Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 21-39

First online:

Sphere Pluralism and Critical Individuality

  • T. PuolimatkaAffiliated withDepartment of Education, University of Helsinki

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While discussing critical individuality as oneof the main goals of liberal education, theemphasis has usually been on direct educationalmeasures. Much less attention has been given tothe social preconditions for its development.This paper discusses the societal aspect of thequestion by employing the notion of spherepluralism. The attempt is to point out someways in which the diversified nature of societycan be employed in its full potential for thedevelopment of critical individuality. Thearticle aims to outline a form of spherepluralism, which is based on structuraldifferentiation, cultural diversity, communalvitality, confessional pluralism andcross-communal criticism. The suggestion isthat the critical potential of sphere pluralismpresupposes a proper balance between sphereautonomy and inter-sphere criticism as well asthat between social construction of meaning andobjective-structural constraints.

critical individuality education indoctrination sphere pluralism