Paper presented at the Paideia Conference by Dr Paul D. Grosch, The University College of St. Mark and St. John 

ABSTRACT: I am concerned to accomplish five things. First, I attempt to say something about the nature and purpose of education both in and through spirituality. Second, I contend that spiritual discourse and practice have become so fragmented that they are virtually meaningless; therefore, spirituality is an area ripe for, even if neglected by, philosophical inquiry. My argument here is similar in structure to MacIntyre’s historical thesis in relation to morality. Additionally, I argue, following Hadot, that spiritual exercises were once the province of philosophy but, after Suarez, spiritual matters were assigned solely to religion and theology. Third, I begin to discuss the primary importance to philosophy of such matters; I do so by way of a brief analysis of the competing meanings attached to pneuma and psyche, and the ways in which these relate to an account of a human telos. Fourth, I suggest that, by rediscovering the kinds of spiritual exercises favoured by the four philosophical schools of Antiquity, it is possible to say something meaningful about human teleology, which I take to be essentially Aristotelian in that it is to do with cultivating the virtues of both mind and character. Finally, I mention the authoritarian and uncritical approaches to spiritual and moral matters adopted in education in the U.K. 

1. Paideia, Self and Spirituality (1) 

The title of the Conference is simply Paideia : Philosophy Educating Humanity. However, I wish to add a single clause to that, namely, through spirituality. What exactly do I mean by this? My first argument begins with the (rather obvious and entirely unoriginal) claim that it is important to educate people, individually and collectively, about themselves; namely to initiate them into an inquiry that will lead to an understanding of their own unique identity and essential humanity. (2) The fundamental human imperative, carved on the rock at Delphi, “Know Thyself” (3) is, on this view, the primary telos, the “ultimate and synoptic” (4) aim of human conduct. Exactly how this is to be achieved is a moot point, but I wish to argue that it is by both education in, and through, spirituality that the aim of knowing oneself is best understood and realised. To know oneself on this count is to recognise and understand the self as a twofold entity : as a) the representative bearer of the general term “human being”, and b) the particular and unique instance of just such a being. Educating humanity, or our collective selves, in and through spirituality is about taking seriously the very conduct and expression of life itself. The particular life, therefore, led by any particular individual is indicative of, and partakes in the universal life characterised by thcatch-all conceptual phrase of “being human”. To be educated in spirituality is to understand what the concept and its associated practices are; and to be educated through spirituality is to participate in the educational process in such a way as to be guided by the precepts and practices which govern the spiritual life. 

2. Spirituality and the Loss of Meaning 

Part of this whole process is the necessary re-establishment of spirituality as a central and legitimate feature of philosophical inquiry. This is of paramount importance, for my second, broadly-based argument is that the language used in relation to spirituality, and the multiple sets of meanings attached to it (especially in the recent past) have rendered the concept all but unintelligible: so much so that it seems now to be a concept in which there is hardly much philosophical interest left. Or, at the very least, it is a term so confused and confusing that it appears to defy analysis. (5) Added to this is the traditional association of spirituality with mysticism, an association which, in any case, renders the concept analytically redundant. The overall argument is somewhat similar to that offered by MacIntyre. In After Virtue (6) as is well known, MacIntyre maintains that both the language and practice of morality have all but disintegrated and that morality, as a unifying concept of thinking and doing in relation to human conduct, has become virtually meaningless. 

Until the eighteenth century, according to MacIntyre, moral theory and practice were largely Aristotelian in character. There was an acknowledged constellation of virtues, or qualities of mind and character, which informed and guided people’s daily lives. Moreover, there was a corresponding list of vices – or the lack of such virtues or qualities – which signalled failure in daily life, or worse still, eternal failure in the afterlife. Finally, it was generally agreed that human beings had a telos, a purpose which involved the cultivation of the virtues in order to become both a good person and a good citizen, the one being necessarily connected with the other. 

