Bertrand Russell’s essay addresses many issues concerning philosophy.

This belief led to his theory of forms and became an essential part of his philosophy....

The chapters in this book were written in the twenty-eight years following H. L. A. Hart's inaugural lecture in 1953 as Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford. Originally published in England, the United States, and elsewhere, in many different journals and books, these chapters cover a wide range of topics. They include Professor Hart's first attempt to demonstrate the relevance of linguistic philosophy to jurisprudence, and his first defence of the form of legal positivism later developed in his Concept of Law; his studies of the distinctive teaching of American and Scandinavian jurisprudence; ...

It should be appended here that it is not only “external”world events that have stimulated this body of work; events internalto a number of democratic societies also have been significant. Tocite one example that is prominent in the literature in North Americaat least, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling (Wisconsinv. Yoder) in which members of the Amish sect were allowed towithdraw their children from public schools after the eighthgrade—for, it had been argued, any deeper education wouldendanger the existence of the group and its culture. In assessing thisdecision—as of course philosophers have frequently done (see,for example, Kymlicka 1995)—a balance has to be achievedbetween (i) the interest of civic society in having an informed,well-educated, participatory citizenry; (ii) the interest of the Amishas a group in preserving their own culture; and (iii) the interests ofthe Amish children, who (according to some at least) have a right todevelop into autonomous individuals who can make reflective decisionsfor themselves about the nature of the life they wish to lead. Theseare issues that fall squarely in the domain covered by the worksmentioned above.

The chapters in this book were written in the twenty-eight years following H. L. A. Hart's inaugural lecture in 1953 as Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford. Originally published in England, the United States, and elsewhere, in many different journals and books, these chapters cover a wide range of topics. They include Professor Hart's first attempt to demonstrate the relevance of linguistic philosophy to jurisprudence, and his first defence of the form of legal positivism later developed in his Concept of Law; his studies of the distinctive teaching of American and Scandinavian jurisprudence; a general survey of the problems of legal philosophy; and an examination of three different attempts to provide a foundation for basic human rights or liberties, and of the notion of ‘social solidarity’ as a justification for the enforcement of conventional morality. Five of the chapters are devoted to the work of Jhering, Kelsen, Holmes, and Lon Fuller. The final chapter brings a philosophical distinction to bear on the solution to a perplexity which has long plagued lawyers, concerning the notion of an attempt to commit a crime. The Introduction gives an account of the main influences on Professor Hart's work; considers the main criticisms of it; and identifies the points where he now considers he was mistaken.

By the 1980s, the rather simple if not simplistic ordinary languageanalysis practiced most often in philosophy of education was reelingunder the attack from the combination of forces sketched above, butthe analytic spirit lived on in the form of rigorous work done inother specialist areas of philosophy—work that trickled out andtook philosophy of education in rich newdirections. Technically-oriented epistemology, philosophy of science,and metaphysics flourished, as did the interrelated fields of social,political and moral philosophy. John Rawls published A Theory ofJustice in 1971, a decade later Alasdair MacIntyre's AfterVirtue appeared, and in another decade or so there was a flood ofwork on individualism, communitarianism, democratic citizenship,inclusion, exclusion, the rights of children versus the rights ofparents, and the rights of groups (such as the Amish) versus therights of the larger polity. From the early 1990s philosophers ofeducation have contributed significantly to the debates on these andrelated topics; indeed, this corpus of work illustrates that goodphilosophy of education flows seamlessly into work being done inmainstream areas of philosophy. Illustrative examples are EamonnCallan's Creating Citizens: Political Education and LiberalDemocracy (1997), Meira Levinson's The Demands of LiberalEducation (1999), Harry Brighouse'sSocial Justice and School Choice (2000), and Rob Reich's Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in AmericanEducation (2002). These works stand shoulder-to-shoulder withsemi-classics on the same range of topics by Amy Gutmann (1999), WillKymlicka (1995), Stephen Macedo (2000), and others. An excerpt fromthe book by Callan nicely illustrates that the analytic spirit liveson in this body of work; the broader topic being pursued is the statusof the aims of education in a pluralistic society where there can bedeep fundamental disagreements:

[tags: marriage, happiness, philosophy]

Third, criticisms of language analysis in mainstream philosophy hadbeen mounting for some time, and finally after a lag of many yearswere reaching the attention of philosophers of education. There evenhad been a surprising degree of interest in this arcane topic on thepart of the general reading public in the UK as early as 1959, whenGilbert Ryle, editor of the journal Mind, refused tocommission a review of Ernest Gellner's Words and Things(1959)—a detailed and quite acerbic critique of Wittgenstein'sphilosophy and its espousal of ordinary language analysis. (Ryleargued that Gellner's book was too insulting, a view that drewBertrand Russell into the fray on Gellner's side—in the dailypress, no less; Russell produced examples of insulting remarks drawnfrom the work of great philosophers of the past. See Mehta 1963)

[tags: Philosophy of Education Essays]

The concept of indoctrination was also of great interest to analyticphilosophers of education, for, it was argued, getting clear aboutprecisely what constitutes indoctrination also would serve to clarifythe border that demarcates it from acceptable educationalprocesses. Unfortunately, ordinary language analysis did not produceunanimity of opinion about where this border was located, and rivalanalyses were put forward. Thus, whether or not an instructionalepisode was a case of indoctrination was determined by the contenttaught, the intention of the instructor, the methods of instructionthat had been used, the outcomes of the instruction, or of course bysome combination of these. (Snook 1972) The danger of restrictinganalysis to ordinary language (“normal English usage”) wasrecognized early on by Scheffler, whose preferred view of analysisemphasized

[tags: Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Conceptual analysis, careful assessment of arguments, the rooting outof ambiguity, the drawing of clarifying distinctions—which makeup at least part of the philosophical analysis package—have beenrespected activities within philosophy from the dawn of thefield. Traditionally they have stood alongside other philosophicalactivities; in the Republic, for example, Plato was sometimesanalytic, at other times normative, and on occasionspeculative/metaphysical. (These overlap and intertwine, of course.)(Frankena 1956, cf. Frankena 1965a, 1965b.) Just as analytictechniques gained prominence and for a time hegemonic influence duringand after the rise of analytic philosophy early in the 20thcentury, they came to dominate philosophy of education in the thirdquarter of that century (Curren, Robertson and Hager 2003).


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Inevitably, however, traces of discord remain, and some groups stillfeel disenfranchised, but they are not quite the same groups as a fewdecades ago—for new intellectual paradigms have come intoexistence, and their adherents struggle to have their voicesheard; and clearly it is the case that—reflecting the situationin 1966—many analytically-trained philosophers of educationfind postmodern writings incomprehensible while scholars in the lattertradition are frequently dismissive if not contemptuous of work done bythe former group. In effect, then, the passage of time has made thefield more, not less, diffuse. All this is evident ina volume published in 1995 in which the editor attempted to break downborders by initiating dialogue between scholars with differentapproaches to philosophy of education; her introductory remarks arerevealing:

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It is important to note, too, that there is a sub-category withinthis domain of literature that is made up of work by philosophers whoare not primarily identified as philosophers of education, and whomight or might not have had much to say directly about education, butwhose philosophical work has been drawn upon by others and applied veryfruitfully to educational issues. (A volume edited by Amelie Rortycontains essays on the education-related thought, or relevance, of manyhistorically important philosophers; significantly the essays are written almost entirely by philosophers rather than by members of thephilosophy of education community. This is both their strength and their weakness. See Rorty 1998.)