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Wittgenstein and Education

On Not Sparing Others the Trouble of Thinking

Skilbeck, Adrian / Standish, Paul (Herausgeber)

Journal of Philosophy of Education


1. Auflage August 2023
352 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-91225-5
John Wiley & Sons


This collection of essays demonstrates the importance of Wittgenstein's importance for philosophical enquiry into education. It brings together critical discussions of a range of topics under the headings of 'Language, Science and the World', 'Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy', 'Aesthetics, Ethics and the DeSpirit', and 'Concepts, Games and Forms of Life'.

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Wittgenstein's later writings are abundant with examples, and these return repeatedly to scenes of teaching and learning. Light is cast on language, belief, imagination, perception, illusion and obsession, by asking for each how it is acquired. How do we come into the practices that make up our lives? How, beyond the biological, do we become human beings? Wittgenstein wanted not to spare others the trouble of thinking but to stimulate readers to thoughts of their own. Yet so much in education today leads students (and their teachers) along clearly-planned direct routes to achievement, to success without the trouble of thinking. Knowledge and understanding are displaced by transferrable skills and competences, with teacher education reduced to priorities of classroom management skills and curriculum 'delivery'. In this climate there is a new growth of interest in the illumination Wittgenstein provides for enquiry into education. This collection, originating in the Annual Conference of the British Wittgenstein Society in 2018, celebrates this influence and demonstrates the range of Wittgenstein's importance for education.

Notes on Contributors Introduction 1
Adrian Skilbeck and Paul Standish

Section 1 Language, Science and the World 7

1 Wittgenstein, Educational Research and the Capture of Science 9
Richard Smith

2 Teaching and Learning with Wittgenstein and Turing: Sailing the Seas of Social Media 23
Juliet Floyd

3 'A Psychological Regularity to Which No Physiological Regularity Corresponds?': Some Remarks on Understanding and Learning 44
Leon Culbertson

4 Science Education on the Tightrope Between Scientism and Relativism: A Wittgensteinian Balancing Act 56
Renia Gasparatou Copyrighted Material

5 Wittgenstein's Language- Games of Education: Reading Higher and Lower Registers of 'Learning' in On Certainty 67
Jeff Stickney

Section 2 Teaching, Learning and Pedagogy 93

6 The Fragility of Learning 95
Michael Luntley

7 On 'Directing the Child's Attention': Wittgensteinian Considerations Concerning Joint Attentional Learning 111
Christopher Joseph An

8 Pedagogical Influence in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: The 'Following a Teacher' Argument 125
Nimrod Matan

9 A Pedagogic Reading of Wittgenstein's Life and Later Works 137
Désirée Weber

10 Wittgenstein, Problem- based Learning and Higher Education 151
Patrik Kjærsdam Telléus

Section 3 Aesthetics, Ethics and the Spirit 163

11 Affectation in Dance Practice and the Picture of the Inner and the Outer: Awareness of Dance Instruction and the Use of the Mirror 165
Carla Carmona

12 Possessions and Losses: Joyce, Wittgenstein and Pedagogical Foundations 178
Edward Guetti

13 Stories Well Told: Ethics Education Following Wittgenstein 191
Ruth Heilbronn

14 Rush Rhees on Education 204
D. Ieuan Lloyd

15 Wittgenstein: Spiritual Practices 219
Gordon C.F. Bearn

16 Wittgenstein and Learning as Self- Education 236
Patrick Quinn

Section 4 Concepts, Games and Forms of Life 249

17 Dredging and Sedimentation: Wittgenstein, Naturalism and Conceptual Change 251
Stephen Burwood

18 Remarks on a Wittgensteinian Education to Ineducation 261
Matteo Rivetti

19 Language Games in the Ivory Tower: Comparing the Philosophical Investigations with Hermann Hesse's
The Glass Bead Game 271
Georgina Edwards

20 'Education as Initiation into Practices' Reconsidered 294
Kenny Siu Sing Huen

21 Teaching a Form of Life 306
Rebeca Pérez León

References 320

Index 335
ADRIAN SKILBECK is a Lecturer in Education Studies at the University of Winchester, where he co-convenes the Centre for Philosophy of Education.

PAUL STANDISH leads the Centre for Philosophy of Education at UCL. He is President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.

P. Standish, University of Dundee