ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on John White's multi-faceted views concerning the aims of education. In White's view, the fundamental aims of education involve flourishing, well-being and personal autonomy. It is worth noting briefly that White's depiction of personal autonomy, though complex, is in keeping with most authors' basic understanding of it. It is fundamentally a matter of self-directedness or self-government, according to which autonomous persons choose their own major goals themselves rather than deferring unreflectively to tradition, religion, family or dominating others. White devotes considerable effort to the problem of justifying the aim of autonomy, both in general and, in particular, in the face of challenges posed by societies and cultures within them in which people lead heteronomous but nevertheless fulfilled and flourishing lives. White restricts his justification of autonomy to its conditional role in liberal democratic states, and does not try to justify it in non-liberal states.