However, since Kant, the inaugurator of the Enlightenment Project, the teleological framework of Aristotelian virtue theory has been, for the most part, rejected in favour of a more robust belief in the power of human reason alone to construct a set of abstract principles which would serve as a suitable substitute for Aristotle’s outmoded system. Kant’s project of justifying morality through the application of reason (predictably) failed and brought in its wake a series of further failures, most of which depended upon a single- factor explanation of human conduct. Kant’s deontological appeal to reason gave way to Kierkegaard’s existential emphasis on choice. Bentham’s arithmetical calculation of pleasure was superseded by Mill’s dubious distinction between higher and lower pleasures and, later, Moore’s unanalysable concept of good was soon discarded in favour of the emotivist doctrine of ethics partly described by Ayer and fully articulated by Stevenson. The historical catalogue of failures was, by now, complete. 

The present disintegration and meaninglessness of moral theory and practice are, primarily, the result of these failures. Unfortunately, according to MacIntyre, the magnitude and seriousness of these failures have been (largely) successfully masked, so that contemporary culture is now dominated by characters who both live off, and trade on the residual ideology of the Enlightenment Project, namely, the fact-value distinction. And it is this distinction which underwrites emotivism, the philosophical doctrine that all moral utterances are simply expressions of attitudes of approval or disapproval on the part of an individual subject. Although emotivism may have been abandoned as the principal theory among moral philosophers, MacIntyre argues that the effects of the Enlightenment Project have been so corrosive that emotivism prevails as the dominant cultural expression of moral, ethical, political and social reasoning and behaviour. The subjective individual reigns supreme, and that, therefore, his or her choices, predicated on feelings and attitudes of approval or disapproval, also reign supreme. And, as individual choices compete and conflict in a free-market of moral bargain-hunters, there can be no true consensus as to what constitutes moral conduct. Consequently, a kind of irrational version of post-modern relativism emerges, in which no identifiable moral discourse is made possible, nor one to which all may usefully subscribe. 

I wish to say that something similar has happened in respect of spirituality. The language and practice of spirituality have, following the structure and form of MacIntyre’s argument, become so fractured and distorted that there is now no longer any coherent understanding of it. However, this time, instead of the blame being laid at the door of the Enlightenment Project, it has been suggested by Hadot (7) that the problem occurred when theologia became wholly and completely separated from philosophia. (8) Moreover, that this separation, according to Happ, began with the work of Suarez (9) Suarez’s grand work, Metaphysical Disputations (10) was, by all accounts, ultimately responsible for a) the mutual exclusivity of theology and philosophy, and hence, b) the easy severence of spirituality from its early philosophical roots. (11) Prior to this, there existed in intellectual thought in general and both theology and philosophy in particular the recognition that some rational progress in metaphysics, epistemology and morality could only be made if certain spiritual exercises were undertaken. What these exercises are will be discussed under section four of this paper. 

After this formal separation, spirituality was then colonised exclusively by religion and theology, so much so that, with a few exceptions (12) contemporary inquiries into matters spiritual are deemed to be primarily, if not wholly, religious and rarely philosophical. For example, despite the philosophically-grounded scholarship of Sheldrake (13) what emerges from his inquiry into spirituality is a distinctly religious, and often specifically Christian picture of its origins, development, scope and meaning. Sheldrake considers a range of typologies by which spirituality may be understood, but he is not wholly convinced by any of them. He concludes by making a plea for new understandings in spirituality, and for 

“more adequate frameworks and more critical questions. The source for these will be found in the new approaches to historical knowledge…., a reconsideration of what we understand by spirituality…and….in the contemporary values or commitments we bring to our study and reflection.” (p 214) 

Such frameworks, questions, reconsiderations and contemporary values had already been partly mapped out by Jones et. al. in a significant collection entitled The Study of Spirituality (14) which summarises many of the themes and debates embedded in the international, encyclopaedic work on World Spirituality (15) What is of particular significance for my purposes is the section in Jones et. al. headed “Philosophical Roots” (16) in which Meredith examines the spiritual groundwork undertaken by Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, and later by Philo, Plotinus and Proclus. A more detailed description and analysis, filling in the somewhat sketchy but helpful accounts given by Meredith, is to be found in Classical Mediterranean Spirituality : Egyptian, Greek, Roman. (17) Here Pierre Hadot writes on the spiritual lives of Plotinus and Porphyry, whilst I. Hadot writes in a general vein about the spiritual guidelines and exercises governing Greco-Roman philosophical inquiry. (18) 

