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Durham e-Theses
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The bearing of modern analytical philosophy on educational theory

Tubb. A., (1966) The bearing of modern analytical philosophy on educational theory. Masters thesis, Durham University.



A critical exploration of the literature from 1942 to1965 reveals the nature of the 'bearing' in question. In the pioneering work of C.D. Hardie, in the present sustained contribution to educational thinking of many philosophers and in the writings which steadily accumulated during the years between, there is ample evidence that the main division within pure analytical philosophy is reflected in the applied field. The rival 'positivistic' and 'linguistic' approaches are clearly discernible in each of the broad areas of interest which have emerged during this short period. In ethics, the early 'positivistic' position persists in the form of arguments for ultimately irreducible moral differences; but it is opposed by the majority view of the most influential group of educational philosophers, a 'linguistic' view best expressed by R.S. Peters. A similar opposition is seen in the related literature on the teaching of morality. Current examinations of the characteristics of educational discourse show these opposed emphases. The largely ‘linguistic’ elucidation of the role of definitions and other language elements given by I. Scheffler is criticized from a scientifically-orientated 'positivistic' standpoint in very recent contributions, particularly in those of G.R. Eastwood. A central issue, that of the nature of educational theory, is similarly debated by representatives from each of the branches of analytical philosophy. The 'linguistic' P.H. Hirst argues that educational theory is a complex 'field' and not a distinct 'form' of knowledge as a counter to the simpler 'means-ends' interpretation developed by such 'positivists' as D.J. O'Connor. The resolution of this conflict in analytical philosophy of education must await a settling of the basic issue in the pure philosophy from which the new discipline is derived. There are signs that a solution of the problem can be expected which will show that the two analytical approaches are in fact complementary and not contradictory.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1966
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:21

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