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Liberation as moral imagination: A Comparison of American, British, and German philosophies of liberty in education

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Abstract:

As a project in the comparative philosophy of education and in response to the CIES 2011 Conference theme “Education is that which Liberates,” the paper intends to demonstrate how different philosophical views of liberty have led to different educational approaches to liberation. The paper begins with a uniquely American view of liberty that draws on John Dewey and the American process philosophy movement to argue that liberty is an exercise of the moral imagination and creativity. Such an American perspective on liberty, however, is fueled by and holds in tension the negative and positive views on liberty Isaiah Berlin made famous. The paper looks first to the idea of negative liberty in Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill’s influential works and the way they lead to more commercial educational approaches. It then turns to the view of positive liberty as Bildung espoused by the sociologist, theologian, and politician Ernst Troeltsch. Troeltsch’s concept of liberty as formation participates in the deep German Historicism tradition and calls for a more structured and centrally organized educational approach. While showing that both the British and German philosophical traditions are more complex than the simple negative liberty verses positive liberty dichotomy, the paper suggests that they have lead England and German down rather different educational paths to liberate their students. The paper concludes with a call for a new pathway for American education that draws on our unique concept of liberty as an exercise of the moral imagination and creativity.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p488562_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Blosser, Joe. "Liberation as moral imagination: A Comparison of American, British, and German philosophies of liberty in education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p488562_index.html>

APA Citation:

Blosser, J. , 2011-05-01 "Liberation as moral imagination: A Comparison of American, British, and German philosophies of liberty in education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p488562_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As a project in the comparative philosophy of education and in response to the CIES 2011 Conference theme “Education is that which Liberates,” the paper intends to demonstrate how different philosophical views of liberty have led to different educational approaches to liberation. The paper begins with a uniquely American view of liberty that draws on John Dewey and the American process philosophy movement to argue that liberty is an exercise of the moral imagination and creativity. Such an American perspective on liberty, however, is fueled by and holds in tension the negative and positive views on liberty Isaiah Berlin made famous. The paper looks first to the idea of negative liberty in Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill’s influential works and the way they lead to more commercial educational approaches. It then turns to the view of positive liberty as Bildung espoused by the sociologist, theologian, and politician Ernst Troeltsch. Troeltsch’s concept of liberty as formation participates in the deep German Historicism tradition and calls for a more structured and centrally organized educational approach. While showing that both the British and German philosophical traditions are more complex than the simple negative liberty verses positive liberty dichotomy, the paper suggests that they have lead England and German down rather different educational paths to liberate their students. The paper concludes with a call for a new pathway for American education that draws on our unique concept of liberty as an exercise of the moral imagination and creativity.


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