Education as initiation into the space of reasons

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7 Scopus citations


A long tradition in the philosophy of education identifies education's most fundamental aim and ideal as that of the fostering or cultivation of rationality. In this article I relate this tradition in philosophy of education to recent work inspired by Wilfred Sellars on 'the space of reasons’. I first offer a very brief overview of the tradition just mentioned, after which I briefly lay out Sellars’ notion and discuss its place in the work of some of those influenced by Sellars, especially John McDowell. I next address recent work in philosophy of education that suggests that there is a tension between Sellars’ notion and the traditional educational ideal as I have developed and defended it in my own work, or that the Sellarsian view as developed by McDowell resolves outstanding difficulties with my version of the traditional view. I will argue that there is less tension than there appears to some of my critics to be and that the Sellarsian notion is in fact compatible with the traditional view as thus developed, but that it leaves out an important aspect of that view that should not be lost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-202
Number of pages12
JournalTheory and Research in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • McDowell
  • Sellars
  • education
  • naturalism
  • normativity
  • space of reasons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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