Philosophy and the American School: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

By Van Cleve Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TEN
Comparative Axiology and the Educative Process

AXIOLOGY AND EDUCATION

Education as a moral enterprise

Now that we have completed a tour through some of the major theories of ethical and aesthetic valuation, it is time to address ourselves to the more important question of what these axiological theories have to say about the management of the learning process. In Chapter One the argument was offered that education is at bottom a value enterprise. We are now in a position to see the meaning of this idea in a more sophisticated setting.

For instance, to some philosophies, most particularly Neo-Thomism, as well as most theistic systems of belief, the school is a value enterprise in the sense that it inducts the young into a scheme of belief and commitment which is ultimately certified in the cosmos by a super being or a transcendent, transempirical authority. The content of these values and preferences is of course found in social life, in our daily circumstances of ethical and aesthetic choosing, but the standards for such choices have their ultimate origin and locus somewhere beyond the historical traditions of the race. In schools of this persuasion, there is a certain surety of mood, a confidence that the values and tastes being recommended to

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