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The paper undertakes a critical analysis of the so-called Presupposition of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, which prescribes the benevolent interpretation of the other’s words. We aim to identify the anthropological and epistemological background of the pedagogical guidelines contained therein and to explicate the intellectual and moral virtues needed to put them into practice. We argue that practising the Presupposition is both virtuous and mutually beneficial in pedagogical practice.
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Pedagogical relevance of the Ignatian
Stanisław Gałkowski & Paweł Kaźmierczak
To cite this article: Stanisław Gałkowski & Paweł Kaźmierczak (2021) Pedagogical relevance of
the Ignatian presupposition, International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, 82:2, 193-203, DOI:
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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa
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Pedagogical relevance of the Ignatian presupposition
Stanisław Gałkowski and Paweł Kaźmierczak
The Faculty of Education, Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow, Poland
The paper undertakes a critical analysis of the so-called
Presupposition of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola,
which prescribes the benevolent interpretation of the other’s
words. We aim to identify the anthropological and epistemological
background of the pedagogical guidelines contained therein and to
explicate the intellectual and moral virtues needed to put them into
practice. We argue that practising the Presupposition is both vir-
tuous and mutually benecial in pedagogical practice.
Received 27 March 2021
Accepted 2 June 2021
Ignatian pedagogy; spiritual
exercises; ignatius loyola; the
presupposition; intellectual
and moral virtues
1. Introduction
In his classical retreat manual called The Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius Loyola
the instructions for the actual exercises with twenty methodological notes (Annotations)
for the retreat director. The note number 22, sometimes treated as the last Annotation, is
titled ‘Presupposition.’ There are several translations of this text. Let us quote one of them
by Elder Muran, dated 1914, which sounds antiquated but seems close to the original
version. I will punctuate it, so as to highlight the four steps it prescribes:
In order that both he who is giving the Spiritual Exercises, and he who is receiving them,
may more help and benefit themselves, let it be presupposed that
every good Christian is to be more ready to save his neighbour’s proposition than to
condemn it.
If he cannot save it, let him inquire how he means it;
and if he means it badly, let him correct him with charity.
If that is not enough, let him seek all the suitable means to bring him to mean it well,
and save himself
As we can see, for Ignatius, the benevolent disposition and the readiness to interpret the
other’s words in his favour is the underlying attitude, a prerequisite for a mutually
beneficial pedagogical relationship. This benevolence does not mean abandoning the
criterion of truth. On the contrary, it stems from the desire for truth and from the
conviction that both my good and the good of the other person is rooted in the truth.
The Presupposition pertains not only to the Ignatian retreat (or the Spiritual Exercises)
but to the entire Ignatian pedagogy. It may be applied to education at all levels and in all
CONTACT Paweł Kaźmierczak
2021, VOL. 82, NO. 2, 193–203
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License
(, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any med-
ium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
settings, as it bears upon such practical issues as examining, grading, editing, peer-
reviewing and refereeing the texts for publication in the academic setting, to name but
a few examples.
Raymond Helmick goes even further and calls the Presupposition a theory of knowl-
edge which applies universally to interpersonal relationships, and is not confined to
Christians alone
. Likewise, Aleksander Jacyniak claims that the Presupposition can be
applied to the whole reality of human dialogue
. These are broad, sweeping statements,
but they are corroborated by the contemporary models of humanistic communication,
such as the Gordon Method. Gordon uses the steps analogical to those proposed by the
Presupposition including shifting gears between confronting the child with ‘I-messages’
and backing off with active listening
The Presupposition, like any pedagogical principle, is founded on a certain concept of
society and man. It implies some epistemological, axiological, ethical and even ontolo-
gical position.
The aim of this essay is, therefore, to show the importance of the
Presupposition in pedagogical reflection by eliciting and reconstructing both the philo-
sophical implications and the pedagogical consequences resulting therefrom.
