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Moral Psychology

Paideia: Moral Education in the University?

Michael Beaty
Baylor University

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ABSTRACT: Does the title of the World Congress of Philosophy, Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity, reflect hubris, irony or a pragmatic optimism? How is it possible for philosophy to educate the human community in the twenty-first century? More specifically, at a time when few people besides academic philosophers read philosophy, in what sense can philosophy educate humanity? In this essay I examine one possible way philosophy can educate humanity advanced by Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University. In a variety of public lectures, published essays and books Bok insists that America's leading colleges and universities ought to recommit themselves to moral education as one of their central tasks. I argue that recommitment to this task on the part of these elite universities is far more difficult than Bok admits. Indeed, I contend that as long as America's elite educational institutions retain the intellectual and structural commitments that displaced paideia, Bok's vision for moral education has little chance of success.

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At a time when both higher education and philosophy are self-conscious about their limitations, The Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy chose as its theme, Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity. Does this title reflect hubris, irony or a pragmatic optimism? How is it possible for philosophy to educate the human community in the twenty-first century? More specifically, at a time when few people besides academic philosophers read philosophy, in what sense can philosophy educate humanity? In this essay I examine one proposed answer to this question. Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University, in a variety of public lectures, published essays and books offers one possible way philosophy can educate humanity. Bok insists that America's leading colleges and universities ought to recommit themselves to moral education as one of their central tasks. (1) While I sympathize with Bok's admonition to America's prestigious universities to reclaim the task of moral education, I shall argue that a recommittal to this task on the part of these elite universities is far more difficult that Bok admits. (2) Indeed, I contend that as long as America's elite educational institutions retain the intellectual and structural commitments that displaced paideia, Bok's vision for moral education has little chance of success. To accomplish this aim, first, I clarify Bok's case for moral education in American colleges and universities. Second, closely following Bok's account, I provide a brief history of moral education in 19th century America. Third, I develop an historical and philosophical diagnosis of why the project of moral education was redescribed and displaced in America higher education. Finally, I identify and critique Bok's proposals for remedying the impoverished state of moral education in the university. Because his proposals retain the commitments that implied that moral education had no place in the modern university, I contend that they are inadequate to the task as he himself defines it.

1. An Argument for Moral Education in the University

According to Bok, all advanced nations depend on three critical elements: (1) new discoveries, (2) highly trained personnel, and (3) expert knowledge. In America, universities are the major sources of all three. Thus, the modern university is the central institution in a postindustrial society and, consequently, a primary instrument of social progress. (3) The justification for the enormous expenditure of public and private money spent on higher education in large part ought to be its effectiveness in promoting social progress. Hence, America's colleges and universities ought to address themselves to our society's major social problems. (4) Many of these problems require more than technological solutions. We will resolve our nation's most pressing problems, Bok states, only by linking "individualism and competitiveness with a set of qualities of a very different kind — qualities of a more cooperative and communal nature rooted in a strong sense of personal responsibility toward institutions, communities, and other human beings." (5) To solve these national problems we need a citizenry who share a strong sense of moral and civic responsibility. Fortunately, claims Bok, our universities "occupy strategic ground" (6) for creating this kind of citizenry. Almost half of the population, including nearly all government officials, business executives, civic leaders, and other professionals, like lawyers, and health care professionals, attended colleges and professional schools. And, for several formative years, the university may be the most dominant influence in their lives. (7) Thus, Bok concludes, the university ought to return to a practice it once pursued with great vigor the moral education of its students. (8)

2. A Short History of Moral Education in America (9)

Bok writes that "in the 19th century, universities [in America] devoted great efforts to the moral development of their students and considered this an integral part of their mission." (10) In the 19th century, colleges and universities were examples of the "old-time" college. (11) The "old-time" college reflected two traditions. One is the Greek ideal of education, paideia. (12) On this view the polis (city-state) prepared the child for active citizenship in the polis by requiring of them a "general" or "common education." The Greeks assumed that the activities required as a part of a "general education" reflected the unity and harmony of the cosmos, a unity and harmony that both the polis and the individual should exemplify. (13) Not surprisingly, then, the aim of paideia was the proper formation of students intellectually, morally, and religiously. Thus, paideia aimed at practical knowledge, not merely theoretical. Its aim presumed an organic unity between these various capacities of personhood. To emphasize only one of these capacities to the neglect of the others would produce malformed persons.