However, my contention is that spirituality has become in the twentieth century, like morality, a relativist and postmodern concept, which has tended to lose all sense of its past, its internal coherence, its overriding rationality, its tradition, and hence finally, its meaning. It has become a patchwork-quilt concept, tagged in many colours, but with no discernible pattern nor core. This is not to say that spirituality in the twentieth-century has not been of value. Far from it. It has given many people the courage to believe in something that they have fashioned for themselves, liberated from the bonds of organised religion or bleak scientism, in order to recapture the richness and mystique of what it means to be a human being living in the world. However, it has become an all-things-to-all-people concept, often devoid of any sense of tradition and philosophical integrity or interest. Two particular contributions in Spirituality and the Secular Quest (19) partly underwrite this baleful critique. In “Psychotherapies” Lucy Bregman writes : 

“To the degree that psychotherapy directly promises that it is spirituality and not medicine, it also becomes vulnerable to critics who find it a new religion,….Meanwhile, religious critics judging it from the standpoint of their own traditions often reject it as ersatz, inferior religion – idolatrous ‘self-worship'” (20) 

Bregman’s analysis is, however, a good deal less pessimistic than Raschke’s in “New Age Spirituality”. Raschke examines the contemporary values, or at least the somewhat confused and soupy miasma of moral, spiritual and religious insights which make up the New Age Spirituality, and ends with the following reflection : 

“The New Age Movement, in one sense, therefore, is a large-scale form of generational psychodrama that seems unintelligible to those both younger and older. It is a dramatic spectacle of the social unconscious, a colossal return of the repressed.” (21) 

And so, my argument is a critical one, a parallel to that offered by MacIntyre, but where MacIntyre laments the passing of an educated public (EP) able to participate in a universal discourse about moral matters (22) I argue that there is no longer a meaningful universal discourse about spiritual matters, and hence, no educated public seriously to debate them. 

3. The Primacy and Meaning of Spirituality 

My third argument is to do with the primacy of spirituality. It has become fashionable to speak again of what is of first importance in philosophy, with Levinas, for example, laying claim to the primacy of ethics. (23) Traditionally, of course, first philosophy has been about epistemology. What can we know, for Descartes, is the principal question.For Heidegger, ontology was the primary concern, although he later abandoned the inquiry for one to do with language (24) But Heidegger was hardly alone in this, for the investigation of language has become one of the dominant preoccupations of philosophers; without this first inquiry, it is argued, the rest cannot get off the ground. (For Levinas, however, it is ethics which precedes even ontology, although whether it precedes language is another question, although logically, presumably it does in his account : if no ontology, then no language; and if no ethics, then no ontology either!) 

However, I wish to argue, albeit somewhat tentatively, that it is spirituality which is of principal concern, especially when it is understood in its original philosophical context. For what is meant by spirituality is the manner of living a life, of being a material being or body, but one which is alive as opposed to being dead. What distinguishes a live person from a dead one? Simply, the breath of life or the spirit, as the Greeks were clear to point out. (25) Two Greek words in particular point out the definitional dualism of the term, namely psuche and pneuma. The former has a longer etymological heritage, being used to describe the strange animating principle which gives life to the inanimate corpus of material bodies. It is used in Homer and then begins to assume a deeper significance in the rites of Dionysus where it is thought to be superior to the material body which houses it. Psuche became then, for Greek philosophers, the more general animating force which drives the universe and is often translated into the Latin anima or “soul” (26) However, it is Plato’s quasi-religious conception of the immortality of the soul which secured its superior status over the body. It becomes on this view immaterial, non-physical, eternal and immutable, and contrasts strongly with the Stoic’s version of the life-giving breath, the rather differently conceived animating principle which underpins human identity in a real sense. The early Stoics, who did not subscribe to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, adopted the second term pneuma which establishes an account of the breath of life, not holding it to be superior to the body, and in a general sense, virtually identifiable with it. (27) This is the sense in which I wish to use the term, spirit, from which the term spirituality may be derived. 