1. The anthropological and epistemological foundation of the Presupposition
Ignatius Loyola’s recommendations contained in the Presupposition are based on the
fundamental trust in human goodness, rooted in Christian humanism, in the conviction
that man was created in the image and likeness of a good God, and therefore he/she is
essentially good. Such a positive assessment of human nature can also be found outside
the strict limits of denominational Christianity, wherever the inalienable dignity of the
human person is taken for granted. This proposition implies some epistemic, ethical and
social assumptions, such as the recognition of human subjectivity, and respect for the
truth. The latter, in turn, points to epistemological realism, i.e. the belief that it is possible
to reach intersubjectively communicable and intersubjectively verifiable judgments). It
also presupposes the rational nature of a human being, capable of formulating arguments
valid for both sides of the conversation.
1.1. Subjectivity
In the introductory sentence of the Presupposition (‘In order that both he who is giving
the Spiritual Exercises, and he who is receiving them, may more help and benefit
) Ignatius highlights the crucial fact that every pedagogical encounter has
the potential to transform both involved parties. Thus, the student is not treated only as
a passive recipient of pedagogical influences. Of course, in a typical educational situation,
the students are more impressionable and susceptible to persuasion, since their own
experience and knowledge of the world are more limited, and, conversely, the teacher, as
an adult, possesses broader knowledge and richer life experience. She is therefore already
formed and, most importantly, aware of her own competences, and the goals she wants to
achieve within the educational relationship. So the mutual influence is not symmetrical –
normally the child undergoes a deeper transformation than the educator. Nevertheless,
the teacher should be aware that the educational process is not a simple one-way
transmission. Although she has a greater responsibility and the educational relationship
is basically aimed at the good of the student, she should strive to ensure that both parties
‘may more help and benefit themselves’
The educational relationship has a clear purpose, so the teacher should be aware of
what she wants to achieve within it; what information to provide and what skills and
attitudes to foster in the pupil, she is also undoubtedly the more active side. However, the
first recommendation of the Presupposition (‘every good Christian is to be more ready to
save his neighbour’s proposition than to condemn it’
) focuses on the teacher’s receptive
attitude towards the intellectual activity of the student, advocating to appreciate his
enunciations. Only if the acceptance of the student’s statement turns out to be impos-
sible, the teacher feels obliged to take up her own activity, the greater (in further steps)
the greater the difficulties she encounters. This can be interpreted as the application of
the principle of subsidiarity to the educational relationship.
1.2. Truth
The first two recommendations are actually a recipe for proper communication, and
what they essentially demand is kindness of the teacher and the lack of hostility of the
student. They also assume at least the basic credibility of the interlocutor, not in the sense
that he knows the truth, but in the sense that he is interested in it, ready to look for it and
that his statements reflect his actual beliefs.
The teacher tries to save the student’s statement, i.e. to interpret it favourably, looking
for true elements it contains. This means in turn that the teacher, even if she does not know
the whole truth yet, at least has valid criteria to recognize it in the statement and thus save it.
The teacher makes a critical assessment of the pupil’s proposition, but respecting him,
she respects his right to have his own beliefs and is even curious what they are like. She
assumes that the student’s utterances are focused on getting to know some aspect of
reality and on the realization of some (perhaps only partial) good.
In the next stage, corresponding to the second recommendation of the Presupposition
(‘If he cannot save it, let him inquire how he means it,’
) the teacher, having more
knowledge, should be able to skilfully elicit the pupil’s convictions with appropriate
questions. This help is vital, because the student often intuitively feels his intellectual
position without being fully able to present it in a rational manner. The teacher’s questions
(as in the Socratic maieutic method) are not intended to discredit the student’s belief (often
incorrect from the teacher’s point of view), but to help him articulate it properly (and, by
implication, understand it better and reflect on it critically). The viability of this process
rests on the assumption that there is an objective reality available to human cognition, and
that human beings are at least potentially able to know it. This allows for the creation of
a platform of understanding between the educator and the pupil.
