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皮德思(R. S. Peters)的「理性與習慣:道德教育的弔詭」:回顧與批判

On R. S. Peters' "reason and habit: the paradox of moral education ": retrospection and criticism



Parallel abstracts

R. S. Peters delivered a paper called Reason and habit: a paradox of moral education in 1963, and in the paper, he mentioned that "they (young children) can and must enter the palace of reason through the courtyard of habit and tradition". More than a decade later, five articles were published to discuss this statement. The aim of this article is to review Peters' article and the responses in the five articles. The discoveries are as follows: 1. there were adoptions of habit and reason from conflicting origins; 2. while Peters used a metaphor from Michael Oakeshott by dividing vocational education and university education, the metaphor was not appropriate for resolving what Peters called paradox of moral education, given that Oakeshott's metaphor was separate and Peters' was sequential; 3. Peters declared to resolve the paradox in Aristotelian ethics, but his resolution was in a framework of Kantian ethics, where habit was compared to heteronomy, and reason was autonomy; 4. there were no division of autonomy and heteronomy in Aristotelian ethics, and Eudaimonia was the end of moral action in Aristotelian ethics which was classified as heteronomous; 5. the author perceives that in the five review articles, only Kristjánsson appropriately criticized from the stance of Aristotelian ethics; 6.in nearly 60 years, Peters' article was read from mostly the perspective of Kantian ethics, only after the renaissance of Aristotelian ethics changed the view point of criticism was changed.


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Gardner, P. (1985). The paradox of moral education: A reassessment. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 19(1), 39-48.

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