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The Aims of Higher EducationProblems of Morality and Justice$
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Harry Brighouse and Michael McPherson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226259345

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226259512.001.0001

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Education and Social Moral Epistemology

Education and Social Moral Epistemology

(p.91) Six Education and Social Moral Epistemology
The Aims of Higher Education

Allen Buchanan

University of Chicago Press

This chapter advances the view that social epistemology has important implications for the structure of our educational practices. It argues, first, that educational practices should take social epistemology seriously because the success of the educational enterprise requires an effective response to two of the central problems of social epistemology, namely, the novice-expert problem and the general problem of identifying reliable testimony. It argues, second, that social moral epistemology is especially relevant to education for the following reason: If education is informed by social moral epistemology, it may be able, first, to reduce the risk that individuals’ beliefs will be manipulated by those who mobilize the public in support of wrongful mass violence and, second, to prevent the educational enterprise itself from contributing to the production of false beliefs that tend to support mass violence. The chapter concludes with suggestions for how to adapt Critical Thinking curricula to the findings presented.

Keywords:   social epistemology, novice-expert problem, mass violence, education, critical thinking, false beliefs, testimony

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