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Title: Broadening the horizons of the philosophy of education : an enquiry into the social and pragmatic dimensions of human knowledge
Author: Misawa, Koichiro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 9350
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis addresses the social dimensions of human knowledge by reference to recent developments in the theory of knowledge in the Anglophone analytical tradition. What might be called social epistemology is often open to the charge of relativism. However, a detailed analysis of the most basic conditions of knowledge that enable human beings to live as not merely evolved, biological creatures but as intellectual, sentient beings reveals the sense in which human knowledge is essentially social and has no necessary connection either with relativism or with the opposing but equally tenuous ideas such as strong realism and scientific naturalism. The social and pragmatic dimensions of human knowledge shed light on its essentially educational nature. This broad sense of educational aspect of knowledge encourages us to see the prevailing outlook towards the relation between philosophy and education quite differently. This is not to suggest that the philosophy of education finds a new niche in academia but rather to suggest that it form the centrepiece of the philosophical enquiry into human knowledge. Having set the scene for the subsequent chapters in Chapter 1, this thesis goes on to analyse several issues to do with human knowledge and education. Sufficient appreciation of the significance of the fully social dimensions of human knowledge makes it possible to grasp the central thrusts of these issues without collapsing into the familiar dichotomies: theory and practice (Chapters 2 and 3); truth and rational justification (Chapter 4); conceptual norm and empirical description (Chapter 5); and cognitive pursuits and their social organisation (Chapters 6 and 7). On the basis of the foregoing analysis, Chapter 8 presents a broadened conception of the philosophy of education as a key academic discipline concerned with human knowledge specifically and human development more generally, which is to be in dialogue with scientific and empirical investigations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available