However, it is not simply that we, as living beings breathe and those who are dead do not. It is more about what it means to be a breathing and living being rather than a non- breathing and dead being; the former is a human endowed with its own meaning, the latter is a lifeless object endowed with meaning only by those who are left alive. That is, the spirituality of those who continue to breathe is conferred upon those who no longer do so. What the Greeks clearly understood is that what it means to be a human being, an object endowed with life or spirit is also a deeply mystical thing. Not that there is a mysterious presence or a further existence above and beyond this one, (although logically there might be, as Socrates is said to have acknowledged in his final hours), but that living at all, as we do, is mystical enough. Interestingly, and appropriately, Wittgenstein’s intensely poetic and technical first contribution to twentieth-century philosophy – the Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus (28) – gradually moves to a similar position : 

“6.522. There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.” (p. 151) 

Among the things which make themselves manifest, in a mystical sense, are : the very existence of the world and its contents, including human beings; God; morality; and art. In a narrow vision of what constitutes legitimate philosophical inquiry, Wittgenstein, in this work, claims that these mystical things should, in a famous phrase, be passed “over in silence.” However, as is well-known, Wittgenstein came to repudiate this constricting view of philosophy. (29) 

So, a tentative meaning attached to the term spirituality might be fashioned along the following lines : to be spiritual is to live a life according to an in-built natural telos which recognises the rich, complex and mystical aspect of what it means to be a human being sharing space with other human beings who also have this strange gift of being alive as opposed to being dead. 

4. Education, Virtue and Spiritual Exercises 

The fourth argument is to do with one’s telos as a human being. My argument is that through rediscovering those spiritual exercises that were once so clearly available to the philosophical schools of antiquity, we are cultivating and rediscovering our telos. What is that telos? In brief, it is Aristotelian in conception, scope and structure : to cultivate through habit the moral virtues, and through education, the intellectual virtues. (30) The virtues are those human excellences, those aretai which make life worth living. What is required is the full development and realisation of those potential qualities of mind and character that allow us to make something of our lives with others and reap some semblance of happiness, contentment or blessedness (eudaimonia). Re-educating humanity is about re- educating ourselves as to our central telos – the fashioning of those human excellences which make life a worthy condition, and one’s conduct within it informed by philosophical integrity. To live a life is both a science and an art, with phronesis – the art of deploying practical wisdom in each context and on each occasion – as the governing factor. Attending to the kinds of spiritual exercises handed down to us by the Greeks is the first step in being able to live such a life. 

The sorts of spiritual exercises favoured by the four great schools of antiquity – Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism and Epicureanism – are those usefully summarised by Philo of Alexandria, in two separate but closely related lists, and consist of the following : 

“research (zetesis), thorough investigation (skepsis), reading (anagnosis), listening (akroasis), attention (prosoche), self-mastery (enkrateia), and indifference to indifferent things…meditations (meletai), therapies of the passions, remembrance of good things….and the accomplishment of duties.” (31) 

These, along with others taken largely from the Stoic school have been elaborated upon and brought up to date by Hadot under four headings : Learning to Live, Learning to Die, Learning to Dialogue and Learning How to Read. This is the kind of spiritual diet which is judged necessary, and at root is clearly associated with the cultivation of those qualities of mind and character talked about so eloquently by Aristotle. 

What is of significance in the writings of Hadot is his insistence, supported by a close exegetical rendering of ancient texts, that Greek philosophical writings do contain much material which is spiritual in orgin. In this, he wishes to reject Rabbow’s claim (32) that the regimes, guides and exercises undertaken prior to the advent of Christian philosophy and theology, were simply moral. Instead, 

“Under Alexandrian influence….certain philosophical spiritual techniques were introduced into Christian spirituality. The result of this was that the Christian ideal was described and, in part, practiced, by borrowing models and vocabulary from the Greek philosophical tradition.” (p. 140) 

5. Paideia and Spirituality 

In Paideia : The Ideals of Greek Culture (33) Werner Jaeger wrote of the two Homeric poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, that they were a deliberate attempt to educate the Greek world in the virtues necessary for the cultivation and maintenance of the Good Life. In short, for the establishment and continuation of civilised life in all its richness and substance. Clement of Alexandria sought to enshrine the fundamental link between philosophy and paideia by arguing that Christian philosophy, with its emphasis on the actual embodiment of the Logos, of the word made flesh – the ideal specification of a human life manifested in the being of Christ – was the philosophy to educate humankind. (34) 

