PHILOSOPHY f o r EDUCATION, the challenge of our times

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This site offers up-to-date news about the PER Group (founded 1993) and the journal PROSPERO (founded 1995): also the Editor's philosophical emphases. Site editor: Chris Ormell, Editor of PROSPERO. You can contact us by email via

PER Group 'PER' = Philosophy for Educational Renewal It is an informal group of philosophers, educationalists, teachers and generalists concerned about the drift away from the values of education during the last three decades. It provides a forum for lectures, discussions, symposia etc. where ideas which might assist in a renewal of education can be aired. The remit is to cultivate the kind of philosophy which is needed to provide a basis for a return to genuinely educative schooling and teaching in universities. We hold about five meetings a year mostly in London. Members get about five PER Newsletters and the journal PROSPERO (quarterly).
PHILOSOPHY We belong to the commonsense, Anglo-Saxon, ordinary language, analytical tradition.
We have been analysing educational dilemmas and thorny questions for nearly 25 years. On this website you can find our main conclusions.
QUESTION 1: What can philosophy do for education?
ANSWER: 'Philosophy' is an underdetermined word at the present time. By 'philosophy' we mean a kind of even-handed, apolitical, curious, questing, rational thinking about the big issues facing school and university systems. Philosophy as an academic discipline seems to have descended into specialist word analysis and mathematical logic, neither of which are anywhere near what the word 'philosophy' meant in the past. Philosophy has to be a search for coherence in our knowledge of the world, i.e. getting a better understanding of it. Education also pivots on getting children to take early steps in understanding things. (Or rather, it used to do this, before it degenerated into mindless cramming of information.)


PER NEWS 95 This includes items on maths education, comments on the Times obituaries for Richard Peters and Fred Naylor and a report on Eric Blaire's talk to the group on February 11th. Status: posted to members.
PER NEWS 96 A comment on two anti-managerialism news items. Published in May.
PER NEWS 97 Comments on the talk by Dr Matthew Wilkinson to the PER group at Conway Hall in May.
PER NEWS 98 (September) A Report on Prof. Margaret Brown's 2012 P E R Lecture.

Back copies are available from: Ingleside-Ashby, P.O. Box 16916, Blackheath, London SE3 7WS price £5 plus postage EU £1 extra, Rest of world £2 extra.

Prospero 17-4 was published in December 2011. It contains articles by Prof. Patrick Keeney (3), David Aldridge, David Suttle and Chris Ormell (the 11th instalment of his Re-theorising Education series.). There is also a 4th Anthropic Ontology Annexe which looks at stochastic spin as a way to pick out bodylike bundles of UEs..

Prospero 18-1 was published in March 2012. It contains a Report on Prof. Raymond Tallis' talk to the P E R Group at Swedenborg House, an article by Mary Midgley, a Review by Prof. Patrick Keeney, a Note on Freewill by John Lucas, the final instalment of the Editor's Re-theorising Education series and another Anthropic Ontology Annex.

Prospero 18-2 was published at the end of June. It contains a report on Patricia White's 2011 P E R Lecture, an article by Dr Eric Blaire on Academies, an article by Prof. Michael Langford on freewill and consciousness, a review by Robert Gomme of Martha Nussbaum's defence of the humanities, and an article by Chris Ormell on the nature of philosophy.

Prospero 18-3 will be published in October 2012.

Unfortunely the companion philosophy for mathematics website:
has been hacked by wreckers, who don't want anyone to know that the logic of mathematics is in disarray.
[This website was about the philosophical
incoherence which has beset mathematics
since the early 20th century.For example, there are four unacknowledged mistakes in basic set theory: (1) sets as mathematical objects have been conflated with applied sets, (2) restrictive set theory is not a 'solution' to Russell's Paradox, it simply posits rules to ban it, (3) The total universe of discourse available to mathematics is no larger than ordinary infinity because it is confined to all permutations of about sixty symbols. Thus transfinite theory is a fantasy. (4) sets as mathematical objects must have elements which are mathematical objects. So one cannot define a set (as mathematical object) until one knows what a mathematical object is. So sets cannot be the 'ultimate objects' in mathematics. See the Note at the bottom of the Concept/Methods page here.

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