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Stoicism, Moral Education and Material Goods Open Access


Other title
Stoicism, Moral Education, Material Goods, Virtue Education
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Burns, David
Supervisor and department
Stephen P. Norris (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Jennifer Welchman (Philosophy)
Frank Peters (Educational Policy Studies)
Daniel Vokey (University of British Columbia)
Ann Chinnery (Simon Fraser University)
Department of Educational Policy Studies

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Material goods play an important role in ethical life and moral education. Judging which goods are preferable to which − and which are therefore worth pursuing over which − is an ethically crucial process. The currently dominant paradigms of moral education (virtue education, cognitive developmentalism and care theory) do not satisfactorily contribute to this important topic. I argue that the resultant lacuna may be resolved by attending to the insight of the classical Stoics and their modern day neo-Stoic interpreters. Stoicism, I argue, provides a unique set of philosophical resources that fosters critical deliberation and reflection regarding the attribution of value to material goods. I begin this study by detailing the extant lacuna via discussion of virtue education, cognitive developmentalism and care theory as they relate to material good education. Once the lacuna’s existence is established I move on to introduce Stoic philosophy (both classical and contemporary). From this philosophy I construct a moral educational framework. This framework is then applied to two topics related to the material good lacuna: consumer education and environmental education. I conclude that, while Stoicism must be softened and revised for a modern pedagogical audience, its core philosophy has much to offer moral educationalists.
License granted by David Burns ( on 2011-04-08T22:48:19Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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