Journal of Moral Education 35 (2):163-178 (2006)

Derek Sankey
University of Sydney
Given that many in neuroscience believe all human experience will eventually be accounted for in terms of the activity of the brain, does the concept of moral or values education make sense? And, are we not headed for a singly deterministic notion of the self, devoid of even the possibility of making choices? One obvious objection is that this does not tally with our experience? we can espouse values and do make choices. But perhaps this is simply appearance and the language of values and choices belongs to a previous age and is no longer sustainable. Perhaps the way in which we encounter other selves and account for their actions as moral agents is simply outdated. We need to begin to address others, including the children we teach, as neuronal selves and account for their actions as neuronally determined. This paper will argue that espousing the notion that we are neuronal selves need not lead to such pessimistic reductionistic conclusions. If we can no longer believe in Cartesian dualism we do not have take a leap into materialism that threatens to reduce our being to that of robots. A neuroscience that recognises that we are multileveled psychosomatic neuronal selves can point the way out of this dilemma. Values in education then not only make sense: they are more pivotal than hitherto imagined.
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DOI 10.1080/03057240600681702
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After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.

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