Human Flourishing, Wonder, and Education

Studies in Philosophy and Education 42 (2):143-162 (2023)
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Various authors see human flourishing as the overarching aim to which education should contribute. We ask whether fostering _wonder_ can help education attain this aim. We discuss two possibilities: firstly, it may be that having a sense of wonder as adults (possibly fostered by and/or refined due to education) contributes to flourishing itself. Secondly, it may be that fostering wonder in education increases the likelihood that education promotes flourishing, which it might do simply by increasing children’s intrinsic interest in what they learn. We argue that there are many plausible connections between wonder and human flourishing (relating to its epistemic and aesthetic dimensions, among others), and that we have reason to believe that early experiences can influence adults’ capacity for wonder. Furthermore, wonder increases the likelihood that education ‘succeeds’; and it supports people’s ability to live well by heightening their appreciation for the world, helping to uncover baseless beliefs, and increasing their awareness of possible goods. In sum, while having a sense of wonder may not be a constitutive element of human flourishing, it is hard to imagine education for human flourishing that is not also wonder-full education.



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Author Profiles

Anders Schinkel
VU University Amsterdam
Jan B. W. Pedersen
University College Diakonissestiftelsen

Citations of this work

Meaning in Life and the Vocation of Teaching.Lucas Scripter - 2023 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 42 (5):541-558.

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