John White’s contributions to philosophy of education are many and varied: in a career spanning a solid half century he has taught generations of students, many of whom have become important scholars in their own right, and published more than 20 books and more than 160 papers. His work, always clearly and engagingly written, covers an impressive span of topics, from meat-and-potatoes philosophical topics in ethics, social and political philosophy and philosophy of mind to the gritty details of curriculum and policy. His is a remarkable record of achievement and impact. I am honoured to be a part of this volume’s critical celebration of White’s important work in education and its philosophy. In what follows I focus on his multi-faceted views concerning the aims of education.