The next step (‘and if he means it badly, let him correct him with charity’
) can be
carried out only within a certain community based on the value of truth. This assumes
that the common goal of both parties is to search for the truth, not to accept ready-made
solutions proposed by the student (let alone imposing the child’s beliefs on the teacher).
At the same time, it is not about working out a compromise that takes into account both
points of view, but about getting as close to the objective truth as possible. Undoubtedly,
the teacher has more to say in this matter, but she is not a depositary of the whole truth,
only its more experienced seeker.
Respect for the truth and dignity of the pupil is the basis of the educator’s responsi-
bility for the correct attitudes of the pupil. That is why the teacher should be persistent in
her effort to ‘seek all the suitable means to bring him to mean it well, and save himself’
The community of purpose creates a specific type of interpersonal relationship, which
means that the teacher is an authority for the student, at least in the weakest sense, i.e.
that in the flood of various opinions and information the student is ready to listen to her
voice with the attitude of intellectual openness to rational arguments called teachability.
2. The virtues required by the Presupposition
2.1. Teachability the virtue required from the student
The situation referred to by the Presupposition is a dialogue a common inquiry, and
not only the transmission of knowledge. Thus, it assumes certain attitudes on both sides
not only in the teacher but also in the pupil. The Presupposition places higher demands
on the teacher as a more active factor but also refers to what the student represents. The
student is not responsible for the teacher and does not have to be especially kind to her as
a person, but he must share a common goal with her – the will to reach the truth together.
Although the child is probably relatively rarely aware of this motivation, it is nevertheless
a condition for any cooperation.
At the same time, this condition sets the limits for the application of the
Presupposition it is viable only in the situation of sincerity on both sides. As Linda
Zagzebski puts it, ‘The intellectual virtues presuppose that humans by nature are gen-
erally reliable’
. If the teacher knows that the student is intentionally lying it is simply
pointless to try to clarify his position or to draw attention to the errors it contains.
Therefore, the Presupposition loses its direct usefulness as an educational approach.
Nevertheless, it should probably still be used as a kind of investment in the future an
attempt to build a positive teacher-student relationship, which may one day prove
instrumental in modifying the student’s attitude.
It follows that the basic requirement that a student must meet is his consent to
teaching and involvement in the process. While we can look after someone without
asking for their consent (as is the case with small children or very ill people), it is much
harder to educate and teach the student without his cooperation. Teaching someone who
refuses to accept what he is offered is much less effective. Moreover, if education is meant
to be conducive to the independence and autonomy of the student, this goal cannot be
achieved by applying external influences alone.
The issue of the pupil’s involvement in achieving educational goals has long been
a subject of reflection by educators. One of the Ignatian pedagogical principles based on
the Fifth Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises reads as follows: ‘The student who enters
upon learning should do so with a great-heartedness and generosity, freely offering all his
or her attention and will to the enterprise’
The scholastic tradition points to the now forgotten virtue of teachability (docilitas),
treating it as an inherent aspect of prudence. St. Thomas Aquinas defines it as readiness
‘to be taught’
. This is not equivalent to an automatic submission (which is called
obedience rather than teachability) but only readiness to take into account someone
else’s opinion.
Teachability, according to James Schall, means two things: firstly, our willingness to
learn what we do not know yet, and secondly, our willingness to accept the truth in this
. It is also the most intimate, the least transferable aspect of the learning process,
as no one can be forced to accept the gift of education. In the case of learning, activity is
always on the side of the child, as no teacher is able to ‘give’ him knowledge, let alone to
force him to accept it but can only inspire and encourage his effort.
Teachability is a particular desire to know more about the world and the awareness
that my knowledge is insufficient, that my perspective is limited, so in order to get
a broader view I need to learn and take into consideration the opinions of others.
