National Subsets: United Kingdom

Moral Contours

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Historical figures

BADEN-POWELL, Robert
1857 - 1941
United Kingdom
CURRICULUM

 

Active in army service for over 30 years, serving in India, Afghanistan, and Africa. He founded the Boy Scouts in 1908, and with Agnes his sister the Girl Guides in 1910, then for younger children the Wolf Cubs in 1916. These organisations have been major vehicles in 'character building' and moral education, in countries of the former British Commonwealth and beyond. The commended life-style included a strong sense of duty and self-discipline, creative activity and energetic play in company with others

Life

'Educational innovator' http://infed.org/mobi/robert-baden-powell-as-an-educational-innovator

'There is a brotherhood of boys' http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/01/books/there-is-a-brotherhood-of-boys.html

Writings

Scouting for Boys (1908) http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/s4b.html

Scouting Games  http://www.inquiry.net/OUTDOOR/games/b-p/index.htm

Aids to Scoutmastership: A Guidebook For Scoutmasters On The Theory of Scout Training (1930) http://www.whitestag.org/files/Aids_to_Scoutmastership.pdf

Video

Lord Robert Baden-Powell (20 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hefYjvlolXc

BEVERIDGE, William
1879 – 1963
United Kingdom
POLITICS, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Economist with special interest in unemployment and social insurance. His work at Toynbee Hall in London’s East End exposed him to the challenges of urban poverty and reinforced his commitment to social justice. His skills as a communicator were honed in journalism and his academic prowess recognised by his directorship of the London School of Economics and presidency of an Oxford college. During World War II he chaired the government’s interdepartmental committee and gave his name to the Beveridge Report challenging the five evils: Want, (poverty); Disease (health); Ignorance (education); Squalor (housing); and Idleness (employment). Here was the basis of the all-inclusive National Health Service.

Life

Writings

Video

Sir William Beveridge talks to Pathe Gazette (3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2DhvTCuK_s

KING George
1919 - 1997
United Kingdom
RELIGION

Founder of the Aetherius Society in 1955 as a registered Church, he claimed to be a channel for messages from a cosmic master from Venus known as Master Jesus or Aetherius. He spoke subsequently for what he believed to be the ‘Interplanetary Parliament’. His telepathic and trance experiences are extensions to his disciplined practice of yoga. The importance of ensuring that public education includes open and critical attention to both moral and religious beliefs is underlined by this flourishing.

Life

Works

Video

George King explains life after death (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFZyzOefC6A

LEWIS CS
1898 - 1963
United Kingdom
LITERATURE, RELIGION

Versatile academic author and story teller. Born in Belfast, independent school/private education, followed by Oxford studies, shortly interrupted by army experience in WW1, but continued with degrees in classics, philosophy and English. His writings extended over Medieval and Renaissance English literature, science fiction, children’s books and Christian apologetic. He had a strong moral sense, explored in his study of love and correlated with what he claimed is a cross-culturally common morality, but open to temptation which could be devilishly persuasive and derailing.

Life

Writings 

Video

'Gnosis and Light' (8 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYoU5_MQOU0

LIVINGSTONE, David
1813 - 1873
United Kingdom Central Africa
RELIGION

 

Scottish born doctor and missionary who spent most of his working life in the countries of Central and Southern Africa as a travelling missionary, explorer. Along with a Christianity-inspired determination to alleviate human misery in all its forms, he set up community clinics and hospitals wherever he went. He also actively challenged the persistence of slavery as perpetuated under Portuguese sponsorship. His status as a moral exemplar has been challenged, but in effect by raising the question as to whether exemplarity presupposes perfection.

Life

Writings 

MACKINNON, DM
1913 - 1994
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Scottish Episcopalian philosopher and theologian, passionate in  testing claims to truth, equally by fellow Christians and others for their rootedness in reality. Renowned as a powerful, but difficult, university lecturer.

Life

Writings 

MACQUARRIE J
1919 - 2007
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

Scottish born Christian theologian, based successively in Glasgow, New York and Oxford universities. He systematically expounded the meaning of Christian beliefs and ethics in terms of an existential ontology, strongly influenced by Heidegerian philosophy. His writings range widely over twentieth century thought and are much regarded for their clarity of expression, a factor which contributed to their being widely translated, not least into Chinese and Japanese. His jointly edited New Dictionary of Christian Ethics remains an informative starting point for the interplay of religion and ethics  

Life

Writings

Video

John Macquarrie on ecumenism (6 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDjAz5zRM2k

MALINOWSKI, Bronislaw
1884-1942
Poland United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

A ‘founding father’ of social anthropology, as characterised by intensive periods of participant observation and ethnographic recording. Much of his own field experience was in the Trobriand Islands in Australasia and in Mexico. On this he based his claim that social and cultural life takes its institutional form from meeting basic psychological needs as much as bodily ones. Reciprocity is a recurrent feature.

