London Branch Seminar

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Event Type:

Event Date : 15 May, 2019 05:30 PM - 15 May, 2019 07:15 PM

Summary :

Philosophy as the Handmaiden of Education
Prof. Richard Pring (Oxford University)

London Branch Seminar Details

Venue :
UCL Institute of Education 20 Bedford Way WC1H 0AL Room 828
City :
Organiser :

All are welcome.

The title derives from the well-known passage in 5th century Boethius' 'The Consolations of Philosophy' where he speaks of philosophy as the 'Lady handmaiden of theology'. The responsibility of philosophy was to clarify what was not clear in theological discourse (thereby giving rise to problems), to advance such discourse through criticism, but showing how the unreflective involvement in such discourse (without the philosophical clarification) led to much nonsense. There is much in common here with the later Wittgenstein as I hope to illustrate from the nonsense that arises when educational policy arises from creating false dichotomies.

Richard Pring studied philosophy under A.J. Ayer at UCL, before joining the Civil Service at the Ministry of Education. He subsequently taught in a Comprehensive School and Goldsmiths College, before joining the new Curriculum Department at IoE. Subsequently he was Professor of Education at University of Exeter, before becoming, in 1989, the first Professor of Education at Oxford University. He was Director of the Department until retirement in 2003. Most recent books: The Future of Publicly Funded Faith Schools (Routledge, 2019) and Thinking Philosophically about Education (Routledge, 2019). Forthcoming is Challenge for Religious Education: a disconnect between Faith and Reason? (2020).

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