Education and Human Being II

  • Glenn Langford


Mr Elliott begins by accepting Professors Hirst and Peters’ view that education is connected with the development of mind; but differs from them in the account which he offers of the development of mind. He rejects the view, associated particularly with Professor Hirst, that mental development can be understood only by reference to seven officially designated forms of knowledge. His primary purpose, however, is not critical but constructive; and Hirst’s account is criticised primarily to point the constrast between it and his own. According to Mr Elliott, the most fundamental development of mind is the development of the mental powers; and this may occur without any study of the systematic disciplines. A person becomes educated, therefore, not by becoming acquainted with Forms of Knowledge but by developing his mental powers. He justifies this preference by reference to a criterion of educational value; i.e. by reference to what “is necessary for a human being to live as a human being.” (p. 56) Although study of the systematic disciplines is not necessary to becoming educated, a person may become educated through the study of them provided the criterion of educational value is satisfied. It may be satisfied directly if it concerns matters which it is important for a human being to know about and understand (p. 59); or indirectly if the study develops his mental powers.


Common Understanding Public Standard Instrumental View Religious Knowledge Social Tradition 
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Copyright information

© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1975

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  • Glenn Langford

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