The Formation of Reason

The Formation of Reason

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In The Formation of Reason, philosophy professor David Bakhurst utilizes ideas from philosopher John McDowell to develop and defend a socio-historical account of the human mind. * Provides the first detailed examination of the relevance of John McDowell's work to the Philosophy of Education * Draws on a wide-range of philosophical sources, including the work of 'analytic' philosophers Donald Davidson, Ian Hacking, Peter Strawson, David Wiggins, and Ludwig Wittgenstein * Considers non-traditional ideas from Russian philosophy and psychology, represented by Ilyenkov and Vygotsky * Discusses foundational philosophical ideas in a way that reveals their relevance to educational theory and practice
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 158 x 229 x 11mm | 298g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1444339095
  • 9781444339093
  • 1,196,528

Back cover copy

In The Formation of Reason, David Bakhurst expounds and defends a socio-historical account of the human mind. Inspired by the work of the influential philosopher John McDowell, Bakhurst maintains that the distinctive character of human psychological powers resides in our responsiveness to reasons, a capacity that develops in children as they are initiated into traditions of thinking and reasoning. In this process of formation (or Bildung), children enter 'the space of reasons' to become rational agents in self-conscious control of their thoughts and actions. In addition to exploring McDowell's ideas, Bakhurst draws on a variety of thinkers - including Davidson, Hacking, Ilyenkov, Strawson, Vygotsky, Wiggins, and Wittgenstein - to illuminate questions of personhood, identity, learning, rationality, and freedom. Offering an intellectually stimulating exploration of the conceptual foundations of the philosophy of education, The Formation of Reason breathes fresh life into a familiar but controversial idea: that the end of education is the cultivation of autonomy.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements Foreword Author s Preface 1. What Can Philosophy Tell Us About How History Made the Mind? What Role for Philosophy? Wittgenstein and Davidson Wittgenstein and Davidson Contrasted McDowell The Idea of Bildung Understanding the Bildungsprozess The Conceptual and the Practical Conclusion 2. Social Constructionism Social Constructionism Introduced The Social Construction of Reality Why Bother About Global Constructionism? Against Global Constructionism Matters Political The Social Construction of Mental States Why Mental States Are Not Socially Constructed The Social Construction of Psychological Categories Conclusion 3. Self and Other Problems of Self and Other The Problem of Self and Other in One s Own Person Strawson on Persons Wiggins on Persons and Human Nature The Significance of Second Nature Further Positives Conclusion: Two Cautionary Notes 4. Freedom, Reflection and the Sources of Normativity McDowell on Judgement Owens s Critique Defending Intellectual Freedom Freedom and the Sources of Normativity Sources of Normativity I: Practical Reasoning Sources of Normativity II: Theoretical Reasoning A McDowellian Response Conclusion 5. Exploring the Space of Reasons McDowell on the Space of Reasons Brandom sInferentialism Ilyenkov on the Ideal Conclusion 6. Reason and Its Limits: Music, Mood and Education An Initial Response The Challenge Reconfigured Passivity Within Spontaneity Mood Mood, Salience and Shape Music Education Conclusion 7. Education Makes Us What We Are A Residual Individualism Vygotsky s Legacy Reconciling Vygotsky and McDowell Personalism Final Thoughts on Education References Index
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About David Bakhurst

David Bakhurst is the John and Ella G. Charlton Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He is the author of Consciousness and Revolution in Soviet Philosophy (1991) and co-editor (with Christine Sypnowich) of The Social Self (1995) and (with Stuart Shanker) of Jerome Bruner: Language, Culture, Self (2001).
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