Philosophy of Education : The Essential Texts book cover
1st Edition

Philosophy of Education
The Essential Texts

Edited By

Steven M. Cahn

ISBN 9780415994408
Published January 16, 2009 by Routledge
512 Pages

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Book Description

Philosophy of education is a study both of the aims of education and the most appropriate means of achieving those aims.  This volume contains substantial selections from those works widely regarded as central to the development of the field. These are the "essential texts" that lay the foundation for further study. The text is historically organized, moving from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle), through the medieval period (Augustine), to modern perspectives (Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft), and twentieth-century thinkers (Whitehead, Dewey).  Each selection is followed by an extended interpretative essay in which a noted authority of our time highlights essential points from the readings and places them in a wider context.

Exhibiting both breadth and depth, this text is ideal as a reader for courses in philosophy of education, foundations of education, and the history of ideas.

Table of Contents


1. Plato

Meno (complete)


Afterword, Robert S. Brumbaugh

2. Aristotle

Nicomachean Ethics


Afterword, Randall Curren

3. Augustine

On the Teacher

Afterword, Philip L. Quinn

4. John Locke

Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Afterword, Peter Gay

5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Afterword, William Boyd

6. Immanuel Kant

Lectures on Pedagogy

Afterword, Robert B. Louden

7. Mary Wollstonecraft

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Afterword, Jane Roland Martin

8. John Stuart Mill

Inaugural Address at St. Andrews (complete)

Afterword, Elizabeth Anderson

9. Alfred North Whitehead

The Aims of Education

Afterword, Nathaniel M. Lawrence

10. John Dewey

Democracy and Education

Afterword, Sidney Hook

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Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York Graduate Center. Among the nine books he has authored are The Eclipse of Excellence, Education and the Democratic Ideal, Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia, revised edition, and From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor. He is also the editor of more than thirty volumes, including Morality, Responsibility and the University: Studies in Academic Ethics, The Affirmative Action Debate (Routledge), now in its second edition, and Classics of Western Philosophy, now in its seventh edition.