Teachability also requires a certain humility – recognizing that the knowledge I have at
my disposal is insufficient and experiencing it as a discomfort, an acute lack, which in
turn motivates me to increase my knowledge. This virtue also includes the ability to think
critically, allowing me to distance myself from my own views and avoid the presump-
tuous belief that I know best, and at the same time to respond to the teacher’s suggestions
and corrections. The attitude of openness to what is not yet given to me and the readiness
to accept knowledge is not sufficient, but is undoubtedly necessary for all education and
upbringing, enabling learning and consciously working on one’s own development.
Teachability is, to a large extent, a natural attitude of a child, curious and open to the
world, but it is also a virtue that can and should be consciously developed and con-
solidated through the student’s own actions, and at the same time must be one of the
goals of the educational endeavours
2.2. The virtues required from the teacher
Now let us focus on the personal qualities of the teacher which are needed to follow the
above-mentioned recommendations contained in the Presupposition. Commendable
traits of the human character are called virtues. Moral virtues are dispositions to good
practical reasoning and acting, and contribute to living well, whereas epistemic virtues
motivate us to seek the truth or the epistemic contact with reality, in other words, to
improve our epistemic standing
. On the responsibilist account of virtue epistemology,
epistemic virtues are analogous to moral virtues, in that they are both excellences of
. In the following analysis we will include both kinds of virtues to get a fuller
picture of the desirable teacher’s character.
As we have already discussed, the Presupposition consists of four recommendations,
which point coherently in the same direction but highlight different aspects of the
pedagogical process, and therefore call for distinct virtues. According to the first recom-
mendation, we should be inclined to interpret the words of the other person in the
positive way. In this attitude several components can be distinguished, such as benevo-
lence, understanding, open-mindedness, empathy, humility, and tolerance.
It is worthwhile to take a more detailed look at the virtues mentioned above.
Benevolence is defined by Zagzebski as ‘the virtue according to which a person is
characteristically motivated to bring about the well-being of others and is reliably
successful in doing so’
. In the context of the Presupposition, benevolence means
readiness to adopt a positive interpretation of the other person’s words and acts, to
presuppose his good intentions, to give him the benefit of doubt. But this is not all. It also
involves persistence in the attempts to seek the good of the other person – even when the
consensus with him seems impossible, when the standpoints are radically opposed to
each other.
Teacher’s benevolent approach allows the student to adopt the attitude of trust and
ease towards her because the student knows that his words will not be used against him.
Even if benevolence does not always bring immediate effects, it creates an opportunity for
building a positive relationship in the future.
The virtue of understanding people or being an understanding person can be seen as
an Aristotelian mean between the vice of excess, namely naïveté, and judgmentalism,
which is the vice of deficiency in understanding
. It entails the ability to withhold
premature judgment and to take up the perspective of the other person. So it is closely
intertwined both with benevolence and with open-mindedness.
Open-mindedness presupposes a certain level of freedom from intellectual and emo-
tional prejudice, as well as the ability to understand (not necessarily share) different
perspectives. Jason Baehr proposes the following definition:
(OM) An open-minded person is characteristically (a) willing and (within limits) able (b) to
transcend a default cognitive standpoint (c) in order to take up or take seriously the merits
of (d) a distinct cognitive standpoint
This definition is discussed and elaborated further by Wayne Riggs
. Open-mindedness,
on this view, is related to, but distinct from, intellectual empathy, since it focuses on the
ability to ‘break free’ from a constraint of a cognitive standpoint, whereas empathy
highlights the ability to ‘take up’ an alternative viewpoint
. Yet both these excellences
are needed if we are to give a fair hearing to the other person’s proposition.
Another virtue closely connected with open-mindedness is intellectual humility,
interpreted by Linda Zagzebski as ‘a mean between the tendency to grandiosity and the
tendency to a diminished sense of her own ability’
. According to other authors, it is the
ability to maintain the appropriate level of confidence
or ‘excellence in attributing
ignorance to yourself, withholding attributing knowledge to yourself, and questioning
whether you know’
. Therefore it is understood as part of a critical or sceptical attitude
with regard to our own knowledge and ability. Arguably, avoiding a grandiose self-
esteem makes us more ready to listen attentively to what others have to say.
