Philosophy of Education: Becoming Less Western, More African?

Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (2):177-190 (2016)
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Posing the question ‘How diverse is philosophy of education in the West?’ this paper responds to two recent defences of African philosophy of education which endorse its communitarianism and oppose individualism in Western philosophy of education. After outlining Thaddeus Metz's argument that Western philosophy of education should become more African by being more communitarian, and Yusef Waghid's defence of communitarianism in African philosophy of education, we develop a qualified defence of aspects of individualism in education. Our reservations about some aspects of communitarianism lead us to argue for a role for some forms of individualism in African as well as Western education. Finally, reflecting on what is at stake in this kind of comparative philosophy of education, we argue that an over-emphasis on cultural differences can distract philosophers of education from the attention they should pay to the common dangers posed across continents by the influence of global capitalism on education.



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Kai Horsthemke
Katholische Universität Eichstätt

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