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The concept of education

Hayes, Dennis; (1982) The concept of education. Doctoral thesis , Institute of Education, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: A misapprehension of the concept of education is documented. This reflects a weakness in our grasp of the concept of the concept of education and a faulty understanding of the nature of thought and argument. This misapprehension involves the essentially Kantian view of examples as intuitive aids to understanding. Against this it 16 argued that examploo a.re nbaolutl:lly fundClffiental to thought. Even deduction, our paradigm of good rea.soning, reduces to case by case a.rgument. This misapprehension is embodied in 'criterioloeical' approaches to the concept which assume that to be justified in calling something an example of 'education' necessitates giving 'criteria'. But justification may take the form of case by case 'argument'. This alone can give increased grasp of a concept. The 'criteriological' approach derives from Wittgenstein. The notion of 'rules' of language functioning as intermediaries between 'criteria' and 'conditions' for the use of terms provides no support for the approach. There are no 'rules' in the special sense required. A reading of Wittgenstein suggests no 'theory of criteria' but. a methodological injunction to consider the details of what it makes sense to say in particular cases. Three interrelated metaphors 'family resemblance', 'games' and 'grammar' have been misinterpreted by being interpreted systematically. They are intimately connected with case by case procedure and offer an essentialism without universals. A 'family resemblance' approach to the concept is developed and discussed. The notion of 'aspect change' is employed to illuminate some examples of education. A case by case procedure is sketched utilising examples from Tolstoy, Dickens, Golding, Austin and others. 'Criteria' extracted from these examples would be clumsy and unilluminating. Seeking 'criteria' is a habit of thought. If these examples are taken as intended we may detect increased grasp.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The concept of education
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos...
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10007391
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