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An expert bets for the training in virtues to be able to live well in a world worth living in

James Arthur, director of The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, visited the University of Navarra to talk about Education character and virtues.

PhotoManuelCastells/James Arthur, director of The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, in his visit to the University of Navarra.

17 | 02 | 2023

James Arthur, director of The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, visited the University of Navarra to offer the Workshop 'Character Education and Virtues: History and Contemporary Relevance'. The expert has given three seminars where he has discussed topics such as the relationship between Christian virtue ethics and character Education , the historical evolution of this discipline and the social impact of virtue ethics and character Education .

The researcher has been one of the promoters of the Education of character and virtue ethics in recent decades, as well as an advocate of its importance. According to Arthur, the object of Education is "to train people to be able to live well in a world worth living in." Following the ideas of the Aristotelian and Thomistic Philosophy , he has indicated that the Education should prepare people for life, help them to have a purpose and to be more human, to seek excellence, that is, virtue.

However, for the expert, the importance of virtues transcends individuals. The more virtuous and productive individuals there are, the healthier the society in which they live will be. This is due to the fact that human beings are relational, we develop in relation to others, thus, the individual development cannot be separated from that of the community.

School of virtues

According to researcher, the qualities that form character can be learned and taught. In this sense, he has considered the high school as a fundamental place to learn virtues since it is a good field of trials and experiences that can help the younger ones to practice good discernment and develop virtues.

However, Arthur pointed out some shortcomings of the educational system, such as the fact that it was built on the mercantilist idea that human beings should consume and produce. "We put Economics above everything else, even virtues and morals," he lamented.

He also stressed that the research will allow "understanding and demonstrating the benefits of a good Education of character" for the benefit of the individual and society. He also urged the researchers present to learn how to communicate their work as it can influence both the business world and politicians.

The event was organized by the 'Civic Humanism Center for character and professional ethics' of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University and was supported by the Fundación Ciudadanía y Valores. It has been divided between the headquarters of Madrid and Pamplona and the Complutense University of Madrid, who collaborates in this event, as well as the group of research Telemaco of the University of La Rioja and the group Education Citizenship and Character of the University of Navarra.