About this book
Joseph Agassi is known primarily among fellow academics as an exemplary historian and philosopher of science; an ardent critic and disciple of Karl Popper; a critical admirer of the work of Michael Polanyi; and a Socratic fly with the “sting of a bee” for all those who wear the intellectual fashions of the day. To most of Agassi’s students he is known primarily as an exemplary model of the Socratic teacher. The question of most urgency for educators today who care about the intellectual development of students is: How do we make ready our educational institutions for more Socratic teachers? The philosophical or theoretical question is: Why do we want Socratic teachers? In outline, of the many of Agassi’s educational essays selected for this book, Agassi answers those questions: authoritarianism (or anti-democracy) blocks the democratic reform of educational institutions where Socratic teachers and students could find a safe haven; and, Socratic teaching is the main anti-dote to authoritarianism. The removal of authoritarianism from education also removes the hazard that education has become to students; to their happiness, creativity, and dignity as autonomous individuals.