Book Tip: Showing and Doing: Wittgenstein as a Pedagogical Philosopher

By Nicholas C. Burbles, Paul Smeyers, and Michael A. Peters.

Burbles, Smeyers and Peters have collected an excellent series of essays which are directly applicable to an educational perspective of Wittgenstein's philosophy. The premise of the book "Showing and Doing" reflects the ways in which individuals are brought into knowledge and practices, including technical as well as ethical domains. The book's chapters probe cognitive aspects of learning (e.g. imagination and concept-constructing) as well as social factors (e.g. communities of practice and apprenticeships). In addition, chapters such as "Wittgenstein as Exile" and "Wittgenstein, Confession and Pedagogy" take on a more critical stance by examining how individual practices interact with socio-cultural norms. The topic notes section of this website is littered with quotes from chapters in this book, particular in the sections that reflect upon adopting practices. I recommend this book without hesitation. The chapters are written clearly and effectively yet without sacrificing a sophisticated application and extension of Wittgenstein's philosophy.