophy of education identifies education’s most fundamental aim and ideal as that of the fostering or cultivating of rationality. This chapter relates this tradition in philosophy of education to recent work, inspired by Wilfrid Sellars, on “the space of reasons.” I briefly lay out Sellars’ notion and discuss its place in the work of some of those he influenced, especially John McDowell. I next address recent work in philosophy of education that suggests that there is a tension between Sellars’ notion and the traditional educational ideal, or that the Sellarsian view as developed by McDowell resolves outstanding difficulties with my version of the traditional view. I argue that there is less tension than some of my critics suggest, and that the Sellarsian notion is compatible with the traditional view, but that it leaves out an important aspect of that view that should not be lost.

Keywords:   education, initiation, John McDowell, naturalism, normativity, reasons, rationality, Wilfrid Sellars, space of reasons

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