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n Journal for Juridical Science - Do "values" mean anything at all? Implications for law, education and society

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Abstract

The term "values" is ubiquitous in modern discourse. It is held by many to embody high and noble aspirations that can be shared meaningfully. Often preferred to other terms, such as "virtues", however, values can be seen as creating an illusion of moral meaning rather than conveying something substantive and worthy of pursuit. This paper reviews scholarship that examines the term "values," particularly in relation to law and education , and suggests that the term is one that obfuscates rather than furthers clarity of meaning and that does, in fact, tend in a subjective and individualistic direction contrary to the best interests of citizenship in a free and democratic society. The article argues that the concept of "values" itself, and programmes relating to such things as "values clarification" should not form the basis of education in and for a free and democratic society. An understanding of the nature and history of "virtues" as a tool for public education is argued for, and an extensive bibliography on "values" and "virtues" included.


Die term "waardes" is alomteenwoordig in moderne redevoering. Dit word deur baie beskou as synde hoë en edele aspirasies te beliggaam wat betekenisvol gedeel kan word. Alhoewel dit dikwels bo ander terme soos "deugde" verkies word, kan waardes egter beskou word as iets wat 'n illusie van morele betekenis skep, eerder as om iets wesentlik oor te dra en die moeite werd is om na te streef. Hierdie artikel lewer 'n oorsig oor vakkundigheid wat die term "waardes" ondersoek, veral in verband met die reg en onderwys, en gee te kenne dat die term benewel eerder as om duidelikheid van betekenis te bevorder en inderwaarheid in 'n subjektiewe en individualistiese rigting neig, in stryd met die beste belange van burgerskap in 'n vrye en demokratiese samelewing. Die artikel voer aan dat die konsep "waardes" op sigself en programme wat verband hou met sulke dinge soos "waardeverheldering", nie die grondslag van onderwys moet vorm in en vir 'n vrye en demokratiese samelewing nie. 'n Begrip van die aard en geskiedenis van "deugde" as 'n instrument vir openbare onderwys word voorgestaan en 'n uitgebreide bibliografie oor "waardes" en "deugde" word ingesluit.

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/content/juridic/33/1/EJC55597
2008-06-01
2016-12-05
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