Dissertation

Aristotle on Teaching: Scientific Knowledge, Moral Education, and Intellectual Virtue
Dissertation Summary

Aristotle says that intellectual virtues are “generated and developed mostly by teaching,” yet no substantive work has been done to figure out what, on Aristotle’s view, ‘teaching’ consists in. My dissertation fills this gap. First, I defend my interpretation: for Aristotle, teaching is the activity of instilling true accounts, grounded in explanatorily basic principles, in students ready to receive them. I then use this reading to argue, against some prevailing views in Aristotle’s ethics, that (1) habituation does not require teaching, and (2) Aristotle’s practically wise person possesses a philosophical conception of the human good. Finally, I use my interpretation to solve a problem for Aristotelian educational theory. I argue that Aristotle's educational program, contrary to what critics have claimed, does not rob students of their autonomy. 

Publications

"Dewey, Aristotle, & Education as Completion" in Philosophy of Education 2018 (1): 669-682

I enlist Dewey’s help to reveal the philosophical conceptions of education that underlie the two models of education that have governed pedagogical theory for nearly a century—traditionalism and progressivism. Dewey ties traditionalism to education as formation and progressivism to education as development. Each conception of education has its problems, but I argue that Dewey’s division establishes a false dichotomy. Aristotle’s program of education, which I call education as completion, combines aspects of both models to provide a path for educational theory to avoid the pitfalls of both traditionalism and progressivism. 

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