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The book's argument depends, as do most proposals in education, upon cer­ tain positions in the philosophy of education. I believe that education should be primarily concerned with developing understanding, with initiation into worth­ while traditions of intellectual achievement, and with developing capacities for clear, analytic and critical thought. These have been the long-accepted goals of liberal education. In a liberal education, students should come to know and appre­ ciate a variety of disciplines, know them at an appropriate depth, see the interconnectedness of the disciplines, or the modes of thought, and finally have some critical disposition toward what is being learned, to be genuinely open­ minded about intellectual things. These liberal goals are contrasted with goals such as professional training, job preparation, promotion of self-esteem, social engineering, entertainment, or countless other putative purposes of schooling that are enunciated by politicians, administrators, and educators. The book's argument might be consistent with other views of education­ especially ones about the training of specialists (sometimes called a professional view of education)-but the argument fits best with a liberal view of education. The liberal hope has always been that if education is done well, then other per­ sonal and social goods will follow. The development of informed, critical, and moral capacities is the cornerstone for personal and social achievements.

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