I do not wish to go so far as Clement did, by arguing that it is Christianity which will educate humankind, but that it is a philosophically coherent version of spirituality, in its theoretical and practical forms, that will help educate humanity in its widest sense. I do not wish the philosophical roots of spiritual undertsandings and exercises simply to be colonised again by one religious tradition. Nor, however, do I wish to see it as a kind of secularised pentecostal vision which is supposed simply to transcend all cultural boundaries, nor as a kind of philosophical esperanto which is supposed to transcend all language boundaries. Each religious and philosophical tradition has its own set of theories and practices which govern accounts of spiritual matters. Careful exegetical and hermeneutical approaches need to be adopted if this form of paideia is not to succumb either, on the one hand, to a kind of cultural imperialism, or, on the other, to a shallow set of technical procedures contextually unrooted, philosophically unbound, and devoid of history, narrative structure, meaning, purpose and cultural value. 

Nonetheless, there are certain texts in the western tradition which can be usefully re-read through the lens of spiritual understanding with a slightly refined sense of what it means, perhaps, to have a telos. Arguably, the conscious and careful education of people in the realm of spirituality and spiritual exercises could take a form similar to that suggested by Jaeger in respect of Homer. Let Plato’s Phaedrus and Euthyphro, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Philo’s Who is the Heir of Divine Things, and Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations become central among the cultural texts for re-educating society and community. (35) 

How do we re-educate humanity once more with them? The first and most obvious answer is in the formal education a society gives to its young. (36) If Plato was misguided on some things to do with politics, women and marriage, a theory of ideas, and metaphysical reasoning, he was at least utterly right about one thing: the formal education of children is a necessary part of political organisation, and that the relationship between education and society is of such importance that almost half of the Republic is given over to a detailed discussion and analysis of it. (37) Aristotle was equally clear about the importance of education: politics is predicated on morality, and morality is defined, refined and cultivated through education. Our potential human excellences are made actual through the process of education and instruction. 

In the UK a number of policy changes have occurred which have had, and are continuing to have, a serious impact on our whole understanding of the theory and practice of education. Two things in particular are distinctly worrying. At first glance they seem to be unrelated, but when looked at from the vantage point of my overall argument they are quite significant. The first is that the philosophy of education as a distinct discipline has suffered almost terminal decline in the last fifteeen years or so. From once being central to the undergraduate education and training of all teachers, it has become something of a rare issue. There are no longer any chairs in the philosophy of education, and I taught the last philosophy of education class at our University College in 1988. The Government deemed too much theoretical and abstract study for student teachers to be of little value. Instead we have seen the rapid rise of the Professional Studies movement which has been about the direct training and instruction in classroom coping skills. Education, classrooms, the curriculum are all contemporary “givens” in the professional training for teachers. Any fundamental, philosophical questioning of the nature, scope and purpose of education is now seen as irrelevant for any intending practitioner. (38) 

The second is that there is currently a great deal of interest being shown in the moral and spiritual development of children. However, the level of debate gives little cause for comfort. (39) This is hardly surprising given the nature of the criticisms offered by MacIntyre in respect of morality and the kind of argument I am trying to advance in respect of spirituality. A number of policy announcements, theoretical principles and practical guidelines all give cause for concern. On the morality front, there is a clear move to lay down a set of principles in a post-Enlightenment deontological fashion, to which children must adhere. Their duty is simply to obey the rules handed down to them from their elders and betters. This is, of course, to mistake completely the nature of moral judgments, of practical wisdom and deliberative reasoning, and to substitute morality with a set of quasi- prohibitions bred out of a mistrust of people, a fear of the ill-named “permissive sixties” and the supposed disregard for authority. What is interesting is the religious and secular conflict that often takes place when calling for a moral lead in education. One the one hand a firm Christian emphasis on the Decalogue, and an obedience to scriptural injunctions is called for by some, whilst others simply wish to see a strict morality of social control operated by a secular authority. 