Please note, however, that humility does not mean succumbing to a lowered self-
esteem, which could result in a lack of criticism towards the student’s enunciations.
When we are naïve and indiscriminate in attributing good intentions to others, we can
easily be cheated, taken advantage of, not being treated seriously, and so we risk losing
our authority as teachers, parents, pastors. It seems particularly challenging in the context
of rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents.
Finally, there is the virtue of tolerance, which in its primary sense means making room
for the students’ otherness, for their attitudes and views with which she cannot agree, and
abstaining from the use of violence when trying to change their views
. A tolerant
teacher does not relativize or abandon her own views. She tries to pass them on to the
students (as this is an aspect of her role as educator), but she respects their views.
In the second recommendation of the Presupposition we are admonished not to
dismiss immediately the statements that we consider wrong but to inquire further to
make sure we understand correctly the other’s words. In order to be reliably successful in
this task, we need such virtues as attentiveness, empathy, ability to listen actively and to
the whole person, but also inquisitiveness, and insightfulness, which help us get to the
core of what the other person really wants to say.
Attentive, active and empathic listening is generally understood by contemporary
psychologists as an indispensable ingredient of successful communication, which brings
the sense of freedom, comfort and recognition to the person who is heard. However,
there are many obstacles to attentive listening, in particular self-centeredness, and
preoccupation with one’s own feelings or presumptions
. Therefore, freedom from an
excessive self-absorption is the prerequisite of good listening skills.
Other character traits which help us listen by motivating us to seek a better grasp of
what the other person really means, are curiosity and inquisitiveness. Jason Baehr counts
them among the virtues providing the initial motivation of inquiry
. In the contempor-
ary virtue epistemology curiosity is considered to be an epistemic virtue because it is
geared at improving one’s epistemic standing by acquiring worthwhile epistemic goods
that one lacks
. We should remember Aquinas’s caveat that curiosity may be a vice when
it is inordinate
. However, Thomas himself admits that, if the intention is good, the
desire to know the other person is praiseworthy:
One may watch other people’s actions or inquire into them, with a good intent (. . .) for our
neighbour’s good—that is in order to correct him, if he do anything wrong, according to the
rule of charity and the duty of one’s position. This is praiseworthy, according to Hebrews
10:24, “Consider one another to provoke unto charity and to good works.”
The above phrasing is so similar to Ignatius’s Presupposition that it may even have
inspired its formulation. In the interpersonal context I realize that I do not know what the
other person is thinking and I am motivated to find it out. Inquisitiveness, related to
curiosity but narrower in scope, is the motivation and ability ‘to engage sincerely in good
, which is precisely what the second step of the Presupposition recom-
mends. Inquisitiveness motivates us to try to fully understand the interlocutor’s proposi-
tion, even if he is not able to present it cogently. It is connected with benevolence because
it assumes that each statement is focused on getting to know some aspect of reality and on
the realization of some good. Insightfulness allows us to search and find deeper patterns,
to see into the heart of the matter in spite of misleading appearances
The above formulations may give rise to certain doubts because it seems that bene-
volent interpretation of the students’ enunciations may undermine high academic stan-
dards. It can be pointed out that we risk compromising the quest for the truth for fear of
undermining the other’s self-satisfaction and of the confrontation with his or her
resistance. When we read the Presupposition as an epistemological proposal, we seem
to risk falling into relativism, by affirming that everyone has his or her own truth and by
disregarding the principle of non-contradiction. We also risk showing false acceptance
for student behaviour which hinders open communication.
However, the Presupposition does not rule out critical evaluation. If the first two steps
do not yield a satisfactory result and we still find the proposition or attitude of the other
person unacceptable, we are encouraged to undertake a charitable correction. The third
part stresses the need to use the criterion of truth – and the need to correct what is false
(‘meant badly’) or not up to the quality standards. So it does not entail leniency or
permissiveness. But criticism may be helpful on condition that it is constructive, that its
underlying intent is benevolent. This refers particularly to keeping high academic
standards, e.g. benevolent approach to the student’s text means reading it carefully,
engaging with it seriously, discussing it with the author, and, if necessary, suggesting
corrections or developments to improve the final outcome. It is also an ideal approach to
editing and peer reviewing our colleagues’ academic output during the publishing process.