The "old-time" college also reflected Scottish Common Sense Philosophy. (14) Accordingly, the "old-time" college assumed that the person was essentially comprised of mental and moral faculties that could be developed by educational practices. (15) Such an education aimed to "to produce an educated class capable of exerting responsible moral leadership in American society." (16) Moral education included not only instruction in the principles of sound morality, but also training in the performance of one's personal and social duties. The task of moral education, then, pervaded the entire life of the college, from curriculum, to chapel topics, to student behavior codes.

Both the Greek and Scottish viewpoints assumed a unity of knowledge. Reflecting this commitment to unity, the American system of higher education in this era aimed at organizing all knowledge into an intelligible whole. (17) American educators thought the college completed this endeavor by requiring of all seniors a year-long capstone course in moral philosophy including "everything having to do with human beings." (18) Later, as the educational enterprise diversified, specialized, and professionalized, the subject matter of "moral philosophy" not only became the standard theoretical and applied ethics of our own era, but also gave rise to psychology, sociology, political science, philosophy of religion, jurisprudence, and others besides.

3. On The Decline of Moral Education in America

By the mid-twentieth century, observes Bok, little remained of the earlier efforts at moral education in America's colleges and universities. Catalogues continued to speak of moral development as a prominent aim of the institution, but there is little evidence of any serious effort to pursue this objective. Many, universities eliminated ethics from the core curriculum. Courses in ethics concentrated on meta-ethics rather than on normative ethics. Even those courses devoted to normative ethics discussed ethical theories in an highly abstract manner. The aim of such courses appeared to be that of thinking about the right, not that of producing virtuous citizens. The basis for hiring the faculty became scholarly excellence defined as research and publication. Academic freedom and potential for scholarship replaced the traditional emphasis on the character of faculty and on moral education for students. (19) How should we understand these changes?

According to Bok, these changes in the aims of higher education occurred because the social and intellectual traditions that made the moral enterprise of the "old-time" college intelligible crumbled at close of the 19th century. Bok highlights five kinds of changes. (20) First, the practice of moral education in these colleges assumed the ultimate harmony of science and religion that Darwin's evolutionary theories undermined. Second, the emergence of the modern research university ushered "in a new intellectual environment" (21) characterized by a reliance on science and its "more objective methods of inquiry." (22) Third, along with an increased emphasis on specialization came a professionalization of academic culture into disciplines and its consequences, the evolution to a professional and vocationally oriented undergraduate curriculum. Fourth, America underwent profound social changes from a largely rural and agrarian to a largely urban and industrial society. These social changes destroyed the homogenous culture that supported the moral consensus reflected in the "old-time" college. Fifth, intellectual and technical proficiency of the faculty in research and publication, become the primary, and often sole, criteria for hiring and awarding tenure. Thus, in the modern American research university and in many academic institutions as well, professors concentrate on conveying information and imparting skills, leaving students free to develop their own moral beliefs and practices amid the often conflicting moral perspectives afforded by multiple points of view. (23)

