The linguistic turn in philosophy of education: An historical study of selected factors affecting an academic discipline.
AuthorPotter, Eugenie Ann Conser.
KeywordsEducation -- United States -- Philosophy -- 1965-
Education -- Economic aspects -- United States.
Philosophy, Modern -- 20th century.
AdvisorSacken, Donal M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFrom the late 1950s to about 1970, philosophers of education began to adopt a mode of philosophizing characterized as "the linguistic turn," after a similar change in general philosophy. This involved a move away from the older "isms" approach rooted in metaphysics towards linguistic and conceptual analysis. The linguistic turn has been attributed to intellectual history--the influence of ideas on a field. The central argument of this study, however, is that during the 1950s, factors external to academia, but acting upon it, interacted with concerns by educational philosophers themselves to create the conditions for the linguistic turn. These factors included the attacks on public schooling and "educationists," the teacher education reform movement, the Ford Foundation funding of liberal arts oriented teacher preparation, and, within the academy, the concern on the part of educational philosophers for the academic legitimacy of their discipline. These factors led philosophers of education to model their discourse more closely on the reigning paradigm in general philosophy, linguistic analysis. The attacks on public schooling were centered on progressivism for its alleged anti-intellectualism and subversive character. Philosophers of education were the particular targets of these critics. Teacher preparation in education schools also came under scrutiny during this period. The Ford Foundation's Fund for the Advancement of Education underwrote major programs that centered teacher preparation in a liberal arts curriculum, with only minimal coursework devoted to professional training. In addition, the National Commission for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) supported such a reorientation, with a concomitant weakening of educational philosophy's place in teacher education programs. Philosophers of education responded by lobbying for the inclusion of their courses in certification requirements, forging an alliance with the American Philosophical Association, reducing the social activism that had characterized earlier educational philosophers' efforts, and adopting the more academically legitimate methods of general philosophy. In the short term these actions assured educational philosophy a place in teacher education programs. In the long run, however, the linguistic turn may have jeopardized the survival of educational philosophy as an academic field by creating a chasm between philosopher and practitioner.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration