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Seducing Souls


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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part One - Developing a Conception of Human Well-Being; Chapter One: Basics of Well-Being: Subjectivity, Satisfaction, and Experience; Chapter Two: Experience, Desire, and Well-Being; Chapter Three: Attunement, Motivation, and Reasons; Chapter Four: Perceiving and Valuing in Hermeneutic Experience; Chapter Five: Structuring and Evaluating a Life; Part Two - Educational Implications; Chapter Six: Perfectionism and Human Capabilities; Chapter Seven: Perfectionism, Liberalism, and Political Deliberation; Chapter Eight: Judging Well-Being; Chapter Nine: Seducing Souls; Epilogue: Philosophy as a Way of Life; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Karl D. Hostetler is Professor, College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the author of Ethical Judgment in Teaching (Allyn & Bacon, 1997).


"This book offers a well-reasoned, balanced, and wise argument for why well-being should be a guiding aim of education. Hostetler draws effectively upon a wide range of philosophical writings, while keeping his prose accessible and interesting to both the teacher and the scholar." - David T. Hansen, Professor and Director, Program in Philosophy and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.
Karl Hostetler asks us to learn to live a meaningful and richly satisfying life through the education of well-being. For Hostetler, well-being includes the engagement of the body, emotion, spirit, as well as the mind. He provokes us by suggesting that we lessen control and allow ourselves to be seized and seduced by meaningful experiences. Hostetler shows that such a practice, seemingly an obvious goal in education, is not a part of today's schooling, and indeed may have been overlooked or ignored in many educational settings in the past. Through a carefully constructed and philosophically rich argument, Hostetler puts forth well-being as an educational goal in response to what he sees as a narrowing of purpose and an evacuation of a rich curriculum in today's culture of testing, standards, and accountability. Drawing upon a philosophical literature that includes Aristotle, John Dewey, Richard Bernstein, and Martha Nussbaum, Hostetler brings both philosophy and education back to considering the fundamental importance of well-being as an educational aim. He challenges technical thinking, means-end thinking, and narrowness in education with thought both nuanced and accessible. Hostetler offers teachers support for what they do by highlighting a fundamental reason one is called to teach: to enhance and promote the quality of human lives through a curriculum that supports and celebrates well-being and human capabilities. This book is a major achievement in educational philosophy that I will recommend to colleagues and students. -A. G. Rud, Dean and Professor, College of Education, Washington State University

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