Life

Writings

Video

Bronislaw Malinowski: god professor (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pIJCdOdgP0

MILL JS
1806 - 1873
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS

John Stuart Mill’s erudition was eastablished for him by his father (age 3: Greek;age 8  arithmetic and Latin; age 12 Logic; age13 political economy.; age 14 history, law and philosophy; and age 17 full-time office employment. Exposure from then on to Jeremy Bentham established his penchant for Utilitarian thinking which materialised in a succession of influential books, including those on the nature of freedom and on women’s liberation.

Life

Writings

NAUROJI
1825 - 1917
INDIA + United Kingdom
POLITICS, RELIGION

 

Dadabhai Nauroji was a mathematician and social reformer in his native India (through the Indian National Congress) as also in the UK (elected as a Liberal MP). His inspiration came from his Zoroastrian faith, with an emphasis on justice for all against the persistent power of vested interests and superstition. In his ‘drain theory’ he identified the unfairness arising from Imperial relationships.

 

                https://archive.org/details/essaysspeechesa00paregoog

NEEDHAM, Joseph
1900 - 1995
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Distinguished scientist, cultural historian, and international educationalist. His main academic base was at Cambridge University, but alongside these were periods of time serving as British Ambassador in China and as UNESCO’s Director of Natural Science. He was a prolific author including his 12 volume study of Science and Civilisation in China and such monographs as the History of Acupuncture. As a grounded exponent of the desirability of mutual understanding between peoples he excels.

 

OPIE, P + I
1918 - 1982; 1923 -
United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Peter and Iona Opie - a husband and wife folklorist research team focussed on children’s nursery rhymes and literature. Their publications in the field are prolific They include a remarkable collection of children’s playground games and songs – The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren - which are revealing of the hopes, fears and moral sensitivities of early years and how they are shared, transmitted and transmuted across generations and long distances

OUSPENSKY, Pyotr
1878 – 1947
Russia, United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Idiosyncratic explorer of the bounds of human understanding. From a background in the natural sciences he became convinced of what he called the ‘fourth dimension’. His thinking coincided with that of Gurdjieff with whom he collaborated intermittently. Highly regarded by contemporary British intellectuals when he moved to London in the 1920s, opinions of his scholarship range from brilliant wisdom to speculative twaddle.

OWEN, Robert
1771 - 1858
United Kingdom + United States
SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Welsh born educationalist and social reformer. Drawing on his experience in managing a cotton mill, he set out to create a model community in a village called New Lanark in Scotland. This combined living and working conditions which were fair and amicable for everyone. They included a school, an Institute for the Formation of Character, and a co-operative store. He sought to apply this model in the US, but after 5 years with mixed results returned to England. Emphasis on mutuality and collaborative endeavour were the main features of his lifelong campaigning, especially for the development of trade unions and latterly spiritualism as a means of exposure to moral exemplars.

PANKHURST, Emmeline
1857 - 1928
United Kingdom
POLITICS

Emeline Pankhurst was a leading figure in the movement to promote women’s right to vote and equality generally. Initially working in collaboration with her husband who shared her views, then after his death on her own. Her militancy was expressed in demonstrations and hunger strikes. They provoked social disdain, but that became more difficult to sustain following women’s extensive involvement as part of the national efforts in World War 1. She showed the courage of her convictions with great consistency.

Video

Emmeline Pankhurst: votes for women (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC6qBeBEJx8

PENN, William
1644 - 1718
United Kingdom + United States
POLITICS, RELIGION

William Penn was an international propagator of the principle of freedom of conscience and democracy which arose from his core beliefs as a Quaker. He campaigned actively and wrote extensively in their advocacy, being frequently imprisoned for his vehemence. Based on these beliefs he established Pennsylvania with a constitution designed to uphold them; they were basic to his meeting with Lenape Indians in his planned city of Philadelphia. Back in England, for over 30 years, legal, political, financial and theological tussles were his everyday experience. Based on his regard for the light which illuminates each and every human individual, he envisioned the development of a commonwealth of American Peoples and similarly of Europeans, each served by elected parliaments. The strange anomaly of his owning slaves in Pennsylvania may be explained by reference to the writings of Paul in the New Testament where all relationships including that of owner and slave are transformed by Christian love.`

 

PINTER, Harold
1930 - 2008
United Kingdom
LITERATURE

 

Writer, playright and film maker, sensitively observant of ordinary verbal exchanges and able to use this to convey a sense of underlying seriousness of human concern – often ominous. From an East End of London Ashkenazi Jewish background, he had a strong sense of moral outrage especially against war and its political perpetrators.

