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Education and «Pädagogik»

Philosophical and Historical Reflections (Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe)


Edited By Blanka Kudláčová and Andrej Rajský

The book approaches education and the science of education (Ger. Pädagogik) from two perspectives: philosophical and historical. The philosophical perspectives (the fi rst part of the book) explore key philosophical influences underlying the notion of Pädagogik. Questions are raised about the status of philosophy of education, and of Pädagogik as a fi eld of study. The nature and scope of their contributions in academic workplaces are critically reviewed. Concerning the historical perspectives (the second part of the book), these explore key historical moments in the development of Pädagogik as a scientific and academic discipline in individual countries of Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe, based on the original German tradition.

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1.1.1 What is Philosophy of Education? (Zdenko Kodelja)

1.1.1 What Is Philosophy of Education?


Zdenko Kodelja

There are different and often conflicting answers to the question of what the philosophy of education is. This plurality of answers is mostly seen as a necessary consequence of the simple fact that philosophers of education belong to “different and incompatible philosophical traditions” (Carr, 2005, p. 1). But despite a number of different and even opposing answers, there is no doubt that at least some important authors think that philosophy of education is – or should be – understood as a special branch of philosophy.1 Moreover, it is stated that in the sixties “the philosophy of education has been steadily establishing itself in Britain as a branch of philosophy” (Peters, 1973, p. 1). However, many eminent philosophers of education would reject the interpretation that philosophy of education is a branch of philosophy.2 In spite of this, a key question remains: what is philosophy of education, if it is not a branch of philosophy? On the other hand, this question is open even when philosophy of education is defined as a branch of philosophy. For, in this case philosophy of education can be understood in two ways. Firstly, as a branch of philosophy which does not “exist apart from established branches of philosophy such as epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind” (ibid., p. 2).3 Secondly, it can be treated as a “philosophy of a specific domain”, that is, in a similar manner to philosophy of law, political philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, etc. At first glance,...

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