Continuing with my earlier blog on a summary of why the cultivation of virtue is a central key to education, I take up here the relationship between thought and action. Again, pardon my attempt at being very basic and elementary.
I began our tour with “Man is a rational but fallen creature” and wound up with the assertion that “Education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue.” I am aware that I left rather vague the connection between wisdom and virtue, choosing to focus on virtue. This must be addressed.
- Virtue is man’s pursuit of godliness. I believe you can by and large use Aristotle’s classic definition of virtue being the mean between two vices in this context. Sin is possible through either excess or ommission.
- Plato’s Meno does a fine job of demonstrating that virtue is dependent upon wisdom. One must know the truth in order to do the good.
- Wisdom surpasses knowledge and understanding.
- Wisdom is cultivated through the teaching modes of the didactic (the contemplation of models) and the dialectic (the conversation of two souls through questions).
- Education cannot be content to cultivate either wisdom or virtue, but must pursue both together.
- An excellent education will cultivate wisdom and virtue by contemplating models of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.
- An excellent educator will bring his students to question their inadequate concepts of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful by his examination not only of their thoughts but their actions.
With all these blogs the author’s intent is less to be dogmatic and more to seek other’s thoughts both as to where they agree with me and where we differ. Chime in and help this pilgrim learn. I know of nothing more difficult than leading another soul toward Christ while dealing with my own sinful self.