Capital Commentary is a weekly current-affairs publication of the Center for Public Justice. Published since 1996, it is written to encourage the pursuit of justice. Commentaries do not necessarily represent an official position of the Center for Public Justice but are intended to help advance discussion.
Solomon’s Porch or the Academy of Athens?
by William Edgar
07.27.2015

Article Summary:

In a recent article criticizing higher education, Roger Scruton highlights what he observes to be a biting absolutism created by the culture of relativism in the modern university. He argues that in a world without distinctions, there is no way to orient oneself in a moral compass, and thus no way to guide a society into the right direction. According to Scruton, “truth” is the only way to re-open minds that have been closed by relativism. His idea of truth is something like an inherited body of knowledge, such as can be found in a handful of books that have passed the test of time.

But does pursuing this type of rational truth really develop students’ characters in a way that prepares them for the life of citizenship, one which contributes to human flourishing? In this article, William Edgar argues otherwise. By comparing the rationalism of the Greeks to the wisdom of the Bible, Edgar explores how this wisdom is a far more comprehensive notion than rationality. It includes moral characteristics such as trustworthiness, perseverance, and generosity. In Edgar’s view, the pursuit of this kind of wisdom is fundamental to the practice of good citizenship.