Why We Need the Arts: John Macmurray on Education and the Emotions

Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (1):47-60 (2015)
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Abstract
This article argues that Macmurray’s work on education is deserving of serious consideration, because it offers an account of the person that highlights the significance of the emotions and the arts. In particular, the article examines and teases out the areas of Macmurray’s concept of the person that are pertinent to the philosophy of education, which includes the contention that the emotions can and should be educated. Furthermore, on the basis of Macmurray’s work, this article argues that emotional competency is bound up with an education in the creative arts. Consequently engagement with the arts, which is often considered to be a luxury and a hobby, becomes an essential component in the development of human nature and the ability to live well. Finally, by analysing Macmurray’s description of a work of art and bringing Macmurray into conversation with contemporary views regarding the arts and the education of the emotions, in both a critical and a supportive manner, this article concludes that education in the emotions and the arts are key aspects of human well-being.
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Archival date: 2017-10-17
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