On the spirituality front there is a similar conflict of interests. On the one hand, there is a desire to instil a Christian sense of spirituality – that belief in a traditionally-conceived Christian God is what is needed – and, on the other, there is the promotion of a woolly- minded, “psycho-babble” version of spirituality which views all children as individual bargain-hunters in a relativist landscape of spiritual wares. Either way, the dominant mode of spiritual understanding is introspective, self-searching, largely aesthetic, and ultimately authoritarian, whether it be the authority of traditional theism or the authority of the modern Nietzschean individual. The cult of the individual comes to the fore in such debates. The child must engage in an interiority exercise to discover the real “self”, or she must look inside herself to discover God. There is little understanding that spirituality is about how bodies, moving in time and space, interact with each other; the spirituality that fills the space between self and others, not the bogus kind that is somehow the central core of a singular and unattached self. (40) 

Both sets of debates, to do with morality and spirituality, seem to ignore the philosophical heritage of the very ideas and language which are being used, or rather which are being abused and misused. A proper reinterpretation of spirituality can help dispel the continued prevailing dualism that inhabits intellectual life. Spirituality is about life with this body, not about a soul or spirit simply inhabiting for a while this physical frame which in turn is relegated to a lower status. It is this body and this mind which are indivisible in a real sense, but which are separated for the purposes of definition and analysis only. It is perhaps here, with spirituality, that it is possible once more to reassess the complex relationship between philosophy, theology (41) and the practice of education. 


(1) The highly condensed set of ideas and arguments contained in this paper form part of a longer manuscript intended for publication under the title Educating the Individual and Social Self : Philosophy and Spirituality in a Postmodern Age. 

(2) Two modern re-statements of this kind of claim can be found, for example, in the works of Langford and Arcilla respectively; see G. Langford, 1984, Education, Persons and Society : A Philosophical Enquiry. (London: Macmillan). Langford’s argument is summarised in the phrase “…to become educated is to learn to be a person.” p. 165; also see R. Vincente Arcilla, 1995, “For the Stranger in My Home : Self-Knowledge, Cultural Recognition, and Philosophy of Education,” in W. Kohli (ed.) 1995, Critical Conversations in Philosophy of Education. (New York: Routledge) pp. 159-172. 

(3) In the temple to Apollo the imperative gnothi sauton – ‘know thyself’ – was inscribed alongside the other great moral command, meden agan – ‘nothing too much’. (See C H Kahn, 1987, The Art and Thought of Heraclitus. (Cambridge University Press). p. 116). I take these, particularly the first, as injunctions to examine one’s social as well as individual self, the two being judged synonymous. The conceptual and empirical split between private and public selves and the consequent rise of the unconnected individual I take, following MacIntyre, to be a modern phenomenon (Alasdair MacIntyre, 1981, 1985, After Virtue : a study in moral theory. London: Duckworth. 2nd edn. p. 61). Hence, ‘know thyself’ is not, on this view, about undertaking a wholly subjective voyage of interiority. 

(4) The phrase “ultimate and synoptic” I have borrowed from J. Kleinig, 1982, Philosophical Issues in Education. London : Croom Helm. p.257). Kleinig uses the phrase to demonstrate that the principal questions in philosophy are similar to those in religion; therefore, religious education is necessarily related to philosophical inquiry. It is appropriate that this text is the source since part of what I am attempting to do is to emphasise the role that education, in its widest possible sense, plays in the realisation of a human telos. In respect of the telos, I take MacIntyre’s neo-Aristotelian formulation to be the nearest, and clearest exposition of what it means to have and to pursue a fundamental purpose in human conduct, without prescribing too much of the specific content of that purpose. In chapter 5 of After Virtue : a study in moral theory MacIntyre talks of the tri- partite doctrine of the self which moves from potentiality (raw human nature), through the education and cultivation of the human qualities of mind and character (virtues) to actuality (human nature in its refined state). MacIntyre refers to this “three-fold scheme” in terms of a move from “human-nature-as-it-happens-to-be…transformed by the instruction of practical reason and experience into human-nature-as-it-could-be-if-it-realised-its-telos.” (1985, 2nd edn. pp. 52-3) 

(5) My general claim is that in the Anglo-American analytical tradition, although not so much in the continental phenomenological tradition, spirituality is an area of inquiry that has largely been ignored, presumably because it is conceived of as “soft” inquiry, incapable of producing rigorous definitions and universally-valid arguments, unlike “hard” inquiries such as logic in all its forms. But, there is a supreme irony here in that logic is currently (and rightly) investigating the obvious phenomenon of “vagueness”. See e.g. D Hyde, 1994, “Why Higher-Order Vagueness is a Pseudo-Problem,” and M. Tye, 1994, “Why the Vague Need Not be Higher-Order Vague”, both articles in Mind, Vol. 103,409. January 1994; pp 34-41 and 43-45 respectively. 

