Education and Human Being I

  • R. K. Elliott


In his paper ‘Education and the Educated Man’1 Richard Peters asks how the pursuit of knowledge can be justified for those who are not committed to it and who do not find it of absorbing interest. He asks also for a justification of the pursuit of ‘breadth’ of knowledge. In this paper I accept Peters’ view of education as involving the development of knowledge and understanding and try to provide the beginnings of answers to the questions raised by him, stressing the element of vitality in intellectual enquiry, which he tends perhaps to neglect. I shall maintain also that a criterion of the educational value of a branch of study is that it concerns matters which it is important for human beings to know about and understand. These two moves will bring me into collision with Paul Hirst’s well-known doctrine concerning the curriculum, the first because it involves a notion of mental development which is different from his, the second because it is incompatible with an account of the curriculum based entirely on formal considerations.


Moral Judgement Common Understanding Mental Development Liberal Education Public Form 
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Copyright information

© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1975

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  • R. K. Elliott

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