What is education for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught?
In this compelling and controversial book, Harry Brighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that children share four fundamental interests: the ability to make their own judgements about what values to adopt; acquiring the skills that will enable them to become economically self-sufficient as adults; being exposed to a range of activities and experiences that will enable them to flourish in their personal lives; and developing a sense of justice.
He criticises sharply those who place the interests of the economy before those of children, and assesses the arguments for and against the controversial issues of faith schools and the teaching of patriotism.
Clearly argued but provocative, On Education draws on recent examples from Britain and North America as well as famous thinkers on education such as Aristotle and John Locke. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of education and its future.
'a rare example of a philosophical discourse with a direct relevance to contemporary policymaking…If forthcoming debates about education policy do not draw heavily on what he has to say here, then they will be severely impoverished' Julian Baggini, Times Educational Supplement
'Clearheaded, acutely perceptive, and utterly lucid, this is the one book about education which everyone can and should make time to read.' - Randall Curren, University of Rochester, USA
'This is a clearly structured and thought-out book…It’s polemical but also introduces the reader to key arguments and issues.' - Stephen Law, Royal Institute of Philosophy
Part 1: Educational Aims 1. Self-Government: Forming the Autonomous Person 2. Self-Dependence: Preparation for Work 3. Flourishing: Preparation for Life 4. Mutual-Governance: Educating for Democracy Part 2: Controversial Policy Issues 5. Should We Fund Religious Schools? 6. Should Schools Teach Patriotism? 7. Is Citizenship Education Indoctrination? 8. Conclusion
'Three of the first batch deserve high praise: On Immigration and Refugees, by the great logician (and campaigner for racial equality) Michael Dummett; On Belief, by that master of postmodern paradox, Slavoj Zizek; and On the Internet by Hubert L Dreyfus.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
'This is clearly an important series. I look forward to reading future volumes.' - Frank Kermode, author of Shakespeare's Language
'Both rigorous and accessible.' - Humanist News
'The series looks superb.' - Quentin Skinner
'An excellent and beautiful series.' - Ben Rogers, author of A.J.Ayer: A Life
"Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series.' - Mute Magazine
'Routledge's new series, Thinking in Action, brings philosophers to our aid.' - The Evening Standard
'A welcome new series by Routledge.' - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society
Thinking in Action is a major series that takes philosophy to its public. Each book in the series is written by a major international philosopher or thinker, engages with an important contemporary topic, and is clearly and accessibly written. The series informs and sharpens debate on topics as wide ranging as the internet, religion, the problem of immigration and refugees and the way we think about science. Punchy, short, and stimulating, Thinking in Action is an indispensable series of books for anyone who wants to think seriously about major issues confronting us today.
Edited by Simon Critchley, New School University, USA and Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA