Virtue, reason, and the false public voice: Catharine macaulay's philosophy of moral education

Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (1):91-108 (2009)
Catharine Macaulay, an 18th century English historian, published her educational philosophy in Letters on Education with Observations on Religious and Metaphysical Subjects in 1790. The ultimate goal of her educational process, to ‘bring the human mind to such a height of perfection as shall induce the practice of the best morals’, is examined in this paper. Her ideas about the interactions among benevolence, sympathy, reason and the public voice with regard to the education of the moral, virtuous person are considered. Macaulay's suggestions regarding the benefits of a specific curriculum and pedagogy in developing students capable of filtering the limiting dictates of society and aspiring toward virtue are analyzed. Particular attention is paid to the tensions her suggestions embody for the ideal, co‐educational classroom
Keywords Catharine Macaulay  moral education  reason  sympathy  18th century philosophy of education  benevolence
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2007.00365.x
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