4. From the "Old-Time" College to the Modern University: A New Model

As Bok indicated, in 1865 the "old-time" college was the primary model for American colleges and universities. By the end of World War II, new models changed the nature of Harvard, Princeton, Yale and other major culture-shaping universities. (24) Those forces included the shift from an "elitist" model of learning to an egalitarian enterprise premised on utilitarian concerns like the production of technologies that benefit society and the preparation of students for a career; the emergence of the research model of the university; the success of theoretical and practical science and their embodiment in various popular and academic "philosophies" (like positivism); and the movement to a more socially "liberal" culture that placed a primacy on the individual in matters social, political, and religious. In the universities, the production of scholarly research eventually replaced the education of undergraduates as the primary goal. In practice, major research universities abandoned the goals of "paideia." According to Bok, while the universities paid lip service to educating moral citizens of a free society, they did little to achieve this goal. (25) What Bok does not say is that the social aim of educating citizens for America's democratic society had been transformed in meaning. More specifically, educating citizens for America's democratic culture acquired multiple, sometimes incompatible, meanings. (26) For example, according political liberalism which replaced republican political theory during the last half of the twentieth century, government should be neutral toward the moral and religious views of its citizens. Since people disagree about the best way to live, the government should provide a neutral framework within which people can choose their own values and ends. Republican political theory, on the other hand, did not believe that government could or should be neutral toward the moral and civic virtues of its citizens. Given this radical disagreement on fundamental issues, it is not surprising that universities do little to achieve the goals suggested by their rhetoric. Indeed, since universities could agree on the criteria for good scholarship, but could not agree on the criteria for good moral education, the practical solution was to set moral education aside. (27)

What makes sense of this shift away from moral education? Since the Enlightenment, we in the West justify existing institutions of social and political importance by offering a grand narrative of supposed universal scope. (28) The dominant narrative in the West is the narrative of emancipation that posits the happiness of individuals as the ultimate aim of all social and political institutions. Happiness requires freedom. Thus, the narrative of emancipation evaluates all institutions by their liberation or emancipation of individuals. (29) Modernity, then, is the story of the growth of individual freedom and its corollary, liberal democracy. (30)

Following the narrative of emancipation, the modern university justifies itself by contributing to liberal democracy. The university was to reflect and reinforce the goals of a liberal democracy maintaining and enhancing individual freedom and creativity. Thus, moral education and civic responsibility must be expressed and grounded in claims about individual freedom. How is that accomplished?

As Bok points out, in the "new environment," science became the paradigm of rational activity, with the production and application of new knowledge its goal. But, according to the grand narrative of emancipation, the science could justify itself only by contributing to individual freedom. Thus, science became the model of rationality because it produces knowledge that liberates human beings from the "old" debilitating myths and replaces them with ideals, methods, and technologies that increase human mastery over our world. (31) In a mastered environment, individuals have increased freedom to satisfy their desires and achieve happiness. Similarly, the "liberal arts" are understood to stimulate self- and cultural-understanding, hence, promising freedom from false or tyrannical beliefs and practices. Students acquire such freedom in part by critically examining our present progressive understanding of the human condition in relation to more primitive and uninformed understandings.

By the 19th century, one understood science to be an evidentialist activity. Producing knowledge required evidence. Indeed, according to W. K. Clifford, nothing ought to be believed that is neither evident nor properly based on what is evident. This view, call it evidentialism, owes much to John Locke's work in the 17th century. (32) Appealing to evidentialism, Locke presumed that he could justify the moral truths central to civilized society. But by the turn of the century, moral truths seemed neither self-evident nor capable of being established by the evidentialist methods of science. Thus, claims about moral truths appeared subjective or culture-bound. Exhortation to follow moral truths might be viewed as the expression of subjective preferences or feelings, and better left to private rather than public discourse.

