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A recurring theme in many places concerns the nurturing and maintenance of a civil society that is committed to justice, to human fulfilment and a community that actively pursues the good of all its members. The creation of a civil society where there is respect for persons and a concern for the good of others is an important social aim and though it is not the sole responsibility of educational institutions, they have a crucial role to play in its development. It also evident that the creation of a civil society includes the family and the wider community and so in order to understand how a civil society is to be fostered, we need to understand relationality, a central concept in both the Western and Eastern understandings of human nature. If we reflect on contemporary education in both the East and the West, an important question to consider is the extent to which education measures up to developing in young people a sense of their responsibilities to one another, their families and to the wider community. In short the question of how well we are developing humane persons who are able to relate to one another and build a civil society. This article argues that there needs to be a rebalancing of the aims of education to include the development of those values and dispositions that will foster a civil society.


School of Philosophy

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Journal Article

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