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Reading: On the distinctive educational value of philosophy


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On the distinctive educational value of philosophy


Michael Hand

University of Birmingham, GB
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Should philosophy be a compulsory subject in schools? I take it as read that philosophy has general educational value: like other academic disciplines, it cultivates a range of intellectual virtues in those who study it. But that may not be a good enough reason to add it to the roster of established school subjects. The claim I defend in this article is that philosophy also has distinctive educational value: there are philosophical problems that feature prominently and pressingly in ordinary human lives and that all children should be equipped by their education to tackle. Among these are the problems of justifying subscription to moral, political and religious standards. The significance of these problems for everyone is sufficient to warrant the inclusion of philosophy in the school curriculum.

How to Cite: Hand, M., 2018. On the distinctive educational value of philosophy. Journal of Philosophy in Schools, 5(1), pp.4–19. DOI:
Published on 05 Apr 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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