Michael Hand gives the 2014 Blackham Lecture

Posted on Monday 17th March 2014

The 2014 Blackham Lecture, sponsored by the British Humanist Association in memory of its founding father H.J. Blackham, was given by Professor Michael Hand on 12 March 2014. The lecture was entitled Towards a Theory of Moral Education

Abstract

A central problem for moral education is the tension between two thoughts widely entertained by parents, teachers and educational theorists. The first thought is that morality must be learned: children must come to see what morality requires of them and acquire the motivation to submit to its authority. The second thought is that morality is controversial: there is deep uncertainty about both the requirements of morality and the reasons to comply with them. The tension between these thoughts is not hard to discern: the former seems to demand that children are educated in morality; the latter seems to prohibit it. Unless we teach children to subscribe to moral standards, there is no reason to expect that they will come to do so; but to engage in such teaching in the face of controversy about the content and justification of morality appears tantamount to indoctrination. In this lecture I will sketch the outline of a solution to this problem.

More information on this event may be found on the British Humanist Association website