Rhetoric, paideia and the old idea of a liberal education

Journal of Philosophy of Education 41 (2):183–206 (2007)
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This paper argues that the modern curriculum of academic subject disciplines embodies a rationalist conception of pure, universal knowledge that does little to cultivate, humanise or form the self. A liberal education in the classical humanist tradition, by contrast, develops a personal culture or paideia, an understanding of the self as a social, political and cultural being, and the practical wisdom needed to make judgements in practical, political and human affairs. The paper concludes by asking whether the old liberal curriculum, traditionally centred on the humanities and the disciplines of grammar and rhetoric, can be recovered in the modern age.



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Citations of this work

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Democracy and Education.John Dewey - 1916 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.
The Republic. Plato & Benjamin Jowett - 1894 - Arlington Heights, Ill.: Courier Dover Publications. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.

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