Such activities in the university, the public domain, would be "unprofessional," particularly in institutions dedicated to "objective methods of inquiry" and academic freedom. The attempt to identify substantive moral truths or virtues, and to train students to make them their own appeared "old-fashioned." These activities go beyond what the evidentialists sanctioned as "good science." Not surprisingly, then, for much of the 20th century, academic philosophy focused its attention on the meaning and logic of moral concepts. (33) As the culture became more scientific and pluralistic, moral and civic education appeared increasingly as mere indoctrination and out of place in a society that celebrates objectivity, tolerance, and the value of individual autonomy. Thus, what counted as moral education in the 19th century was decried as "moralism" (34) in the 20th and was relegated to the province of pastors and demagogues. Morality had been banished from the public to the private sphere. (35)

5. Bok's Critique of Late Twentieth-Century Moral Education

Bok reminds us that a renewed interest in practical ethics emerged in the late 60's and continues today, but that this new interest does not much resemble the practice of moral education in the university in the 19th century. Rather than attempting to convey a set of moral truths or develop in the student moral virtues of fairly specific sorts, today's courses in applied ethics aim to enable the student to think for themselves about moral issues. (36) The grand narrative of modernity that prizes the growth of individual freedom above all else justifies this twentieth-century goal. This means, of course, that the task of the university education insofar as it has a moral or civic goal is to encourage the students to think more carefully about moral issues and to equip them to reason about issues more effectively. But this approach runs the risk, says Bok, of making students clever at arguing any side of an issue, while lacking any serious commitments of their own. (37) Indeed, this approach encourages socially harmful forms of ethical relativism. Bok, therefore, claims that this approach is inadequate. Though the ability to reason our way through the moral complexities of modern life is valuable, it may not be enough "to bring us to behave morally." (38) Thus, according to Bok, when the modern university thinks about the prospects of moral education, it is "caught between the evils of indoctrination, on the one hand, and the hazards of ethical relativism on the other." (39) Indeed, Bok believes that these critical questions face the contemporary university: (1) How can a university combine education in moral reasoning with the effort to teach by habit, example, and exhortation? (2) How can a university help students develop the desire and the will to adhere to moral precepts in their personal and professional lives? (3) How can a university create a serious program of moral education that avoids both indoctrination and ethical relativism? (40)

6. Bok's Proposal for Moral Education

Bok admits that few colleges and universities attempt to address these difficult questions. Those that do often, he suggests, produce programs that are ineffectual or degenerate into programs of indoctrination or petty prescriptions and proscriptions of behavior. (41) Nonetheless, Bok is confident that successful programs of moral education are possible in America's most prestigious universities. Bok's proposal is for a comprehensive program of moral education in our universities which includes (1) offering courses in applied ethics in the colleges and professional schools, (2) discussing rules of conduct with students and faculty, (3) administering rules of conduct fairly, (4) building strong programs of community service, employing high ethical standards when addressing the moral issues facing the university, (5) relating to students in ways that are consistent with the institutions' professed ethical standards.

While each element of the program is important, applied ethics courses provide the linchpin of the comprehensive program. (42) These courses intend to make students (A) more perceptive in detecting ethical problems, (B) better acquainted with the best moral thought of the past, (C) more equipped to reason about the ethical issues in their personal and professional lives. (43)

Such courses will present students with common moral problems. Many of these will appear to be dilemmas. By appealing to "basic premises that almost all human beings share," Bok contends that students will see that many moral problems have reasonably clear solutions. (44) Such students will be neither ethical relativists nor mere dogmatists who mimic the doctrines and values of their teachers.

7. A Critique of Bok's Proposal

But that's the rub. Why believe we can appeal to "basic premises that almost all human beings share?" Indeed, many leading philosophers , both on the left and the right, argue that the deep moral problems that vex our culture are problematic just because of fundamentally different moral points of view each having basic premises which lead validly to different and incompatible solutions. (45) Unless we can adjudicate rationally between these rival and often alien moral positions, then Bok's contemporary program of moral education seems caught on the horns of his own dilemma. Appeals to honesty, promise-keeping, free expression, autonomy, and helping others are themselves principles subject to numerous interpretations and admit the possibility of conflict. (46) To have an effective program of moral education, the university must decide what moral standards, tendencies, and attitudes it wishes to teach by discussion, habit, example, and exhortation. A faculty must be recruited who embody the preferred moral habits and who are committed to creating and nurturing the moral environment within which students can learn to lead ethically fulfilling lives. To the extent that one's moral point of view is considered private, hiring faculty on the basis of such commitments will be viewed as unprofessional and a violation of academic freedom. The results are likely to be divisive and prevent such an institution from being competitive in the market place of higher education. Thus, in a culture as diverse as our own, any institutional attempt to decide which moral standards, tendencies, and attitudes are to be taught and praised in the preferred program of moral education will likely be seen as arbitrary and indoctrination, hence, a poor fit with genuine education. This reason alone may persuade institutions not to undertake moral education.

