ERIC Number: EJ1030449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
Physical Education as a Prerequisite for the Possibility of Human Virtue
Surprenant, Chris W.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v46 n5 p527-535 2014
This article examines the role of physical education in the process of moral education, and argues that physical education is a necessary prerequisite for the possibility of human virtue. This discussion is divided into four parts. First, I examine the nature of morality and moral decision-making. Drawing on the moral theories presented by Plato, Aristotle and Kant, I argue that morality is connected with reason and the attainment of objectively good goals. Second, I examine the role of moral education in helping individuals to cultivate a virtuous character state. I outline the approaches to moral education taken by Plato, Aristotle and Kant--dialectic, dogmatic and catechistic--and examine the ability of each approach to develop the appropriate moral disposition within individuals. Third, I examine the cultivation of this disposition by considering the connection between virtue and happiness and the possibility of producing an individual who is both virtuous and happy through moral education. Fourth, although there is disagreement about the means of moral education, I argue that there must be agreement concerning one necessary component of moral education: physical education. Physical education, while connected to non-moral exercises, allows individuals to develop the strength to become apathetic to bodily desires (e.g. the desire to obtain pleasure or pursue pain), desires that lead them away from virtue.
Descriptors: Physical Education, Moral Development, Ethical Instruction, Educational Attitudes, Educational Philosophy, Moral Values, Psychological Patterns, Role of Education, Teaching Methods, Decision Making, Human Body
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A