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The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 3, 1999

Philosophy of Education

Lucius Outlaw, Jr.
Pages 173-184

Philosophical Education and Cultural Diversity

Will professional philosophers contribute in substantial ways toward efforts to realize long-term prospects for justice, stability, and harmony, especially in light of the contentious situations and invidious histories spawned by Western Modernity? Perhaps. Are these tasks for which professional philosophers are especially well-prepared and thus should have primary responsibility? Some among professional philosophers (and others) would be so bold—and misguided—as to assign themselves such a vaunted responsibility. Certainly, this has been the case in the past. However, the longer I participate in and think about professional philosophy, the more I am convinced that such an assessment and assignment of responsibility cannot be adequately justified. In what follows, I argue that one’s educational needs (in light of the aforementioned tasks) cannot be adequately met by professional philosophers alone.