Evaluating cultures:the instrumentalism, pluralist perfectionism, and particularism of John Gray

Johnson, Matthew Thomas (2012) Evaluating cultures:the instrumentalism, pluralist perfectionism, and particularism of John Gray. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 62 (5). pp. 553-572. ISSN 0013-1857

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Abstract

In this article, Matthew Johnson examines the possibility of using elements of John Gray's work to advance a means of evaluating cultures, in order to inform the development of pluralist perfectionist forms of public policy and, in particular, educational programs. Johnson engages critically with elements of Gray's value pluralism, such as his understanding of the objectivity and universality in human values, needs, and well-being; determinacy of circumstance; and particularity with regard to the selection of values. These elements support an instrumental account of culture in which a group's choice of values is assessed according to their contribution to well-being. Johnson then considers the potential conflict between pluralism and perfectionism in the development of education systems in heterogeneous societies, highlighting the harms inflicted on the identity, meaning, and security of particular groups by attempts to promote well-being. Johnson concludes the article with an exploration of possible means of minimizing harm through pragmatic engagement with identity and circumstance.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Educational Philosophy and Theory
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1207
Subjects:
ID Code:
65864
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Aug 2013 11:14
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Jan 2020 08:34