By Eamonn Callan

Eamonn Callan attracts on modern paintings in ethics and social philosophy to stipulate a thought of the character and price of freedom and autonomy which helps a number of child-centred guidelines. He argues for a curriculum that's adapted to the pursuits of the person baby, even the place this may contain early specialization. obligatory education is defended on paternalistic grounds, even though it really is famous that the scope of justified compulsion could be narrower than we regularly imagine. ultimately, Callan means that on the greater degrees of education there's a powerful case for large pupil participation within the govt of colleges.

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In the present case, the young woman does not really have a mind of her own, or enough of one, because her parents possess so much of it. If we are to conceive of autonomy in the manner I have suggested, then what can be said about its value? That question has to be 41 Autonomy answered in a way that gives us persuasive grounds to want autonomy for ourselves and our children. Otherwise, autonomy (in my sense) could not provide any resolution to the difficulties surrounding the value of liberty noted at the end of the preceding chapter, and the educational recommendations, derived from the ideal of self-rule, which I shall make in succeeding chapters, would have no appeal.

It is not that too much self-knowledge is a bad thing. On the contrary, I would want to say that insofar as this woman's efforts yield self-knowledge, her 39 Autonomy success is to be valued. The real trouble lies elsewhere. In pursuing self-knowledge the value of the achievement may be outweighed by the costs of the pursuit, and where the pursuit becomes central to someone's life, that possibility would seem to become a virtual certainty. Inasmuch as I devote my energies to the disclosure of all my latent talents and aptitudes, I shall have less to spare for endeavours I am already familiar with and interested in, and the meaning I bestow upon my life through participation in these activities is thereby diminished.

6 If I am interested in the music of Bach, I do not thereby become the music of Bach. But a literal reading is hardly suitable here. Dewey probably meant that our interests are definitive of who we are in that the meaning of our lives largely depends upon them. Imagine what it would be like to lose all your interests. You would no longer be the same person, except in superficial respects, because your interests give your life a sense of significant continuity. A life without interests would be a life felt to be virtually meaningless.

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