Kenneth Wain and the Lifelong Engagement with Education
16. Art, Paralogy, and Education: In Conversation with Kenneth Wain’s Philosophical Interlocutors
Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series. Every general law only a particular fact of some more general law presently to disclose itself. There is no outside, no inclosing wall, no circumference to us. The man finishes his story,—how good! how final! How it puts a new face on all things! He fills the sky. Lo! on the other side rises also a man, and draws a circle around the circle we had just pronounced the outline of the sphere. Then already is our first speaker not man, but only a first speaker. His only redress is forthwith to draw a circle outside of his antagonist.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1990, p. 167)
To see keeping a conversation going as a sufficient aim of philosophy, to see wisdom as consisting in the ability to sustain a conversation, is to see human beings as generators of new descriptions rather than beings one hopes to be able to describe accurately.
— Richard Rorty (1990, p. 378)
Education seems to be characterized by permanent crisis. Taking a leaf from Alasdair MacIntyre while disagreeing with his proposal that an educated public must look back at premodern models, Kenneth Wain argued that, “MacIntyre’s call for a return to the notion of a public and, more specifically, of an educated public, is on the right track.” (Wain, 1995a, p. 121) Though with tangible reservations, Wain still finds merit in MacIntyre’s essay, “The Idea of an...
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