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Education and what to teach

The difficulties inherent in the problem are greatly enhanced by the inevitable prejudices of the inquirers. 
Including mine and other who feel it is the liberal professoriat who hold sway in further education whihc feeds down through teacher training to formal education.

One side have no well-defined idea of the benefits to be derived from classical studies, 

On the other side, classical scholars and literary men are too generally ignorant of the value of physical science as a means of training the intellect. 

Our opinions reflect our experience with tolerable accuracy, my experience of putting sons through Oxford and Cambridge where one never heard an illiberal view makes me think thre has to be a rethink
starting at the highest level.

Below are extracts from paper by Peter Eastman

Humility and a willingness to learn is one thing, but the mistaken belief that these disciplines have already cracked the code for the human condition is another. The problem is that these disciplines actively court self-serving obfuscation and bluster, pretending to know much more than they actually do. It can be greatly heartening to know this, and to be able to see the reach of intellectual subterfuge for yourself. So at least part of this study is an exercise in demystification

On the one hand they might feel inclined towards religion, and inclined to embrace faith, belief and prescribed practice; and on the other there is an inclination towards a more distantiated, independent, reflective approach, with reading, discussing, learning, and trying - by intellectual means - to work things out for yourself. Religion demands that you plunge in; reflective thought demands that you stand back.

Philosophy has always been thought of as the place to go for impartial wisdom on any subject that mattered. The reality is that philosophers have no idea what their skills are, or should be, or what they should use them for. They are simply addicted to the idea of complex definitions and distinctions, and a belief in the idea that tying your brain in knots with words is a significant achievement. And if scholarly philosophy could be detached from the idea of some kind of mystical connection to wisdom - and the cachet that goes with it - and redefine itself simply as a matter of acquiring the skills of critical thinking, then each of the theoretical disciplines that have until now sheltered under the wing of philosophy would have to argue their case on their own, be subject to independent critical examination, and be seen for what they are, which is not very much. 

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