Philosopher Citizens

Somebody mentioned in passing during the conference that Mortimer Adler said that not everybody will be an electrician or a lawyer or a football player (or something like that) but that everybody is a citizen and a philosopher.


That means that every school must be serious about equipping their students to be citizens (people who know and love justice and seek to introduce her to their circumstances) and philosophers (people who love truth and know how to seek it).

Does yours?

Adler on Accreditation (in 1941!)

Until catholic Institutions throw off the yoke of the accrediting boards, and exercise a free judgment on basic educational questions, they will never be able to realize in practice any of the principles which belong to Catholic education.

Reforming Education: The Order of Learning, page 185, 186

Adler on liberal arts and religious education

Adler uses the word Catholicism, but I’m substituting the word Christianity because I believe the principle applies regardless and because he used that word partly, at least, because he was speaking to Catholics. But this needs to be thought about:

The truth of [Chrsitianity] in religion and philosophy, for example, is no warrant for the efficacy or intrinsic excellence of the way religion and philosophy are taught in [Christian] schools. Only the liberal arts can provide the standard for judging excellence in teaching, for measuring the efficiency of educational means, or for inventing others; and the liberal arts are neither pagan nor Christian, but human.

From Reforming Education,  chapter 13 The Order of Learning (1941)

What do you think? Is he overstating? Simplifying? Right on? Then so what?