Sophistry and the modern western state Cover Image

Sofistyka i nowoczesne państwo zachodnie
Sophistry and the modern western state

Author(s): Peter A. Redpath
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Fundacja »Lubelska Szkoła Filozofii Chrześcijańskiej«
Keywords: sophistry; West; state; politics; civilization

Summary/Abstract: The Author discusses the deep dependence of education and politics on metaphysics. He tries to show the defectiveness of Jacques Maritain's attitude to this matter. The Author criticizes Maritain's tendency to equalize notions of intellect, theoretical knowledge, and metaphysics, and also to confuse notions of "practical" and "secular." He considers that Maritain's reasoning is unjustified, when he affirms that state, because of its interest in a diminution of ignorance among its citizens, is entitled to usurp for itself the role of the prime educator of children, or to establish tax-supported public schools. He undermines the statement that by diminishing ignorance state education improves morality, reduces crime, promotes economic growth, and increases democratic political participation and social cohesion. The Author indicates that hundreds years of Western social experimentation with state-run, tax-supported educadon demonstrates its failure. The system of tax-supported government education is - according to the Author - perfectly suited for enlightened despotism. In conclusion he states that western democracies desperately need clear-headed philosophers to enliven education with the metaphysical principles that help support democratic life.

  • Issue Year: 2003
  • Issue No: 15
  • Page Range: 349-361
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish