Understanding the Purpose and Drift of Contemporary Cultures


Dr. Iain Benson attacks the use of “values language” in contemporary culture and education, and explains its connection to exalting means, forgetting ends, and subjectivising moral truth.

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In this podcast:
  • 1:45: “Values” language and the muscling out of morality.
  • 5:15: Who noticed the removal of morality from our language?
  • 7:36: Values as “language of preference”
  • 9:46: “The red book”: Giving Voice to Values.
  • 12:36: The difference between techne and telos. Means have swallowed the ends, specifically in tertiary education.
  • 19:27: Why Giving Voice to Values is disastrous. The attempt to absolutely subjectivise moral truth.
    • 24:15: The meaning of value. Exalting the will and individual over virtue and community.
    • 27:52: “Values” is a meaningless word.
  • 29:36: Alasdair MacIntyre and emotivism.
  • 31:58: There exists a long list of critics of values language, but it is currently used by some in the Catholic Church.
  • 33:19: John Stuart Mill and the expiry of the word “values”.

This presentation was part of The Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies’ 2017 Colloquium on the theme “Liberal Education: Restoring the Notion of Education as the Basis for Living the Good Life”, hosted in Hobart, Australia.

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