Volume 4, 2006
Philosophy of Education
The Educational Demands of a Philosophical Theory of Moral Conscience in a Modern Democracy
The philosophical understanding of moral conscience should constitute one of the most significant concerns of any modern theory of moral education that wishes to be credible and reliable in all morally demanding situations. The purpose of this paper is not to contest the widely accepted notion of conscience as the absolute mark of our moral and spiritual integrity. The purpose of the paper is to postulate and stress the importance of certain "contextual" factors without which modern teaching of moral conscience could very easily lose its certainty and significance. It is argued that unless we make such assumptions, our following the dictates of individual conscience could become a trivial and redundant affair, because nothing could prove that this act is something more than "listening to one's inner voice". In the light of this, the paper proposes a qualified theory that avoids looking at individual conscience as a formal schema and embraces it within the broader framework of the educational demands raised by modern democratic culture.