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David Carr and Kristján Kristjánsson at a conference on virtue in the Netherlands 29th October 2012 Jubilee Centre

David Carr and Kristján Kristjánsson from the Jubilee Centre went to Radboud University, Nijmegen, to examine a PhD thesis on November 19. The thesis was entitled "Character education: A neo-Aristotelian approach to the philosophy, psychology and education of virtue" by Wouter Sanderse. The topic of the thesis is highly relevant to the work that is being done in the Jubilee Centre, in particular on character education in schools. On the day after the viva, Radboud University organised a conference on "The development and education of virtue" with Carr and Kristjánsson as main speakers along with a number of Dutch academics and PhD students:

Carr talked about different perspectives on the role of literature in character education and Kristjánsson about the pros and cons of the positive psychology's new virtue theory. One of the most interesting contributions to the conference was a talk by Professor Paul van Tongeren (Nijmegen)  who argued that contemporary neo-Aristotelians had failed to bring Aristotle's virtue theory up to date in light of the current human condition - the kind of work that medieval philosophers did not shirk when they reframed Aristotelianism in order to bring it to bear on medieval concerns. About 50 people attended the conference but another 20 who wanted to enroll had to be turned away for reasons of space. The interest in virtue and virtue education is clearly not confined to the University of Birmingham!

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