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A natural law approach to teaching values

Johnson, William Scott (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The teaching of values to youth in contemporary societies is more problematic than ever before. Globalisation, technological change, the decline of belief systems, and the breakdown of the family have created an environment where people fear that character education may impart values to children which conflict with their own. Natural law holds the potential to identify basic values which almost all can embrace. Some believe Hume’s Guillotine has rendered natural law reasoning invalid. The perceived objections to ethical naturalism of Hume, Moore, and Mackie are herein shown to pose no significant obstacles to natural law thought. A contemporary form of ancient natural law reasoning is advanced here; it is then combined with a uniquely simple and practical approach to pedagogy. This pedagogy is shown to have exceptional motivational power. The ability of the form of natural law reasoning here set forth to deduce prescriptivity from the natural world is then demonstrated, using the area of reproductive and gestational health in order to give an instantiation of legitimate derivation of values from facts. This ethical reasoning and teaching strategy will likely be approved by those who would otherwise object to children being taught values while at school.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Law, Iain
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Law
Subjects:K Law (General)
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3406
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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