The virtues required by the first two parts of the Presupposition had to do with
transcending one’s own perspective. But the third part, charitable correction, requires
not only charity and benevolence but also firmness, the ability to stand one’s ground, and
thus virtues such as critical thinking, honesty, and courage. The first virtue in this cluster
is critical thinking. According to Harvey Siegel, it comprises the reason assessment
(ability to evaluate reasons properly so as to meet epistemic criteria) and critical spirit,
that is, ‘caring about reasons and their quality, reasoning, and living a life in which they
play a fundamental role’
When the teacher comes to the negative conclusion regarding the student’s reasoning,
she needs to communicate it to him. It requires the trait of honesty which consists in
telling the truth, but with care, respect, and ‘in a way that permits the hearer to believe the
truth justifiably and with understanding’
Correcting the other person, however charitable, sometimes also needs courage, both
moral and intellectual, since we may be confronted with resistance, opposition or out-
right hostility
. But the proper understanding which the correction is meant to produce,
is a sublime good, both moral and epistemic.
If the correction does not help we still should not resign but ‘seek all the suitable
means to bring him to mean it well, and save himself’. Following such hermeneutics of
mercy takes a lot of perseverance and patience, as well as resourcefulness and creativity.
In education it stems from commitment to excellence and high standards, to ‘bringing
out the best in people’
and not being satisfied with mediocrity. In a theological
perspective, the virtues of faith, hope and charity are called for, as they assume the
benevolent and powerful presence and activity of God, the ultimate source of human
Intellectually virtuous perseverance is defined by Nathan King as a virtue standing
between the vices of irresolution (deficiency) and intransigence (excess), enabling to
carry out intellectual tasks in spite of obstacles and difficulties
. A complementary
character trait helpful in ‘seeking all suitable means’ is creativity, which enables us to
think of new valuable concepts, new opportunities, and new solutions
. All these are
definitely highly valued teacher’s qualities.
3. Conclusion
The Presupposition is a shortened description of a comprehensive pedagogical attitude
As such it draws on a whole range of anthropological, axiological and ethical assump-
tions, which originate in the Christian tradition, but have since been incorporated into
most pedagogical theories.
The Presupposition can be seen as a formula of the herme-
neutics of faith as opposed to the hermeneutics of suspicion, to use a phrase coined by
Paul Ricoeur
. There is also a striking resemblance between the Presupposition and the
principle of charity or the principle of charitable interpretation as formulated by Neil
, Willard van Orman Quine
and Donald Davidson
, i.e. the hermeneutic
principle to maximize the truth or rationality of the speaker’s sayings.
As we have seen, an attempt to put into practice the postulates contained therein also
makes clear demands on both the student and, above all, the teacher. It requires a good
character in the Aristotelian sense, namely an integrated constellation of intellectual and
moral virtues. In this sense, it can find a place in virtually any educational system. We
hope to have demonstrated that following the Presupposition is both morally and
intellectually virtuous, and beneficial for all the parties involved in the educational and
academic contexts. Obviously in all these extremely varied circumstances its concrete
application should be regulated by the overarching virtue of phronesis or prudence,
otherwise it may turn into a vice, either of excess or of deficiency. To use an Ignatian
idiom, it should be ‘adapted to the dispositions of the persons, (. . .) that is, to their age,
education or ability’
1. The authors would like to thank Ewa Dybowska for sharing her precious insights into the
Ignatian pedagogy, as well as the anonymous reviewer for important philosophical
2. Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, No. 22.
