Website owner:  James Miller

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Aristotle on education


“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”      Aristotle

What did Aristotle mean? We can teach a person reading, writing, and arithmetic. We can teach him much about history, geography, and science. We can teach him much about many subjects. That all falls into the category of educating the mind. What did he mean by educating the heart? I assume he was talking about educating him in moral values, in right and wrong conduct. A person can be highly educated in many subjects and still come up very short in integrity and character. Education of the heart is education in the moral dimension, an education producing integrity, virtue, and character.

“Since an intelligence common to us all makes things known to us and formulates them in our minds, honorable actions are ascribed by us to virtue, and dishonorable actions to vice; and only a madman would conclude that these judgments are matters of opinion, and not fixed by nature.


What did Cicero mean here? Let me reword what I think he is saying. We all have within us something (an intelligence - conscience) that tells us what is right and what is wrong, that makes known to us what good, honorable conduct is and what bad, dishonorable conduct is. An inner intelligence informs us on the right and wrong of kinds of behavior. Only a madman would contend that what constitutes right conduct and what constitutes wrong conduct was simply a matter of opinion i.e. that right and wrong are not spiritual and moral absolutes, absolutes fixed by the Creator God himself.

In modern, liberal, godless America there are many who think matters of right and wrong are just matters of opinion and they can redefine right and wrong however they want.

Oct 2014

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