Philosophy is vital to the study of education, and a sound knowledge of different philosophical perspectives leads to a deeper engagement with the choices and commitments you make within your educational practice. This introductory text provides a core understanding of often difficult philosophical concepts. By introducing key thinkers in the context of wider themes and frameworks, it creates meaningful connections between theories and links them to different aspects of, and perspectives on, education. Accessibly written, Education and Philosophy carefully analyses the common assumptions and conflicted history of education, provoking questioning about its nature and purposes. Thinking critically about education in this way will give students on undergraduate Education Studies degrees, initial teacher education and Masters-level courses a fuller command of their own role and practice.

Modernity and the Figure of ‘Man’

Modernity and the Figure of ‘Man’

Resituating man and reason

In this chapter we explore the educational implications of our modern humanism by examining the consequences of a decisive shift in humanist thought which occurs as the figure of ‘man’ is given unprecedented prominence, becoming a substitute in many cases for the figure of ‘God’. We explore the consequences of this transition, focusing in particular on the work of Michel Foucault who foresaw the ‘death of man’. We are led to address similar time periods covered in previous chapters (ranging here again, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries), a necessary overlap, illustrating how the different perspectives and critiques we describe are historically embedded. To compare the critique of our ...

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