The Education Philosophy of Jacques Maritain

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Towards a Liberal and Integral Human Development

Maritain’s education enterprise can be summarised this way: we cannot educate man unless we know who he really is.

The learning subject is what should primarily interest modern educators because modern education may have everything except human formation.

Certainly so much has been said on education for today & tomorrow.

But the real problem is education for man, the central cause of Maritain’s philosophy.

In other words, Education is, because man is.

The education crisis of this age is not a fiscal calamity as policy makers may think; it is a human crisis.

This problematic, which is profoundly anthropological in character is what has animated the central theme of our discussion.

Such anthropology takes on a philosophico-religious approach that takes into account the intangible and intrinsic nature of man.

A cursory glance at this approach makes us think of Thomas Aquinas who inspired Maritain in agreeing with the idea that man is both a rational and social animal but with a transcendent destiny.

Endowed with reason, man’s prime vocation consists of progressively becoming what he was meant to be: this is the task of education.

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