Video

Nobel lecture (47 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH96tuRA3L0

PITT, William
1759 - 1806
United Kingdom
POLITICS

 

Already Prime Minister at the age of 24, he retained that position throughout most of the rest of his life. The strengths which enable him to do this were administrative skills systematically applied, adroit but even-handed dealings with fellow parliamentarians, and vision for changes in the wider world of national and European politics. This was particularly necessary during the years of the French revolution, British presence in India, Napoleon’s campaigning and issues regarding Irish Home Rule. The moral dimensions of his policies were influenced by friendships with Jeremy Bentham (India), Adam Smith (economics) and William Wilberforce (slavery).

POLANYI, Michael
1891 - 1976
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

Hungarian born and educated, then lecturing in Natural Sciences in Germany before his Jewish family background led him to emigrate to the UK in 1933. Alongside his continuing academic work in physical chemistry, he engaged in social scientific studies. From these he presented a strong rebuttal of ‘reductionist’ interpretations of human behaviour, arguing instead the personal knowledge is more complex and includes ‘tacit’ sense.

POPPER, Karl
1902 - 1994
Austria United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY

 

A family history which was grandparentally Jewish and parentally Lutheran was no guarantee of safety: he spent 9 years in New Zealand before settling in the UK. He was a strong advocate of the need for evidential grounding of belief system or philosophy of life – it need not be empirically proven, but it must be capable of passing the ‘falsifiability test’. Nazism failed this test, but so did any other ‘utopian’ approach – Marxism, Psychoananalysis and any Fundamentalism. Instead any properly human society must be liberally open to a plurality of views.

 

Video

'Uncertain truth' (12 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNpkvoxnmyk

SCHECTER, Solomon
1847 - 1915
ROMANIA United Kingdom United
RELIGION

From a position of renowned historical and textual scholarship, Solomon Schecter became the founder on Conservative movement within Judaism. This characterises Judaism as a living organism rather than a strictly fixed entity. It is in process of continuing regeneration, protected by its mainstream impulse against easy fad-following. He stressed the significant agency of good education; schools in his name reiterate that point. Though hesitant, he eventually gave his support to the development of Zionism.

SPENCER, Herbert
1820 - 1903
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY, SOCIAL SCIENCE

 

Though writing independently of the biologist Darwin, Herbert Spencer is rightly regarded as a ‘Social Darwinian’ in that he set out in an influential series of books a universal theory regarding the evolution of society and ethics. ‘Survival of the fittest’ legitimises the emergent domination of one grouping over another/others. Moral education builds on learning from past mistakes; the astute adult and teacher must take responsibility for managing this process.

STOPES, Marie
1880 - 1958
United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE

From a background in botany and natural science Marie Stopes came to renown as the leading British advocate of birth control and women’s political rights. Although contraception and its techniques were a priority for her, they arose initially from a concern for marital unhappiness and more generally for young people’s understanding of sex. The main focus of critics of the advice centres/clinics founded in her name has shifted from contraception to abortion.

TEMPLE, W
1881 - 1944
United Kingdom
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY

 

As Archbishop of Canterbury during World War 2, he was a central figure in British political establishment. He was at the same time a radical exponent of social democracy as indicated by his promotion of the Workers’ Education Association, the Student Christian Movement, and of the World Council of Churches.

TOYNBEE, Arnold
1889 - 1975
United Kingdom
LITERATURE, POLITICS

 

Arnold Toynbee was a British historian who for 30 years was Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He wrote extensively on the history of world civilisations. Alongside his concern for historical detail he developed a readiness to pass judgements on belief systems.  Thus he thought that the ‘pantheism’ of Eastern religious traditions holds a better prospect for human survival than Western monotheism. For him, there is an evident moral ingredient in the rise and fall of civilisations.

