Journal of philosophy of education vol:42 issue:1 pages:85-106
An overarching aim of education is the promotion of children’s personal well-being. Liberal educationalists also support the promotion of children’s personal autonomy as a central educational aim. On some views, such as John White’s, these two goals—furthering well-being and cultivating autonomy—can come apart. Our primary aim in this paper is to argue for a species of a stronger view: assuming preferentism as our axiology, we suggest that there is an essential association between the autonomy of our springs of action, such as desires and beliefs, on the one hand, and personal well-being, on the other. If we are right about this link, then we have at our disposal a partial (non-instrumental) validation of the liberal ideal of autonomy.