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Knowledge, Structure of: From Aristotle to Bruner and Hirst

Discussions of the structure of knowledge have a long history, extending from antiquity to the present. However, it is dangerous for educational theorists, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to act as if now the structure of knowledge is settled; doing so promotes false simplicity and limited perspective. If the structure of knowledge is about an intellectually rich historical conversation that makes us increasingly civilized beings, as Michael Oakeshott declares in Rationalism in Politics (1962), it is no mean feat to enter that conversation with the intellectual and moral fortitude it merits. Taking a cue from John Dewey’s The Quest for Certainty (1929), cautious uncertainty may be the best way to address the structure-of-knowledge conversation.

Often construed by philosophers as an epistemological problem, the structure of knowledge invokes ...

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