Philosophy of education as a branch of political philosophy

Matthew Clayton, Warwick University, hosted by the Philosophy of Education Research Centre, Adam Room, Grove House, 12 - 1.30 pm

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Abstract: In this paper, I advance two claims. The first is that we cannot adequately answer some central questions about education without a conception of political morality. This is because, in most societies, education is practised in a way that constrains citizens and children. Since that is the case, we need to identify the terms on which the community is morally permitted to exercise political power. My second claim is that the best conception of political morality is ‘anti-perfectionist’: it asserts that the state may not appeal to the whole truth about human well-being or religion when deciding how to act. Taken together, these claims support a distinctive conception of the philosophy of education.

Matthew Clayton is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Warwick. He works on distributive justice, the foundations of liberal political thought, and also the philosophy of education. His publications include Justice and Legitimacy in Upbringing (Oxford University Press, 2006) and two co-edited books: The Ideal of Equality (Palgrave, 2002), and Social Justice (Blackwell, 2004). Professor Clayton has recently co-authored the PESGB Impact book 'How to regulate Faith School?' (2018) with Andrew Mason, Adam Swift and Ruth Wareham.