Associate Dean of Advising and Lecturer
Alleva's main interests are in moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of education, and the history of philosophy.
Professor Alleva's current projects include work on philosophical issues regarding work, contemporary controversies about freedom of expression, and recent work on liberal political theory.
This course explores central questions in the philosophy of education: What is education, and what is it for? What is the meaning and value of education to individuals and society? What should the aims of education be? Are there things that everyone should know or be able to do? Should education promote moral virtue? What are alternative methods of education? How should educational opportunities and resources be distributed? What roles should the individual, family, community, and state have in education? What should the role of education be in democratic societies? We will examine alternative perspectives on these and related issues of educational theory and practice. Readings will include selections from a variety of influential historical thinkers, such as Plato, Rousseau, and Dewey, as well as more recent educational theorists and critics.
We will examine diverse concerns regarding work: What is "work"? What significance does it have in our lives? How does work vary across social groups, classes, professions, communities, and traditions? How are individual and group identity related to work? What makes work be regarded as easy or hard, desirable or undesirable, meaningful or meaningless? What virtues and vices are associated with work? What moral rights and obligations are related to work? Is there a right to work, or a right to meaningful work? Is there an obligation to work? How should work-related opportunities, benefits, and burdens be distributed in society? What role(s) does gender play in work? How should work be organized and controlled? How are notions of play, leisure, unemployment, or retirement contrasted with (or related to) work? We will approach these and related concerns through classical and contemporary materials in philosophy, the humanities, and the social sciences. (Prior coursework in philosophy or relevant areas of social science is recommended, but not required.)