(6) A. MacIntyre, 1985, op. cit. See, in particular, chapters 2-8. 

(7) P. Hadot, 1995, Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault. (ed. A. Davidson; trans. M. Chase. Oxford: Blackwell). 

(8) Hadot, p. 107. 

(9) See H. Happ, 1971, Hyle. (Berlin); p. 66, n.282; source: Hadot; p. 125. n. 182. 

(10) Francisco de Suarez, 1597, Metaphysicarum Disputationum Tomi duo. (Salamanca); source : F. Copleston, 1953, A History of Philosophy Vol.lll : Ockham to Suarez. (London : Search Press); pp 353-405; pp 445-7. 

(11) There is always a problem about how to verify the historical judgments of others in respect of intellectual rifts and ruptures in discourse, as for example, those suggested here by both Hadot and Happ. Did a clear split between philosophia and theologia occur, as stated by Hadot? Was Suarez’s Metaphysicarum Disputationum the “cause” of such a split. as judged by Happ? The hermeneutic approach of Vattimo may help: “…the importance of hermeneutics ultimately consists in the affirmation that the rational (argumentative) interpretation of history is not ‘scientific’ in the positivistic sense and yet neither is it purely ‘aesthetic’.” G. Vattimo, 1997, Beyond Interpretation: The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy. (trans. D. Webb; Cambridge : Polity Press) p. 111. However, in matters historical, even this needs to be approached with some caution. As Ankersmit laments, “we no longer have any texts, any past, but just interpretations of them.” F.R.Ankersmit, 1997, “Historiography and Postmodernism,” in K. Jenkins (ed.) 1997, The Postmodern History Reader. (London: Routledge), p. 278. 

(12) One of the most obvious exceptions is the work of Santayana. See, for example, G. Santayana, 1971, Winds of Doctrine and Platonism and the Spiritual Life. (Smith : Mass.) and T.L.S. Sprigge, 1974, “Spiritual Life” in Santayana : An Examination of his Philosophy. (Routledge and Kegan Paul), pp. 209-217. One of the more recent exceptions is : M.McGhee (ed.) 1992, Philosophy, Religion and the Spiritual Life. (Cambridge University Press). 

(13) P. Sheldrake, 1991, Spirituality and History. (London : SPCK). 

(14) C. Jones, G. Wainwright & E. Yarnold (eds.) 1986, The Study of Spirituality. (London : SPCK). 

(15) The series World Spirituality : An Encyclopedic History of the Religious Quest currently comprises 14 volumes under the general editorship of Ewert Cousins, and is published by Crossroad, New York and SCM, London. 

(16) A. Meredith, 1986, “Philosophical Roots” in C. Jones et. al. (eds.); op cit.; pp. 90-101. 

(17) See A.H.Armstrong (ed.) 1986, Classical Mediterranean Spirituality : Egyptian, Greek, Roman. (London : SCM) 

(18) See P. Hadot, 1986, “Porphyry and Plotinus” and I. Hadot, 1986, “The Spiritual Guide” in A.H.Armstrong (ed.) 1986, ibid.; pp. 230-249 and pp. 436-459 respectively. 

(19) P. Van Ness (ed.) 1996, Spirituality and the Secular Quest. (London : SCM). (20) L. Bregman, 1996, “Psychotherapies” in P. Van Ness (ed.); ibid.; p. 273.
(21) C.A.Raschke, 1996, “New Age Spirituality” in P. Van Ness (ed.); ibid.; p. 220. 

(22) See A. MacIntyre, 1987, “The Idea of an Educated Public” in G. Haydon (ed.) 1987, Education and Values: The Richard Peters Lectures. (Institute of Education: University of London). 

(23) See E. Levinas, 1981, Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence. (trans. A. Lingis. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff). 

(24) See the analysis in S. Rosen, 1993, The Question of Being. (Yale University Press). 

(25) Sheldrake, (op. cit.; pp. 34-6), gives a concise and precise account of the historical development of the term “spiritual”, but, like his analysis of spirituality in general it is an account dominated by a specifically Christian perspective and discourse. 

