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Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics, and the Aims of Education

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3296-4
256 pages
October 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics, and the Aims of Education (1444332961) cover image


Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics and the Aims of Education reassesses British philosopher Richard Stanley Peters’ educational writings by examining them against the most recent developments in philosophy and practice.
  • Critically reassesses R. S. Peters, a philosopher who had a profound influence on a generation of educationalists
  • Brings clarity to a number of key educational questions
  • Exposes mainstream, orthodox arguments to sympathetic critical scrutiny
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors vii

Preface xi
Paul Standish


Reading R. S. Peters on Education Today
Stefaan E. Cuypers and Christopher Martin 1

I. The Conceptual Analysis of Education and Teaching

1 Was Peters Nearly Right About Education?
Robin Barrow 6

2 Learning Our Concepts
Megan Laverty 24

3 On Education and Initiation
Michael Luntley 38

4 Ritual, Imitation and Education in R. S. Peters
Bryan Warnick 54

5 Transformation and Education: the Voice of the Learner in Peters’ Concept of Teaching
Andrea English 72

II. The Justification of Educational Aims and the Curriculum

6 R. S. Peters’ Normative Conception of Education and Educational Aims
Michael Katz 94

7 On the Worthwhileness of Theoretical Activities
Michael Hand 106

8 Why General Education? Peters, Hirst and History
John White 119

9 The Good, the Worthwhile and the Obligatory: Practical Reason and Moral Universalism in R. S. Peters’ Conception of Education
Christopher Martin 138

10 Overcoming Social Pathologies in Education: On the Concept of Respect in R. S. Peters and Axel Honneth
Krassimir Stojanov 156

III. Aspects of Ethical Development and Moral Education

11 Reason and Virtues: The Paradox of R. S. Peters on Moral Education
Graham Haydon 168

12 Autonomy in R. S. Peters’ Educational Theory
Stefaan E. Cuypers 185

IV. Peters in Context

13 Richard Peters and Valuing Authenticity
Mike Degenhardt 205

14 Vision and Elusiveness in Philosophy of Education: R. S. Peters on the Legacy of Michael Oakeshott
Kevin Williams 219

Index 237

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Author Information

Stefaan E. Cuypers is Professor of Philosophy at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Cuypers is the author of Self-Identity and Personal Autonomy (2001), co-author of Moral Responsibility, Authenticity, and Education (2008), and an invited contributor to The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education (2009).

Christopher Martin is Senior Lecturer at Roehampton University, London. While he presently works in philosophy of education, political and moral philosophy, Martin is a former school principal in Canada, where he taught in a number of subject areas such as literature and science, and worked with kindergarten through high school level students.

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