The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Friday, June 19, 2009

A pedagogy of humility?

Jeff Sandefer of Acton MBA has a wonderful post on how to fix the ineffective teaching at business schools here.

My only disagreement is in his call for a "pedagogy of humility." Here's my comments:

His analysis is pertinent to all levels of school, if we are to prepare students for successful lives. Each person must be the entrepreneur of his or her own life, figuring out what will achieve a happy and productive path by using objective analysis.

I have a small disagreement with him: I would say that teachers need a pedagogy of objectivity, not humility. Here's why: what's important is whether one's judgment fits the facts. Sometimes, it is actually incorrect to be humble, if one is right - then one needs to use one's evidence and rational arguments to persuade others.

Like Feynman about the O-ring problem. Or Galileo about the orbit of the planets.

But I don't think he and I are very far in our conceptions, in fact. Objectivity requires that one subordinate one's desires, tendencies, self-image, and passions to the facts.

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