(26) As in Aristotle De Anima. (J.A.Smith & W.D.Ross (eds.) 1910-52, The Works of Aristotle. Oxford University Press). 

(27) The whole etymological issue is, however, fraught with difficulties, for Aristotle also used the term pneuma to name the medium by which the soul connects with the body. See K.Corrigan, 1986, “Body and Soul in Ancient Religious Experience”. in A.H.Armstrong (ed.); op. cit.; p. 378. 

(28) L. Wittgenstein, 1922, Tractataus Logico-Philosophicus. (trans. D.F.Pears & B.F.McGuiness; London : Routledge & Kegan Paul; 2nd edn.) 

(29) L. Wittgenstein, 1953, Philosophical Investigations. (trans. G.E.M.Anscombe. 3rd. edn., 1992, Blackwell). 

(30) See Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics. (trans. J.A.K.Thomson; revised H. Tredennick; 1976; London: Penguin). 

(31) The quotation is from Hadot, op. cit.; p. 84. Philo’s two lists are taken from Who is the Heir of Divine Things and Allegorical Interpretations. Hadot; p. 111, notes 19 & 20. 

(32) P. Rabbow, 1954, Seelenfuhrung. Methodik der Exerzitien in der Antike. (Munich) p. 18. 

(33) W. Jaeger, 1939, Paideia : The Ideals of Greek Culture. (trans. G. Highet; vol. 1; Oxford: Basil Blackwell). Finley remarks that Jaeger “insists that the two (Homeric) poems …were consciously designed as educational instruments, as it were, for the cultivation of aristocratic ideals..” M.I.Finley 1954, The World of Odysseus. (London: Pelican, 1956 edn.). p. 174. 

(24) Clement of Alexandria, Stromata; source : P. Hadot; op. cit.; p.128 and p. 141, n.15. 

(35) I am not necessarily urging the formal institutionalisation of a specific philosophico- spiritual canon, as Bloom suggests in respect of literature (see H. Bloom, 1994, The Western Canon : The Books and School of the Ages. London : Macmillan), although the idea of doing so is attractive. 

(36) See e.g. Langford, 1984, op. cit.; also J. Giarelli, 1995, “Educating for Public Life” in W. Kohli (ed.), 1995, op. cit.; pp 201-216. 

(37) For a good discussion of the contemporary relevance of Plato’s reasoning (but not of his conclusions!) to UK education policy see W. Carr, 1991, “Education for Democracy? A Philosophical Analysis of the National Curriculum,” in Journal of Philosophy of Education. vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 183-191. 

(38) Almost nothing has changed since my article in 1987; see P. Grosch, 1987, “Philosophy and Initial Teacher Training” in P. Preece (ed.) 1987, Philosophy and Education. (Perspectives 28; University of Exeter) pp. 49-69. 

(39) See e.g. R. Best (ed.) 1996, Education, Spirituality and the Whole Child. (London & New York : Cassell). In my review I identify the chapter by Rodger as one which best clarifies the present situation. Rodger laments the fact that “so many, even among religious people, have no awareness of the treasury of Western spirituality..” (R. Best ed.; p. 46.) See P. Grosch, 1997, “Review” in British Journal of Educational Studies. Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 99- 102. 

(40) See e.g. A. Thatcher, 1991, “A Critique of Inwardness in RE.” in British Journal of Religious Education. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 22-27. 

(41) See my “After Spirituality : some connections between philosophy and theology” in A. Thatcher (ed.), forthcoming, Engaging the Curriculum : Spirituality and Moral Development. (London : Cassells). Given the title of my contribution the debt to MacIntyre’s thesis is obvious. I argue that it is through spirituality that the connections between philosophy and theology can most fruitfully be examined. It is, in part, a response to MacIntyre’s claim about the “relationship of philosophy to theology”; A. MacIntyre, 1988, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (London : Duckworth) p. 402. 

Keywords; spirituality, philosophy, morality

About the author: Dr. Paul Grosch is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, and Subject Board Chair for Theology and Philosophy in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, at the College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, England. He was awarded his doctorate in the philosophy of education from Exeter University. He has published widely in the philosophy of education and in ethics, being co-author, with Dr. Peter Vardy, of the highly successful The Puzzle of Ethics, now in its second edition and translated into four languages.