Forget Character ‘Passports’ and Embrace Eudaimonia

Trivium 21c

This is the text of my talk at the National Conference of the SSAT on December 4th 2014:

There is a dichotomy at the heart of the discussion about character education: on the one side we have people who think we can mould people into a homogenous morass of compliant worker types who need passports to get from one stage of their life to another and we have the types who think life is so miserable that you just need resilience and grit to get through it.

On the other side we have those who believe that by giving children a rich education offer they can have the opportunity to develop and express their character in a variety of uplifting ways. A joyous liberal arts education for all, an education that would have pleased Steve Jobs.

The Only Way Is Ethics:

Are we teleological, deontological or do we desire eudaimonia?

Teleological: being…

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