Dawson, Graham (1982) Objective knowledge in education. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines and ultimately rejects the subjectivist critique of educational knowledge, according to which education is necessarily indoctrinatory because it cannot be based on objective knowledge.
In Part One discussion centres on the subjectivist claim that there can be no objective knowledge. It is argued in response to this claim that justified true belief constitutes objective knowledge. The notion of justification is then analysed as the survival of critical tests, a procedure which is made possible by criteria of rationality which are universally valid and can themselves be rationally justified.
Part Two investigates the methodological implications of the objectivist epistemology put forward in Part One.
The subjectivists claim that objectivism undermines the sociology of knowledge. In reply it is maintained that objectivism is compatible with the sociological investigation of knowledge and indeed widens its scope by permitting a critical approach.
Two intermediate conclusions have therefore been established: that there can be objective knowledge and that recognising that fact does not compromise the sociological investigation of institutions for transmitting it.
Accordingly, the way is open to examine in Part Three the specifically educational claim made by subjectivists, namely, that the methods and content of education are necessarily indoctrinatory and exploitative. This claim is rejected on the grounds that the curriculum, and the educational judgements based upon it, are potentially objective. The forms of knowledge provide an objective framework for the curriculum, because they can be transcend- entally deduced from the concept of rational action. The rational form of sensibility is the set of preconditions of acting for a reason; they give rise to the forms of knowledge, which constitute the preconditions of acting for a reason in the world as we know it.
It is concluded that only objectivism makes possible a critical attitude to knowledge and institutions and that subjectivism, if widely accepted, would lead to the subordination of reason to irrational forces.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 11:14
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2020 11:14
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/8096

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