3.146 education and universities, cont. (68)

Tue, 20 Jun 89 18:29:22 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 146. Tuesday, 20 Jun 1989.

(1) Date: Tue, 20 Jun 89 14:44:00 EDT (22 lines)

(2) Date: 20 June 1989 13:59:19 CDT (25 lines)
From: Ouden Eimi <U20678@UICVM>
Subject: teaching values

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 89 14:44:00 EDT

3.144 education and universities (18)

Martin Ryle points out that we all teach values willy-nilly and that the
ones he hopes to impart to his students are "intellectual honesty, curiosity,
an eye for detail, a respect for theory, and delight at discovery".

Well said. But off the mark. The values under discussion, I thought, had
less to do with personal qualities (virtue) and more to do with social
relations (justice).

Mr. Ryle's list, with the possible exception of intellectual honesty,
is entirely inner-directed. It is also about as controversial as the Boy
Scout Oath. If as he says we live in a value-laden world, he has never-
less managed to come up with a list of values that would probably be endorsed
from Paris to Karachi, y compris la Russie.

Norman Miller
Trinity College

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------28----
Date: 20 June 1989 13:59:19 CDT
From: Ouden Eimi <U20678@UICVM>
Subject: teaching values

The values mentioned won't cause any debate. The real fight is between
the few who still value a liberal education and those who are united by
their illiberal ends. Illiberality makes strange and secret bedfellows
-- between the remnant of the radical left, which wants to polarize
everything into political camps and orthodox "positions", and the
ascendant right, which wants to sell the universities to the highest

The situation reminds me of some businesses, which preach competition
while doing everything to avoid it. Real discussion about what is
involved gets harder and harder. Those on the left have their most rigid
orthodoxies, which present a very narrow plan for thinking and value
conformity above everything else. Those on the right prejudice the case
by taking on a High Moral Tone and say they're working for the common
good. After all, we can no longer afford to sit behind ivy-covered walls
and sip sherry, can we? Time to get rid of the deadwood and start
serving society by training workers, isn't it? Toss out those
tenured narcissists and introduce competition!

When the ideals can no longer be understood, how can their value be
discussed? How can real values be discussed?