ABSTRACT

This chapter explores a complementarity thesis against John White's supersession thesis. It shows that the objections to moral education White raises can be satisfactorily answered and that steps taken to enlarge children's sympathies, no matter how effective, will not eliminate the need for subscription to moral standards. Moral education is therefore both possible and a necessary complement to education in altruism. The chapter also explores something about the distinction White is marking by the terms 'morality' and 'altruism'. Morality, as White understands it, conforms to the model of law: a moral person is one who recognises the authority of a set of moral rules and regulates his or her conduct accordingly. Altruism, by contrast, has nothing to do with following rules or recognising authority. People with altruistic dispositions or virtues are naturally inclined to help and cooperate with others.