Can Virtue be Taught?

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For centuries human beings have asked questions about what it is to be virtuous and how to teach goodness to the next generation. This volume contains 11 essays, written by highly regarded thinkers in the fields of theology, philosophy and anthropology, which address the question: Can virtue be taught? Collectively these essays illuminate our current national dilemma over the problematic role of moral education in a pluralistic society; in addition they illustrate the positive role diversity plays in any discussions of virtues and education in our into interdependent global community. The first section challenges the questions and answers of the classical philosophers, beginning with an essay by Huston Smith, who tackles the question of whether humans have a capacity for virtue. Amelie Oksenberg Rorty then examines the appropriate aims for education; Bhikhu Parekh reflects on Jeremy Bentham's description of the nature of virtue, and Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich presents a feminist reconsideration of the question of virtue. Frederick J. Streng begins the next section with an essay on teaching virtues in different cultures. Katherine Platt examines what it means to be virtuous in the Kerkennah Islands of Tunisia, and Ninian Smart explores the centrality of clarity and imagination to Buddhist ethics. The final section, on contemporary contexts for teaching virtue, begins with Leroy S. Rouner's essay, which examines three models of how to teach virtue. Next, Robert Cummings Neville argues that institutions of higher education have a responsibility to teach religious learning. Sharon Daloz Parks reports on business school students' perceptions of their own public accountability, and George Ruppconcludes the volume with an argument that multicultural education can lead to a strengthened, shared national identity that is enriched rather than strained by its diversity.