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Recent work in epistemology has focused increasingly on the social dimensions of knowledge and inquiry. Education is one important social arena in which knowledge plays a leading role, and in which knowledge-claims are presented, analyzed, evaluated, and transmitted. Philosophers of education have long attended to the epistemological issues raised by the theory and practice of education (along with the moral, metaphysical, social-political, and mind/language issues so raised). While historically philosophical issues concerning education were treated alongside other philosophical issues, in recent times the former set of issues have been largely neglected by philosophers working in the core areas of the discipline. Interestingly, the rise of social epistemology has been accompanied by a renewed interest by mainstream philosophers in philosophical questions concerning education. Whether or not this accompaniment is accidental, or is legitimately explainable in terms of broad intellectual, philosophical, or social/political currents and movements, I will not endeavor to address here. The increasing respectability of and philosophical interest in both social epistemology and philosophy of education are in any case salutary developments, each signaling both a broadening of the set of interests and issues deemed legitimate by practitioners of the parent discipline, and an increased willingness to take seriously the philosophical problems raised by the ubiquitous social/communal effort to transmit/transform culture(s) by way of education.


Copyright © 2004 Edinburgh University Press. First Published in Episteme 1:129-137 (2004). 10.3366/epi.2004.1.2.129)

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