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Extra info for A Different Three Rs for Education: Reason, Relationality, Rhythm (Value Inquiry Book Series 176)
51–55; see also 1929, pp. 7, 18, 83). The laws of nature are not cosmic directives instructing the atoms on how they should behave. They are descriptions of those behaviors, statistical generalizations about the ways in which things are interacting, by means of which we can predict how they are likely to interact in the future. Similarly, a moral law is a generalization about human behavior—not about how people actually interact, but about how they would need to act were their actions to accord with God’s will or the laws of the State, or were they by their actions to fashion a community in which all persons are treated as ends in themselves.
The heroes of pop culture and professional sports need no classroom to be identified, but unsung heroes need attention drawn to them. It should not have taken 9/11 to identify police officers and fire fighters as people engaged in dangerous but socially important—hence heroic—occupations. Other kinds of jobs are heroic because difficult even if not dangerous: scientists, homemakers, entrepreneurs, social justice activists. Biographies should be assigned frequently, stories and whole novels read, videos watched, field trips arranged, websites visited, people who lead all sorts of lives invited to talk with the class.
Moral laws are abstractions. To treat them as unchanging objective givens is to commit what Alfred North Whitehead calls “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness” (1925, pp. 51–55; see also 1929, pp. 7, 18, 83). The laws of nature are not cosmic directives instructing the atoms on how they should behave. They are descriptions of those behaviors, statistical generalizations about the ways in which things are interacting, by means of which we can predict how they are likely to interact in the future.