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MacIntyre’s Enlightenment Educational Ideal: Cultivating Rationality and Contemporary Discourse Through Controversy and Constrained Disagreement

  • Steven A. Stolz
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

Even though MacIntyre (1981/2007) is critical of what he calls the “Enlightenment project” in After Virtue, there is much in the Enlightenment that he thinks we should emulate, particularly in education. As I have already outlined in earlier chapters of this book, there is much from the Enlightenment that MacIntyre admires, especially how philosophers of the Enlightenment, such as Hegel, Marx, and so on open-our-eyes to the importance of cultivating rationality in and through a democratic culture of critical enquiry to remake both society and ourselves for the purposes of a particular kind of community. Indeed, MacIntyre’s commitment to certain Enlightenment ideals are continued and extended on in more detail throughout his extensive corpus; however, in this case my focus in this chapter will intentionally turn to what I am calling his “Enlightenment educational ideal”. In “The Idea of an Educated Public” (MacIntyre, 1987), and other subsequent works, MacIntyre’s commitment to an Enlightenment educational ideal is made known and embodied through an “educated public”. Therefore, for the purposes of this chapter I will be concerned with the discussion the following: first, I outline in detail MacIntyre’s commitment to an Enlightenment educational ideal, particularly its role in the cultivation of independent enlightened thinkers; second, I provide an account of MacIntyre’s theory of rational vindication because it serves as the foundation of his educational project; and lastly, I pick-up-on MacIntyre’s advocacy concerning the revitalisation of an educated public and the role universities should play in contemporary society as a place of controversy and constrained disagreement.

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Copyright information

© Steven A. Stolz 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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