Hypothetical markets: Educational application of Ronald Dworkin's sovereign virtue

Journal of Philosophy of Education 40 (3):287–299 (2006)


The purpose of this paper is to consider, in principle and at the most general level, a particular possible approach to educational policy‐making. This approach involves an education‐specific application of the notion of hypothetical markets first developed in Ronald Dworkin's book Sovereign Virtue: The theory and practice of equality . The paper distinguishes the concept of the market from the operation of any actual market, and from the operation of ‘market forces’ in any generalised sense. It continues by arguing that hypothetical markets of the kind identified by Dworkin are not only distinct, in both their nature and purpose, from actual markets operating in education, but also—in the face of continuing widespread debate about the value, at particular times and places, of such actual markets—a potentially valuable theoretical tool for educational policy‐making. The paper then briefly considers a particular instance of such debate about actual markets in education

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References found in this work

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
The Nature of Rationality.Robert Nozick - 1993 - Princeton University Press.
Rationality and Freedom.Amartya Sen - 2005 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 67 (1):182-183.
School Choice and Social Justice.Harry Brighouse - 2002 - British Journal of Educational Studies 50 (3):402-403.

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Citations of this work

Hypothetical Insurance and Higher Education.Ben Colburn & Hugh Lazenby - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 50 (4):587-604.
Reply to Morgan.Matthew Clayton - 2009 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (1):91-100.

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