Beyond virtue and vice: a return to uncertainty

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Education is astonishingly simple. We have all been through it, whether as children or later in life—indeed, many of us are still going through it in some form or other; we all know what works; and we are all committed to realising its individual and social potential. Such a view of the matter might dispense with the need for philosophy of education altogether as the problems of education are seen as little more than puzzles to be solved. We know (or think that we know) what we want to achieve, the challenge is how to do so most efficiently. If only the virtues of education were that perspicuous, that simple. If only the vices were so easily identified and expunged. It turns out that education is astonishingly complex. The following chapters aspire to re-introduce a certain complexity that abstains from an all-too-easy understanding. They seek not to offer solutions, but complications, disruptions and dissensions. The authors assume positions against the usual associations and evaluations regarding certain words and phrases—a revaluation that turns the virtues to vices and the vices to virtues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-501
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue number4
Early online date11 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • education
  • virtue
  • vice
  • uncertainty


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