However, institutions who do commit themselves to the type of moral education Bok envisioned face an even greater obstacle. As a result of the socializing power of our graduate schools, few who receive a terminal degree see the moral education of students as a task of a faculty member. These graduates have been trained to produce new knowledge by mastering the methods of their respective disciplines. They can teach these methods and the new knowledge they produce to the newcomer. Formed in and by a research culture, these young professors will likely view moral education, except as fostering discussions about various ethical theories and their possible application to concrete cases, as an obstacle to their primary tasks and outside of their expertise. In addition, these new faculty will exhibit the fundamental disagreements evident in our larger liberal culture. Without a substantive effort to educate the new faculty with respect to the moral standards, habits, and attitudes it wishes to nurture in its students, they are likely to produce students clever at arguing almost any position rather than the sorts of cooperative persons whose moral formation engenders in them a strong sense of responsibility to institutions, communities and other human beings. (47)

For at least these reasons, it is unlikely that the major research universities, like Bok's Harvard, will construct a contemporary program of moral education capable of producing students with a set of virtues or qualities of the sort needed to help our democratic culture resolve its most pressing problems. That task will be left to institutions who have retained or can recover paideia as a primary task of the university. According to some, the most likely candidate will be the small liberal arts colleges and perhaps some religiously-affiliated institutions. (48) However, even if they have the resources to take this endeavor seriously, arguably they will have only a small impact on the quality of our shared social and political life. Thus, if Bok is correct, our major culture-shaping institutions are likely to be ineffective in helping our society address its fundamental social problems. And our shared lives will be the worse for the loss of padeia in American higher education.

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(1) My essay focuses on Derek Bok, Universities and the Future of America (Durham: Duke University Press, 1990). Also, see Bok's Beyond the Ivory Tower: Social Responsibilities of the Modern University (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1982). Bok seems to direct his imperative to the countries fifty to one hundred top universities. Perhaps, he, like David Riesman in Constraint and Variety in American Education, believes that as these top universities do, so will the rest of America's colleges and universities.

(2) I am not the first to accuse Bok of providing but a shallow corrective for the ills he diagnosed. John W. Donohue in "Three Cousins of Harvard" says of Bok's work that "President Bok often seems to be gazing upward at a Platonic world where the university exists in ideal form" (America, 17 November 1990, 369). Later, Donohue states that Bok's call for a "revival of moral education" is an admirable conclusion, but the case made for it is pallid" (370). I agree. For other reviews of Universities and the Future of America, see John Rexine, "The Mission of the University," Modern Age (Winter 1992): 177-178, and James E. Giles "The Gripes of the Academe," Cross Currents (Spring 1991): 116-117.

(3) Bok's thesis is a familiar one. For example, John Dewey argued that education was public business having the power like no other institution save the state to modify the social order. John Dewey, Moral Principles in Education (New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1959) v.

(4) This sort of argument appears in several places in Bok's writing. For one version see Universities and the Future, 1-11.

(5) Ibid., 55.

(6) Ibid., 61.

(7) Ibid.

(8) Ibid., 62, 79, and 102. Bok draws this conclusion explicitly on these three pages.

(9) While I draw on Bok's written work for this section, I go beyond it to tell the short history of moral education. See, his "The Moral Development of Students" in Beyond the Ivory Tower, 116-135; and ""The Demise and Rebirth of Moral Education," in Universities and the Future of America, 55-78.

