The Sisyphic Destiny of Philosphy (of Education)


  • Carlos Sousa Reis University of Coimbra
  • Maria Formosinho Portucalense University


Authors begin by a synthetic historical review of the emergence of the philosophy of education up to the present day. It follows a presentation of the results of recent meta-analyses on the topics, problems, guidelines and relevance given to the philosophy of education (PE). For this purpose, several paths were chosen: one, more empirical, focused on the works developed within the field; the other, more foundational, sought a disciplinary sense within the field’s tradition and the current challenges that are being raised. Authors then outline some of the paths that can be opened up for the philosophy of education, understood as a critical and creative quest. Namely, they try to show how it may be understood as a creation of concepts, in a stance to rip Chaos, by introducing an innovative intensity, which can correspond to the creation of meaning that opens and articulates a possible world (of meaning). Complementary to this, PE could take charge of the analysis of educational discourses, the suggestion of a general direction for the educational process, the elucidation of the human’s educating structure, the explanation of the different pedagogies through the unveiling of their underlying teleology, the recollection of interesting philosophical questions for educators, or a metaphysical analysis of related issues, as well as an analytic approach, aimed at clarifying concepts, or a radical approach, by reflecting upon the deep assumptions of education, and even a deductive approach derived from the great philosophical matrices. Philosophy of education remains, nowadays, a field of hermeneutic openness that should assume the stance of resistance to any attempts to stifle or silence the axiological dimension, and very particularly, PE could be developed as a way of probing the concrete educational practice activity, by engaging in discussions, in order to make suggestions about “what was valuable in the past” and “what is worthwhile in the present”. Today, perhaps more than ever, PE requires the critical work and commitment that philosophy always had the virtue of incisively developing, particularly when it comes to the field of education that is proven to be a multi-layered arena of conflicting crossovers. Keywords: Education; philosophy; assignments; goals


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