Hegel's philosophy of education : a re-examination
The thesis is that G W F Hegel's 'The Phenomenology of Mind' offers a
paradigmatic account of subjective experience that can be used as an
explanatory principle in educational theory and practice. This paradigm
is most helpful in (a) providing an intrinsically valuable account of the
educational process and (b) providing important insights into issues in
The starting point of the argument is a critique in which much
contemporary educational theory is demonstrated to display a one-sided
conception of personhood or subjectivity mainly due to Kantian and
Wittgensteinian influences. It is then suggested that the concept of
subjectivity in 'The Phenomenology of Mind' offers a more fruitful
account of the Self. The philosophical and educational fruitfulness of
this notion is then developed in relation to five broad areas.
(a) The nature of the educational experience.
(b) The Self as a desiring being.
(c) The alienated Self.
(d) The education of the Self through work.
(e) The importance of recognition for the educated Self.
This entire development depends upon a clarification of the problems
of method and content inherent in 'The Phenomenology of Mind'.
Within these broad areas particular issues are examined such as
a feminist critique of liberal education, child-centred education, the
pragmatic attitude, the love of truth, the relationship between work and
education, individuality and the importance of the corporate for education,
and the profundity of the educational process in the life of the human