A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reading a pre-release review copy of Sam Rocha’s new book, A Primer on Philosophy and Education. The book is not (nor does it pretend to be) a general introduction to Western philosophy; rather, it’s an introduction to philosophical thinking, especially as it applies to education—and here Rocha has a bit of fun.
Rocha is a philosopher of education, and from that and the title of the book one might think that this is a book about schools, teachers, and chalkboards. On the contrary: Rocha refers to all of that as “schooling”; by education he means “learning”, or more precisely, the ability to learn for one’s self, and to go on doing so all one’s life. But that precise meaning only emerges in the course of book. (Whoops! Spoilers. Sorry, Sam.)The day I read this I was at home sick with a cold, and so it’s a fairly strong statement to say that I enjoyed it and that it held my attention. That said, I find I can’t judge the book fairly, as I’m really not a member of Rocha’s intended audience: his students, and others at a similar level. I don’t claim to be a philosopher of any stripe, but I’ve been delving into it long enough that at least I’m no longer a beginner (perhaps I’m a philosophomore). Whether I’d have found this book helpful when I was beginning that journey, I don’t know. But it all made sense to me, and as I say I enjoyed it.