(10) "The Moral Development of Students." in Beyond the Ivory Tower, 117. See, also, Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 63.

(11) William C. Ringenberg, The Christian College: A History of Higher Education in America (Grand Rapids: Christian University Press, 1984), 56.

(12) For an introductory discussion of "paideia" in understanding the development of Christianity and of western ideas on education, see David H. Kelsey, Between Athens and Berlin: The Theological Education Debate (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1993), 29-48. For a longer historical view of the development of paideia and its appropriation by Christians, see Werner Jaeger, Early Christianity and Greek Paideia (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961). For a more detailed historical account of "paideia," see Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture., trans. Gilbert Highet, 3 vols. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1939-44).

(13) Kelsey, Between Athens and Berlin, 6-11; Jaeger, Ideals of Greek Culture II: 291-300.

(14) For the influence of Scottish common-sense philosophy on America, see Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Idea (Teachers College: Collumbia University Press, 1971).

(15) For a useful overview of the philosophy of education of the "old-time" college, see Lawrence Veysey's The Emergence of the American University (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1965), 22-56, but especially 22-25. Its implications for moral education and its practice in 19th century American colleges are discussed illuminatingly by D. H. Meyer in The Instructed Conscience (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972), especially in chapter seven, "Moral Education," 63-69.

(16) Meyer, 63.

(17) D. H. Meyer, The Instructed Conscience, 4.

(18) See Mark Noll's introductory essay, "The Christian Colleges, Christian Worldviews, and an Invitation to Research," in Ringenberg, The Christian College, 18.

(19) Bok, Beyond the Ivory Tower, 121.

(20) Bok, The Future of the Universities, 66-71.

(21) Ibid., 67.

(22) Ibid.

(23) Ibid., 70.

(24) The Morrill Land Grand Act of 1862 institutionalized the demand for a more useful education. It led to the founding of state-universities aiming to benefit agriculture and industry by providing a scientific and technical education (e.g. Cornell University in 1868). The establishment of Johns Hopkins imported the German research university to America. These two models challenged the "old-time" college with its emphasis on undergraduate education. As these models come to define "university" education, moral education as understood in the "old-time" college appears more and more alien. See George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) for a story of the emergence of the modern American university which focuses on crucial episodes in a number of America's leading universities. In contrast, Louise L. Stevenson, Scholarly Means to Evangelical Ends: The New Haven Scholars and the Transformation of Higher Education in America, 1830-1890 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1986) focuses on Yale University during its change from an "old-time college" to a modern research university.

(25) Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 70-71.

(26) One only has to survey the texts written and used by those influenced by Scottish Common Sense philosophy to see that such authors did not suppose a democratic government could be neutral in the ways suggested by political liberalism. For an in depth discussion of this sea change in public philosophy, see, Michael Sandel, "America's Search for a New Public Philosophy," Atlantic Monthly, March 1996, 57-74; also, Sandel, Democracy's Discontents: America in Search of a Public Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996), 3-54. Not all proponents of political liberalism agree that government should be neutral about the moral and religious views of its citizens. For example, Stephen Macedo argues that political liberalism is not, nor can it be, neutral. It aims to shape the lives of liberal citizens. It follows, I think, that governments whose function is explained by political liberalism ought to aim to shape the lives of its citizens. See, Stephen Macedo, Liberal Virtues: Citizenship, Virtue, and Community in Liberal Constitutionalism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), 258-59.

(27) More precisely, as Bok notes, the rhetoric espoused by university leaders never explicitly renounced moral education. Rather, in practice the universities substituted a much thinner, less obviously less contentious understanding of moral education. They assumed that exposure to the liberal arts and to faculty members committed to intellectual integrity in research, publication, and teaching would be sufficient to inculcate the moral principles necessary for good citizenship. Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 70.

