What can now arise to confront the unfortunate trajectory of philosophy, which considers knowledge as its end rather than as the means to some greater purpose of truth and justice?
When the ‘Tao’ becomes a product of the educational system, it no longer has the power to keep mankind from destroying himself through utter submission to natural and irrational impulses. These will be exercised by a few over all the rest in a haphazard manner that invites no judgement of good or evil because these concepts in themselves are open to being shaped by those who happen to be in power at the moment.
It has already taken several readings to grasp a basic understanding of the brilliance contained within this little book (it is less than 100 pages). However, I think it well worth the time spent to understand the ideas it proposes and will probably continue to dig for what I think is the hidden solution to a balanced educational approach that can develop the individuals sense of morality without forcing them to embrace the academic anorexia that plagues the contemporary college and high school campus experience.
The appeal by Lewis to a transcendent universal standard creates the space required for a democratic approach to education reform. If the standard is universal, every person has some idea of what it might look like and can participate in the process of building a new system. On the other hand, if the standard is arbitrary, then only those with power, authority, and credentials have the ability to propose changes for reasons only they can understand.
In an attempt not to teach any values, the value of facts also disappears leaving students with no incentive to learn - except perhaps the fear of bad grades. It seems like we must either embrace some standard of value (or angle of truth) in order to make the learning experience have any significance for the student.