The Rehabilitation of Virtue: Foundations of Moral Education

By Robert T. Sandin | Go to book overview

classification of the virtues is illustrative rather than systematic. He has no desire to offer an exhaustive or systematic catalogue of the manifold values that inspire moral action, or to resolve the conflicts among values that arise in the dilemmas of moral decision. Yet his survey is extraordinary in its scope and sensitivity.

The virtues are the values of human conduct, and as conduct extends over a rich variety, the virtues are differentiated according to their material. What they have in common, however, as the valuational mark of virtue as such, is their view of the good as connected with particular relationships. The more fully we consider the rich variety of virtue, Hartmann suggests, the more nearly do we understand the general character of the realm of values.

In my own account of the forms of goodness in the next chapter I have drawn heavily upon Hartmann's insightful and profoundly edifying analysis of what he calls the specific moral values.


SUMMARY

Any institution of learning depends for its proper functioning on certain virtues that must be exhibited by those who participate in its life. Evaluation is part of the life-process of every school, not only in measuring the educational progress of students but also in assessing truth-claims. The ideals of critical inquiry, respect for truth, justice, and freedom are not optional for education but are presupposed in the whole process of teaching/learning. Every school must take appropriate measures to preserve those virtues that are presupposed in all learning and to nurture the formation of these qualities in newcomers to its life. It must discover how to teach virtue.

But education also has a responsibility for nurturing the virtues on which social life depends. Identifying these qualities and discovering ways to teach them in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of critical reflection and academic freedom is part of the social mission of every school.

In recent years there has been a tendency in many schools and colleges to reject education in virtue as necessarily involving an indoctrinative approach in the inculcation of a conventional morality. Such an understanding is not faithful to the mainline tradition of the theory of virtue. Virtue without thinking is both a philosophical and an educational impossibility. Any program of education in virtue must center on reflective thinking concerning the requirements of the moral life.

A close study of the concept of virtue in Aristotle, Thomas

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The Rehabilitation of Virtue: Foundations of Moral Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Values in Retreat 17
  • Summary 30
  • 2 - The Teaching of Values 31
  • 3 - Values Without Philosophy 43
  • 4 - The Anti-Intellectualism of the Schools 55
  • Summary 70
  • 5 - Values in Development 72
  • Summary 87
  • 6 - The Realm of Value 89
  • 7 - Utility and Value 110
  • Summary 124
  • 8 - Thinking and Valuing 126
  • 9 - Reasons for Being Moral 143
  • Summary 156
  • 10 - Education and Virtue 158
  • Summary 182
  • 11 - The Structure of Virtue 184
  • Summary 207
  • 12 - Spirituality Without Illusion 210
  • 13 - Toward a Spiritual Education 231
  • Summary 245
  • Notes 247
  • Selected Bibliography for Values Education 267
  • Index 279
  • About the Author 283
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