The World is Too Much with Us: Apparent and Real Platonic Views of Intelligence and Knowledge for Education

  • David Carr University of Edinburgh
Keywords: intelligence, knowledge, Plato, selective vs egalitarian education


From Plato onwards, notions of intelligence and ability – and of their implications for human flourishing – have had a chequered educational history. Following some attention to the influence of IQ theory on (arguably neo-Platonic) post-WW2 British selective state education, this paper proceeds to consider the more egalitarian educational reaction to such selection from the nineteen-sixties onwards. However, while appreciative of the individual and social benefits of such greater educational equality, the paper proceeds to ask whether the notions of individual growth, fulfilment and flourishing that they may seem to entail are entirely appropriate for the human world of tomorrow.

Author Biography

David Carr, University of Edinburgh

David Carr is Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and was until recently Professor of Ethics and Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues of the University of Birmingham (UK). He has written much on the significance of art and literature for educating moral character and on the virtue of gratitude.


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How to Cite
Carr, D. (2019). The World is Too Much with Us: Apparent and Real Platonic Views of Intelligence and Knowledge for Education. Multidisciplinary Journal of School Education, 8(1 (15). Retrieved from