Fostering rationality in Asian education

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Despite the apparent ample justification for teaching children to be rational, there is considerable controversy among philosophers over whether rationality is worth defending as a basic educational ideal. In this chapter, I first argue that, following Nicholas Rescher, rationality should be conceptualized as comprising cognitive, practical and evaluative rationality. Based on this tripartite conception of rationality, I then advance three arguments – founded on pragmatic, ontological and moral considerations – for rationality as a fundamental educational ideal. Finally, to promote the development of rationality in children, especially in Asia, I suggest that teachers should engage them in doing philosophy in the classroom. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociological and philosophical perspectives on education in the Asia-Pacific region
EditorsChi-Ming LAM, Jae PARK
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789812879400
ISBN (Print)9789812879387
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Lam, C.-M. (2016). Fostering rationality in Asian education. In C.-M. Lam, & J. Park (Eds.), Sociological and philosophical perspectives on education in the Asia-Pacific region (pp. 9-22). Singapore: Springer.


  • Coherence
  • Defend


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