Examining human agency from Richard Rortys point of view with regard to social education


1 Associate Professor of Tehran University

2 PhD student at Tehran University


Any plan for education presupposes a particular view on human nature. The kind of approach to human and his/her place in society guides educational practices in social education. This research examines Rortyan neo-pragmatism with regard to human agency and social education. This theory concentrates on human action and regards the human agency as its central subject. As for the social education, by assuming two educational phases, it suggests a two-phase goal including convergence between the individual and the society before university and non-convergence thereafter. Accordingly, in the end, the person turns to an active agent, who accompanying the society can move toward the opposite direction of common sense and give new theories. In addition, it suggests some principles and methods for performing the mentioned aims. We criticize this theory and its educational implications because of reducing human being to an organism and denying any kind of innate components which is required for regarding the final goal. In addition, we argue that Rortys view on the human as a contingent being in a contingent world leads to anxiety and passiveness. As for education, Rortys view faces some problems. First, there is a gap between his two educational phases. Second, there is no criterion for evaluating "final vocabulary". Third, he suggested that individuality is empty.