The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 8 July 2018 - Page 12

“The lesson ended some time ago we only have 15 minutes for lunch.” “Yes doesn’t time fly when one is having fun. Next Fridays unit in the series “Philosophy of Education” will be “Epistemology”—Theory of Knowledge for you non Greek speakers. In this unit we will ask how we know facts such as “The pen is on the table” and “How could I know that you were all hungry?” Jude Sutton ended the lecture angry at himself for not completing the lecture. One or two students immediately rushed to the canteen next door but I, and a number of others stayed to ask follow up questions. Amongst these, I was surprised to see Sophia, who must have come in after me and sat at the back of the lecture room outside my line of sight “What implications do these ideas have for the legal institutions of society?” asked the friend I had seen Sophia together with in the library. “It is a perennial philosophical question whether these institutions of justice are themselves fundamentally just. They are all designed to punish the bad man and the bad action. If one goes back to Socrates’s discussions of justice in the Republic he argues that punishing a bad man will not produce the good, it will only make him worse and that will be worse for everybody. But the Kantian position recognizes “the evil” in man, if I can put these words in quotation marks for the moment: that is, these words recognize mans disposition not to look at the world with a good will. Kant also recognizes that the work of convincing man to approach the world through his judgments and actions with a good will cannot be done via the traditional biblical means of revelation of the miraculous and a pseudo-inference to an all powerful supersensible being at the source. So Kant views punishment as, not in the spirit of an “eye for an eye”, but rather in the spirit of depriving the agent of his freedom and waiting for that fundamental condition of approaching the world with a good will to occur, namely seeing the world as a place where the good produces the benefits of a good life and seeing ones actions to be part of the processes which lead to such a good life. So, to answer your question the statues of justice should not just have a sword and scales in their hands, they should try to find some way of carrying a book, perhaps under their arms, and my suggestion for the book concerned would be Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason”. Some humanists believe that the sword should be removed from the hand of the statue of justice but this would be to override an important Kantian intuition about justice, namely that the consequences of murdering someone is that evidence becomes public that a human being has lost his humanity and every murderer must symbolically live with the consequences of that. This of course does not necessarily mean that all murderers should be put to death as useless animals who no one wishes to own are, but it does raise the interesting question of what we should do with murderers.” Sophia stepped forward, her long golden Swedish hair decorating her shoulders: “We are sorry but we joined the course late. We were doing Sociology of Education but thought that this elective might be more useful to organize our thoughts about education. I am sorry if I am asking questions you have probably answered earlier in the course but today