3. Helmick, Readiness to Hear, 2.
4. Jacyniak, Zrozumieć bliźniego, 13.
5. Gordon, Origins of the Method.
6. Gałkowski, Filozofia a pedagogika”, 48–49.
7. See note 2 above.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Zagzebski, „Intellectual Virtues,” 30.
14. International Commission, Ignatian Pedagogy, 29.
15. Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 2a-2ae q. 49, a. 3.
16. Schall, Docilitas.
17. Gałkowski, Kaźmierczak, ‘Between the Blasé Attitude’.
18. Watson, „Curiosity and Inquisitiveness,” 156.
19. Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind, 139; Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, 47.
20. Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind, 202.
21. Grimm, Understanding, 344–345.
22. Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, 152.
23. Riggs, „Open-mindedness,” 141–154.
24. Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, 156.
25. Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind, 220.
26. Kidd, „Educating for Intellectual Humility,” 56–57.
27. Hazlett, „The Civic Virtues,” 76.
28. Walzer, On Toleration, 11.
29. Donohue, Siegel, Are You Really Listening?
30. Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, 21.
31. Watson, „Curiosity and Inquisitiveness,” 156–159.
32. Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 2a-2ae q. 167, art. 1, I answer that.
33. Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 2a-2ae q. 167, reply to objection 3.
34. Watson, „Curiosity and Inquisitiveness,” 160–161.
35. Riggs, „Open-Mindedness, Insight and Understanding,” 30–35.
36. Siegel, „Critical Thinking,” 95–96.
37. Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind, 158.
38. Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, 163; Kidd, „Epistemic Courage,” 244–255.
39. McGinnis, Bringing Out the Best, p. 3.
40. King, „Intellectual Perseverance,” 256.
41. Kieran, „Creativity as a Virtue,” 126.
42. Dybowska, Wychowawca w pedagogice ignacjańskiej, 165–166.
43. Gałkowski, Rozwój i odpowiedzialność, 232–240.
44. Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy, 28.
45. Wilson, „Substances without Substrata”, 532.
46. Quine, Word and Object, 54.
47. Davidson, „On the Very Idea”, 19.
48. See above 2., no. 18.
Notes on contributors
Stanisław Gałkowski - Professor of philosophy, specializes in the philosophy of education and
political philosophy. Chair of the Philosophy of Education at Jesuit University Ignatianum in
Krakow. Author of around 100 academic publications.
Paweł Kaźmierczak – Professor of the Jesuit University Ignatianum in Krakow, specializes in the
philosophy of education. Editor-in-chief of the Multidisciplinary Journal of School Education.
Author of around 50 academic publications.
Stanisław Gałkowski
Paweł Kaźmierczak
Conicts of interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Aquinas, T. Summa Theologiae. 2017.
Baehr, J. The Inquiring Mind. On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford
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... As stipulated in the 'Presupposition' (the part of the instructions intended for the retreat director), a retreat director should be benevolent and willing to give the retreatant the benefit of the doubt (Gałkowski & Kaźmierczak, 2021). The inner order to which the successive stages of spiritual exercises lead, under the supervision of the director, is an indispensable factor in both health (whether it is wellbeing according to the WHO definition or potential) and education. ...
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The article presents Ignatian (Jesuit) spirituality as the source of a pedagogical concept that takes a subjective view of the human being regardless of their social position. Other subjects in the educational process (educator and personal God) are companions on the way to achieving good and developing one’s life potential. Another important aspect of Ignatian spirituality is the assumption that it can also perform a healing function, particularly transcendentally. This function concerns all the structures of human development and can be reflected in many ways of supporting human health. This perspective makes it possible to develop a model of Ignatian pedagogy in which the following elements are present: context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation. Recognising the educational values of these elements makes it possible to develop a pedagogical theory, called the pedagogy of accompaniment, which is reflected in a deep inner and outer sense of human existence. Thus, the purpose of this article is to describe the meaning of Ignatian spirituality for the pedagogy of accompaniment, with reference to its function of supporting the health of the human being, particularly the young.
