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Philosophy of Peace Education

  • Date Submitted: 03/12/2011 05:54 PM
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James Page
                            Southern Cross University, Australia

1. Definition: The Philosophy of Peace Education

The philosophy of peace education can be defined, most simply, as the elaboration of reasons why we ought to be committed to peace education.   To some extent, all writers on peace and peace education may be said to be articulating reasons why we ought to be committed to peace education.   However, if we think of an organized philosophy of peace education, this implies that such reasons for the commitment to peace education as organized within the context of established philosophical traditions.   A philosophy of peace education is thus more than a personal statement of the importance of peace education, as valuable as this might be.   There must be some argumentation of the importance of peace education through either established philosophers and/or established schools of philosophical debate.    

2. Dearth of Attention to the Philosophy of Peace Education
There are many within the field of peace research and education who have lamented the dearth of attention to developing a systematic philosophy of peace education. In 1965, Johan Galtung referred to “dephilosophizing” within peace research, that is, merely “collecting research experience without having a satisfactory definition and a conceptual framework and a deductive theory” (EPR:1:171). Galtung was referring to peace research, although the diagnosis from Galtung regarding peace education is similar. Galtung contended in 1971 that a theory for peace education had yet to be developed and the need for such a theory clearly existed (EPR:1:334-339). Over a decade later, Nigel Blake reached a similar conclusion, ending an essay on peace education with a call for philosophical work on the field, as such work was “urgent” (1985:38).

The comments by Galtung and Blake are now dated, although problem of a lack of a developed philosophical rationale for...


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