Who Needs a Liberal Arts College? A Philosophy of Education by Alburey Castell

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Alburey Castell, a significant Twentieth Century American philosopher, turned his attention to issues in education at mid-point in his academic career. Engaged in an enduring polemic with scientism's effort to abolish personhood, most notably in B.F. Skinner's thought, Castell forged the concepts of "agency," "activity," and "process" to stake out the claims of personhood. Carrying such concepts as tools into the field of education, Castell drove a wedge between the humanities and the sciences. The person, or "self," reasons, while processes in the natural world are reasoned about. Logic is the description of the reasoned "activities" of the self, while laws of science are descriptions of the "processes" of nature. Applications to the everyday concerns of educators abound. Understanding the daily tasks in teaching presupposes knowledge of the logic of coming to know. Students are not stimulus-response mechanisms, but resourceful reasoners assembling connecting links to conclusions. The role of social science is exposed as a complex and open question. The issue of the aims of education is directed to the development of the individual person as a free and rational agent. This individual must come to understand himself and his place in the modern world. The modern world is aptly described as requiring a professional and managerial class with special educational needs. Castell then describes the function of the liberal arts college as providing the foundations for the special, further educational skills acquired at the graduate and professional school level.


“Special Collections provides access to primary resources that support the curriculum, as well as archival materials that document the role the college plays in the advancement of liberal arts education. I welcome this work. Dr. Hustwit has not only provided us with a carefully edited volume of Castell's works, but he has provided this college and the liberal arts community with a significant gift -a piece of its history. This work offers the words and thoughts of a man who helped to educate today's leaders in service-oriented fields, business, and academia.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Denise Monbarren, Special Collections Librarian, The College of Wooster Libraries

Table of Contents

Commendatory Preface
A Brief Sketch of Alburey Castell's Academic Life
Editor's Introduction
The Self in Philosophy
The Teacher's World
Pedagogical Encounter
Disciplines and the Sciences
The Humanities Give You the Modern World
The Place of Philosophy in Education and the Humanities
Who Needs a Liberal Arts College?
A Small Liberal Arts College Is
A Church Related College Is
A Meeting of Scholars
Bibliography of Alburey Castell's Works

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