Philosophy is concerned with making sense of ideas and arguments. Philosophy of education is concerned with making sense of ideas and arguments about education. When we debate what it means for all education to be self-education, or to argue for the autonomy of the learner, we are doing philosophy of education. The arguments by themselves are not philosophy; in order to do the philosophical job properly we have to take things more slowly. Our conceptions of education stem from our beliefs about what it means to be human, and therefore our beliefs about what constitutes human flourishing. If these fundamental ideas are taken for granted, we very easily end up with a system of education based on the beliefs of those in power. This is a perennial source of tension in educational systems across the world.
Lindsay Jordan is a senior lecturer at the University of the Arts London where she leads a postgraduate course in the philosophy and practice of higher education. She is also a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University. Her thesis explores the current and future role of universities in society and considers how higher education and research might recover from the disenchantment of secularisation and specialisation. Lindsay is particularly interested in altered states of consciousness and their contribution to human flourishing and fulfilment.