Category Archives: Education

Spinoza as cautionary tale about asking the wrong questions

An example of using social fear to intimidate students who might ask the “wrong questions.” From a review of Rebecca Goldstein’s Betraying Spinoza: Goldstein tells of “the particularly Jewish way in which Spinoza entered her life. It initially happened, she … Continue reading

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Adjuncts and academic quality in higher education

Data on faculty composition in higher education: 1969: 21.7% non-tenure track and 78.3% tenure-track positions. 2009: 66.5% ineligible for tenure and 33.5% tenure-track positions.[1] Three questions about quality in higher education, in light of the data. 1. Do adjuncts or … Continue reading

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Kant on imagination in education

Professor Kant first delivered a series of lectures on education in 1776/77. His views were influenced by and are often congruent with those of Johann Georg Sulzer, the leading (and very scary) education theorist of the time in the German … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman on loving learning

Beginning My Studies Beginning my studies the first step pleas’d me so much, The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and … Continue reading

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How Can We Make Entrepreneurs? *Steve Jobs and Philosophy*

Here is the PDF of my chapter “How Can We Make Entrepreneurs?”, which was published in Shawn Klein’s edited volume Steve Jobs and Philosophy (Open Court, 2015), pp. 53-66. Click on the image at left to see a larger view … Continue reading

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Education’s “Public Choice” Dynamic

Arguments for government involvement in education are many. They include the views that many parents cannot afford to educate their children, that private philanthropy cannot make up the deficit, that too many parents don’t care enough about education, and more. … Continue reading

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Are schools worse than factory jobs for kids?

From a post by Lant Pritchett at the World Bank site: “In the early 20th century Helen Todd, a factory inspector in Chicago, interviewed 500 children working in factories, often in dangerous and unpleasant conditions. She asked children the question: … Continue reading

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Does schooling reduce crime?

A standard argument for mandatory schooling is that it reduces crime. Behind that argument are claims that formal education civilizes and/or that schooling gets kids off the streets where they otherwise might be. That is to say, in economics-speak, that … Continue reading

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