Philosophical Papers

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Is ‘Education' a Thick Epistemic Concept?

H Siegel


Is ‘education' a thick epistemic concept? The answer depends, of course, on the
viability of the ‘thick/thin' distinction, as well as the degree to which education is an
epistemic concept at all. I will concentrate mainly on the latter, and will argue that
epistemological matters are central to education and our philosophical thinking about it;
and that, insofar, education is indeed rightly thought of as an epistemic concept. In laying
out education's epistemological dimensions, I hope to clarify the degree to which it makes
sense to regard the concept as ‘thick'. I also discuss the relationship between philosophy of
education and virtue epistemology and the sense in which being educated might itself be
thought to be an epistemic virtue. Finally, I urge virtue epistemologists in particular and
epistemologists generally to turn their attention to questions of education, to further both
the philosophy of education and epistemology itself.

Philosophical Papers Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 455-469
AJOL African Journals Online