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Wellbeing and education: issues of culture and authority

White, John (2007) Wellbeing and education: issues of culture and authority. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 41 (1). pp. 17-28. ISSN 0309-8249. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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The idea that education should equip people to lead flourishing lives and help others to do so is now becoming salient in policy-making circles. Philosophy of education can help here by clarifying what flourishing consists in. This essay examines one aspect of this. It rejects the view that well-being goods are derivable from human nature, as in the theories of Howard Gardner and Edmond Holmes. It locates them, rather, as cultural products, but not culturally-relative ones, drawing attention to the proliferating forms they have taken over the past three or four centuries. It looks to aesthetics and art criticism as a guide to a philosophical treatment of well-being goods more generally. It also takes off from aesthetics and art criticism in seeking to identify reliable authorities on the flourishing life. On this, it rejects elitist conceptions in favour of a more democratic model, emphasising its importance in education for citizenship.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version is available at
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Education Foundations and Policy Studies
IOE Departments > Departments > Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2010 08:10
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:21
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