The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 4, 2006

Philosophy of Education

Raf Vanderstraeten
Pages 129-133

The Social Foundations of Educational Ideas
'Bildung' in the Modern World

This paper analyses the coevolution of the concept of 'Bildung' (inner-formation, selfcultivation) and the structures of education and society. Although a newcomer to the German language, with a still somewhat obscure meaning, 'Bildung' becomes a key concept in social discourse around 1800. In this paper, I will focus on the concept and its social role in a mainly European context. This paper will deal with the meaning of the concept and with the coevolution of 'Bildung' and societal structures.