Philosophy of Liberal Education: The Contexts

  • Vitaly Kurennoy HSE University
Keywords: industrial society, liberal education, post-industrial society, Wilhelm von Humboldt, liberal arts education in the ancient world, classical German philosophy, Soviet cultural politics discourse, modernity


The first article devoted to philosophy of liberal education (Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow no 1, 2020) laid out systematically the principles of that philosophy, such as (1) lifelong learning, (2) academic freedom, (3) importance of practice and experience, (4) critical thinking and civil competency, (5) competency development instead of knowledge accumulation, (6) priority of general education over specialized education, (7) the concept of learning to learn, (8) self-directed learning effort, (9) political neutrality, and (10) interaction and Socratic dialogue. In this second part of the article, the liberal model of education is contextualized under two main perspectives, historical and socio-theoretical. The historical perspective is used to discuss the ancient origins of the liberal model, German classical philosophy as a direct origin of its principles, and the trajectories of liberal education discourse elements penetrating Russia’s educational and cultural policy. The socio-theoretical perspective is applied to the context in which the liberal model was conceived (the nascent stage of modernity), the social conditions that led to its crisis (stabilized industrial societies of the modern age), and its relevance in the era of late modernity.


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How to Cite
Kurennoy, Vitaly. 2020. “Philosophy of Liberal Education: The Contexts”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 2 (June), 8-36.
Theoretical and Applied Research