Concerned with the trendy, technocratic, and at times sophistical character of contemporary education at all levels, both public and private, the authors of this collection seek to reinvigorate a Thomistic approach to education appropriate to the problems of our day. With its main inspiration taken from the work of Jacques Maritain, especially his 1943 Education at the Crossroads, the volume presents a trenchant critique of the "privacies" of contemporary education, with its emphasis upon the conventional and useful. At the same time, the essays present the outlines of the proper alternative, an education which helps students draw out from themselves the desire for truths which transcend the contingencies of culture and utility. Such an education seeks to guide students to "the common things" available to all human beings.
The essays uphold an account of man's intellectual and affective capacities which understands these capacities as naturally ordered to truth. The essays approach the task in different but complementary ways: in critiques of contemporary theories of education, in speculative accounts of knowledge and learning, in applications of theory to specific institutional settings, and in discussions of the political contexts governing modern education. In this rich variety of ways, the essays in The Common Things not only point the way back to the crossroads Maritain spoke of fifty years ago; they go on to indicate something of the landscape along the road not taken by contemporary education.
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Daniel McInerny is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas/Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, Texas.
In addition to the editor, the contributors to the volume are: Benedict M. Ashley, O.P., Romanus Cessario, O.P., Charles Dechert, Donald DeMarco, Curtis L. Hancock, Gregory J. Kerr, Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., Robert Lauder, Herbert I. London, Robert J. McLaughlin, Daniel McInerny, John M. Palms, Jerome Meric Pessagno, Ernest S. Pierucci, Alice Ramos, Mario Ramos-Reyes, Walter Raubicheck, Peter A. Redpath, Gregory M. Reichberg, James V. Schall, S.J., Francis Slade, Michael W. Strasser, and Henk E. S. Woldring.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"These essays are a considerable addition to Thomistic thought about education."-- Review of Metaphysics