Practical Rationality, Learning and Convention

Practical Rationality, Learning and Convention

Essays in the Philosophy of Education

By Christopher Winch

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

This volume consists of a selection of the writings of Christopher Winch on topics on and related to the philosophy of education from 1988 until the present.

Hardback, 270 Pages

ISBN:9781839981913

April 2022

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

The proposed volume covers Christopher Winch’s work over a period of 37 years and illustrates four interconnected themes that have informed his thinking over that period. Writing from a Wittgensteinian perspective, Winch is primarily interested in applying Wittgenstein’s general approach to philosophising to educational problems and puzzles of a variety of different kinds. Throughout the collection there is an emphasis on the complexity and subtlety of many of the philosophical problems associated with education, the importance of appreciating differences and the contestability of many educational judgements. Thus the volume starts with a section on rationality and argument and a discussion of some of the perplexities about the nature of literacy and whether it represents a cognitive ‘leap forward’ for the human race or whether it is more of an enabling technology. It is followed, in a reply to David Cooper, by an article that emphasises the importance of charitable interpretation in understanding reasoning and looks at some of the difficulties involved in understanding reasoning in informal contexts.

Winch’s interest in rule-following and concept formation is the theme of the next few articles. Winch has long been interested in philosophical aspects of professional action and judgement. The third section of this book focuses on that preoccupation. Gilbert Ryle’s ideas as well as Wittgenstein’s have been a significant influence on this. This section closes with a discussion of the sense we can make of the claim that theoretical knowledge can inform agency in professional contexts. The fourth section gathers together seven papers on learning and training that Winch has published over the last 25 years. The overarching theme of this section is the highly variegated nature of the phenomena of learning and the difficulty of constructing a ‘grand theory’ of learning. 

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Author Information

Christopher Winch is currently professor of educational philosophy and policy in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London.

Series

Anthem Studies in Wittgenstein

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Preface: A Brief Introduction to the Rationale for the Collection; Part I Rationality, Concepts and Conventions; Chapter One Education, Literacy and the Development of Rationality; Chapter Two Cooper, Labov, Larry and Charles; Chapter Three Do We Need Conventions?; Chapter Four Professional Education, Know- How and Conceptual Ability: The Role of Education in the Attainment of Concept Mastery in Professional Work; Part II Know-How and Vocational Education; Chapter Five Ryle on Knowing How and the Possibility of Vocational Education; Chapter Six Vocational Education, Knowing How and Intelligence Concepts; Chapter Seven Assessing Professional Know-How; Chapter Eight Education and Broad Concepts of Agency; Chapter Nine Knowing ‘Wh’ and Knowing How: Constructing Professional Curricula and Integrating Epistemic Fields; Chapter Ten Professional Knowledge, Expertise and Perceptual Ability; Chapter Eleven Applied Theoretical Knowledge and Professional and Vocational Education; Part III Learning and Training; Chapter Twelve Learning How to Learn: A Critique; Chapter Thirteen The Representational Theory of Learning and Its Pedagogic Relevance; Chapter Fourteen Curriculum Design and Epistemic Ascent; Chapter Fifteen Rousseau on Learning: A Re-Evaluation; Chapter Sixteen Learning the Virtues at Work; References; Index.

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