Cardinal J. H. Newman and the idea oj a university. Newman is concerned with the arguments of Locke, and the utilitarians who were his contemporaries, that the curriculum should be radically revised and that the principle of selection for the new curriculum should be the practical utility of the subjects concerned. Newman quotes in order to criticise, the following statement from Locke's treatise on education.[1]

'Tis a matter of astonishment that men of quality and parts should suffer themselves to be so far misled by custom and implicit faith. Reason, if consulted with, would advise, that their children's time should be spent in acquiring what might be usejul to them, when they come to be men, rather than that their heads should be stuffed with a deal of trash, a great part whereof they usually never do ('tis certain they never need to) think again so long as they live; and so much of it as does stick by them they are only the worse for. [2]

... I lay it down as a principle, which will save us a great deal of anxiety, that, though the useful is not always good, the good is always useful. Good is not only good but reproductive of good; this is one of its attributes; nothing is excellent, beautiful, perfect, desirable for its own sake, but it overflows and spreads the likeness of itself all around it. Good is prolific; ... If then the intellect is so excellent a portion of us, and its cultivation so excellent, it is not only beautiful, perfect, admirable and noble in itself but in a true and high sense it must be useful to the possessor and to all around him; not useful in any low,

The Contemporary Curriculum and the Ghost of Plato/61 making peace between the contemporary followers of Newman and their more modern utilitarian opponents. If we widen our criterion of usefulness, as Newman appears to do when he says 'the good is always useful', then we shall have agreement and stop talking at cross purposes. I think, however, to so argue would be to ignore what Newman intends to say when he adds to 'the good is always useful' the corollary that 'the useful is not always good'. Undoubtedly, what is true can also as a matter of fact be useful, contribute to happiness, etc. But nevertheless what is true is not logically equivalent to what is useful; they do not mean the same. In this respect, the influence of Plato has been beneficial upon Newman, even though, as I shall show, it has led him into error regarding the nature of curricular subjects, for, as I have shown, Plato's argument is primarily about truth, about the conditions under which a truth-assertive language replete with objectivity concepts makes sense. It is not without significance, therefore, that Barrow tries to make a utilitarian defence of Plato's educational theory in another work.[7] He argues against Popper, whom I have quoted earlier on this topic,[S] that selection for occupations, teaching society's norms, as Plato advocates, can be beneficial to society. It is Newman's argument, as I shall show, that reconciling the claims of truth and utility in the interests of peace is a price too high to pay.