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The aim of this article is to explore Georg Simmel's concept of the blasé attitude and to contrast it with the notion of intelligent teachability, derived from Aristotelian–Thomistic tradition. Here, Stanisław Gałkowski and Paweł Kaźmierczak view these two accounts through the lens of contemporary virtue epistemology, which helps to demonstrate their relevance to present-day educational theory, and to order the attitudes in question as intellectual counterparts of vice, akrasia, self-control, and virtue. There are two main criteria for how to distinguish these four states: (1) motivation to have epistemic contact with reality, and (2) the proper balance between receptivity and autonomy in learning. Taking the formation of intellectual character to be an important educational goal, Gałkowski and Kaźmierczak highlight the role of the teacher as an exemplar of mental disposition.
Almost all theories of knowledge and justified belief employ moral concepts and forms of argument borrowed from moral theories, but none of them pay attention to the current renaissance in virtue ethics. This remarkable book is the first attempt to establish a theory of knowledge based on the model of virtue theory in ethics. The book develops the concept of an intellectual virtue, and then shows how the concept can be used to give an account of the major concepts in epistemology, including the concept of knowledge. This highly original work of philosophy for professionals will also provide students with an excellent introduction to epistemology, virtue theory, and the relationship between ethics and epistemology.
This chapter defends the view that intellectual virtues are deep and enduring acquired intellectual excellences, supported by the underlying idea in Exemplarist Moral Theory that excellences are admirable traits, and admirable traits are those that people admire on reflection and that have features identified in empirical studies. The intellectual virtues require both admirable intellectual motivations and reliable success in reaching the truth, and the defense of this claim is that that is what people admire on reflection. The connection of intellectual virtue with moral virtue also explains admirable states like wisdom that are recently getting attention in philosophy and psychology after a long period of neglect.
The aim of this article is to determine the status of philosophy of education among the other philosophical disciplines and to consider its place within the framework of pedagogical sciences. The relationship between pedagogy and philosophy has been analysed with emphasis on the conditions to be met by philosophy that it could be useful as an instrument helping in reflection on education. The article also discusses the way in which could be useful. Successively, the question in posed on how data obtained during the pedagogical reflection can influence philosophy itself. In conclusion, referring to the achievements of Alasdair MacIntyre, an attempt to draw philosophical procedures allowing to assess given pedagogical concepts is presented.
This book is a contribution to "responsibilist" or character-based virtue-epistemology, which is an approach to epistemology that gives a primary role to reflection on intellectual character virtues like inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, carefulness and thoroughness in inquiry, and intellectual courage, rigor, and generosity. Beyond providing an accessible introduction to virtue epistemology and intellectual virtues, the book has two main goals. The first is to shed light on the nature and structure of intellectual virtues and their role in the cognitive economy. To this end, it examines the difference between intellectual virtues and intellectual faculties, talents, temperaments and skills, develops a "personal worth" account of the nature of an intellectual virtue, contrasts this account with several others, and provides analyses of two individual virtues: namely, open-mindedness and intellectual courage. The second main goal is to account for the role that reflection on intellectual character virtues should play within epistemology at large. Here three main claims are defended. The first is that the concept of intellectual virtue does not merit a central or fundamental role with traditional epistemology. The second is that it does, nonetheless, merit a secondary or background role in this context. The third is that intellectual character virtues and their role in the intellectual life considered in their own right can form the basis an approach to epistemology that is distinct from but complementary to traditional epistemology. Finally, an Appendix examines the relation between intellectual and moral virtues.
This discussion begins from the dilemma, posed in some earlier writing by Alasdair MacIntyre, that education is essential but also, in current economic and cultural conditions, impossible. The potential for resolving this dilemma through appeal to ‘practice’, ‘narrative unity’, and ‘tradition’(three core concepts in After Virtue and later writings) is then examined. The discussion also explores the relationship of education to the modern state and the power of a liberal education to create an ‘educated public’ very different in character from the electorates of contemporary democratic regimes. It concludes with some remarks on the role of education in combating prejudice against certain kinds of human difference.