 Video

 'This I believe' (4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWF4SWE2SQ0

TRUNGPA, Chogyam
1939 - 1987
Tibet United Kingdom United S
PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION

 

Rinpoche Trungpa was born and recognised  as an incarnate Tibetan Lama. To evade Chinese intimidation he left for India and thence the UK where he began the challenge of translating traditional texts and interpreting Buddhist insights so as to engage with the modern world. He subsequently pursued this more substantially in the US with considerable success through the programme of training in the Shambala path, poetry and drama, films and the notion of ‘Crazy Wisdom’.

Video 

Chogyam Trungpa interview (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGxk5JFsbJA 

TYLOR, Edward
1832 - 1917
United Kingdom
SOCIAL SCIENCE

Edward Tylor is often regarded as the founder of cultural anthropology. He was interested in data covering all aspects of life -  art, ethics, law, religion, science – and expounded a strong evolutionary perspective of the development of human civilisation. He interprets morality as variably expressed according to the particular cultural contexts and conventions.

                 http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/4841

WELLS, H G
1866 - 1946
United Kingdom
LITERATURE

 

Prolific author of short stories, satirical novels and science fiction through which he explored and challenged the mores of contemporary society and raised questions about the future of humanity. He was an enthusiast for such causes as progressive education, free love, human rights and world government.

                http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1919/01/the-idea-of-a-league-of-nations/306270

Video

H G Wells interview (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3eDp3weMAw

WILSON, J
1928 - 2003
United Kingdom
PHILOSOPHY

 

John Wilson was an Oxford based moral philosopher with special interest in Moral Education. As a school teacher he taught classics, history and philosophy. He developed the distinctive model of ‘Farmington Man’ which identifies the complementary components which are key to the process of becoming morally educated – knowledge, empathy, caring and judgement. He was one of the pioneers of the Journal of Moral Education and a regular contributor of articles. His annual output of books was remarkable.

  • Life 

               http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0305498032000153007

               

  • Writings

     

Current expertise

The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Contact Information: e mail
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
University of Sunderland, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Teacher Education, lifespan, education, research, teaching: pre-school-secondary , teaching: higher education , pedagogy, policy, discrimination, citizenship/civics/social studies
University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Contact Information:
Coventry University, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Arts and Humanities, Cultural Studies, Researcher Education, Research Capability, Research Management, Researcher Development, adult, education, philosophy/ethics, administration, research, teaching: higher education , pedagogy, policy, discrimination, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies , resources
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Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Politics, childhood, adolescence, adult, psychology, research, teaching: higher education , discrimination
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University of Cumbria, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Education, Religious Studies, Social Ethics, lifespan, education, philosophy/ethics, psychology, religion, teaching: higher education , discrimination, applied ethics
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Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
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Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom
University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Philosophy of education; Philosophy of religion, lifespan, education, philosophy/ethics, religion, teaching: higher education , pedagogy, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies
Contact Information: 07904208740
University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Faith schooling; Religious and Moral Education; the impact of poverty of education; sectarianism, childhood, adolescence, adult, lifespan, education, policy, discrimination, citizenship/civics/social studies
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UNIVERSITY OF MALAYA, United Kingdom
Contact Information:
Institute of Education, London, United Kingdom
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Ethos-Education, United Kingdom
Disciplines:Editor of Ethos, a bi-annual publication produced in the UK, adolescence, lifespan, criminology/criminal justice, education, media, research, teaching: pre-school-secondary , pedagogy, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies
Contact Information:
none, United Kingdom
Disciplines:moral education internationally, adolescence, education, philosophy/ethics, research, pedagogy, policy, discrimination, applied ethics, citizenship/civics/social studies
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Humansystems Incorporated, United Kingdom
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Retired (University of Leeds), United Kingdom
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Relevant organisations

All Faiths and None
United Kingdom
Association for Citizenship Teaching
United Kingdom
Centre for the Study of Global Ethics
United Kingdom
Children and Young people talking
United Kingdom
Citized
United Kingdom
Ethos Education
United Kingdom
International Values Education Trust (IVET)
United Kingdom
Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues
United Kingdom
National Holocaust Centre & Museum
United Kingdom
Personal Social Health & Economics Association
United Kingdom
RE on line
United Kingdom
Religious Education Council
United Kingdom
SAPERE ? Philosophy for children,colleges and communities
United Kingdom
Spirited Arts
United Kingdom
Values Based Education
United Kingdom

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