(28) In what follows, I draw heavily from Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, tr. G. Bennington & Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984) and Nicholas Wolterstorff's discussion of central theses of Lyotard's book in The Project of a Christian University in a Postmodern Culture (Central Huisdrukerij, Vrije Univesiteit, Amsterdam, n.d.).

(29) "Liberalism stands above all, for the positive value of freedom, freedom to devise, criticize, revise, and pursue a plan of life, and it calls upon people to respect the rights of others whether or not they share the same goals and ideals." Macedo, Liberal Virtues, 258.

(30) Again, see Sandel, Democracy's Discontents, 4-5, for a concise statement of the ideals of political liberalism.

(31) I read John Dewy, A Common Faith (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1934) as an extended defense of this thesis. It is important to add that Dewey was not advocating "scientism," but rather democracy as a form of life that was grounded in experimental reason (testing hypotheses by reflective observations, a willingness to revise one's point of view and to accept or tolerate some fundamental differences about value and ultimate ends).

(32) For an extended treatment of Locke's evidentialism, see Nicholas Wolterstorff, John Locke and The Ethics of Belief (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). For a more succinct account of Locke's evidentialism see Wolterstorff, "Traditions and Constraint," Proceedings and Addresses of the APA: 66:3, 43-57.

(33) Two excellent examples from the twentieth century are C. L. Stevenson, Ethics and Language (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1944); R. M. Hare, The Language of Morals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964). Bok mentions this episode in the history of twentieth century ethics as the study of ethics falling "under the sway of academic standards that gradually become more theoretical and abstract . . . " and seems to concur with Kai Nielsen that this fascination with the meaning and logic of moral language was necessary for ethics to acquire the appropriate intellectual foundations. Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 67-68.

(34) An excerpt from a well-known British ethicist is instructive. "This book is not about what people ought to do. It is about what they are doing when they talk about what they ought to do. Moral philosophy, as I understand it, must not be confused with moralizing. A moralist is someone who used moral language in what may be called a first-order way. He, qua moralist, engages in reflection, argument, or discussion about what is morally right or wrong, good or evil. He talks about what people ought to do. . . By a moral philosopher I mean someone . . . thinks and speaks about the ways in which moral terms, like 'right' or 'good,' are used by moralists when they are delivering their moral judgments." W. D. Hudson, Modern Moral Philosophy (London: MacMillan and Co., 1970), 2.

(35) Daniel Callahan, "Minimalist Ethics--On the Pacification of Morality," Hastings Center Reports, October 1981, 19-25, worries that modern intellectual culture accepts all to easily a sharp distinction between the public and private spheres and the elevation of individual autonomy as the highest human good. This kind of minimalist morality is consistent with the tendencies of political liberalism.

(36) Bok himself insists that in the appropriate kind of moral education, "the principal aim of the course is not to impart 'right answers' . . ." Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 73. In contrast, Michael Sandel insists that ". . . republican politics cannot be neutral toward the values and ends its citizens espouse." According to Sandel, republican political theory requires a politics that cultivates in is citizens the kind of character self-government requires. By implication, republican political theory will require a different kind of moral education within which there are right and wrong answers. See Michael Sandel, Democracy and Its Discontents, 6.

(37) Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 77.

(38) Ibid., 77.

(39) Ibid., 78.

(40) Ibid., 77-8.

(41) Ibid., 79.

(42) See "Toward a Contemporary Program of Moral Education" in Universities and the Future of America, 79-102.

(43) Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 73.

(44) Ibid., 83.

(45) Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, 2nd edition, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983).

(46) These seem to be offered by Bok as foundational principles for every program of moral education in a democratic society like our own. See Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 98, 100.

(47) Bok, Universities and the Future of America, 55.

(48) See Warren Bryan Martin, College of Character: Renewing the Purpose and Content of College Education (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1982) for a defense of the centrality of the liberal arts college and an admonition that it not merely imitate the research university. He clearly sees as one of its tasks the attempt to help students learn to live ethically fulfilling lives.

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