The aims of higher education essay

Kyla Ebels-Duggan, Paul Weithman, and Allen Buchanan explain how universities can accomplish this remarkable feat. Their essays emphasize higher education’s role in developing vital character traits among students, like personal autonomy and humility (especially relating to what they might not know and understand). Weithman, a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, has a particularly interesting take on the importance of “academic friendship” between professors and students. He believes this special relationship can work wonders for students’ character development.

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The Aims of Higher Education offers thought-provoking perspectives on highly relevant moral issues. Editors Brighouse and McPherson don’t drive a particular agenda, although they do neatly refute Peter Thiel. Few who finish this book will doubt the importance and value of higher education.

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The last two essays in The Aims of Higher Education, by Erin I. Kelly and Lionel K. McPherson, touch on issues of access, diversity, and justice. Kelly, a professor of philosophy at Tufts University, argues that “fair equality of opportunity” is essential for universities to function as just institutions in a democratic society. This moral issue becomes ever more urgent—and complicated—as the cost of education increases, income disparity grows, and selection criteria become more stringent.

In his famous essay called “The Aims of Education,” delivered as his presidential ..
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Brighouse and McPherson are interested in the values underlying heated debates about higher education. What should students learn? Who should attend college? How should universities relate to society? They’ve solicited essays by university faculty and administrators who can provide a philosophical perspective on these issues, with an eye to influencing higher-education policy and practice.

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Amy Gutmann tells a troubling story in the essay collection The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice (University of Chicago Press).

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