Discourse 7, continued

Newman turns to John Davidson, an Oriel man who followed Copleston and joined in making the argument of the superiority of a Liberal Education.  “He shows, first, that a Liberal Education is something far higher, even in the scale of Utility, than what is commonly called a Useful Education, and next, that it is necessary or useful for the purposes even of that Professional Education which commonly engrosses the title of Useful.”

Davison criticizes Edgeword’s notion that every aspect of education must be subservient to a professional concern. He writes: “There are services he owes, which are neither parochial, nor forensic, nor military, nor to be described by any such epithet of civil regulation, and yet are in no wise inferior to those that bear these authoritative titles; inferior neither in their intrinsic value, nor their moral import, nor their impression upon society. As a friend, as a companion, as a citizen at large; in the connections of domestic life; in the improvement and embellishment of his leisure, he has a sphere of action, revolving, if you please, within the sphere of his profession, but not clashing with it.”

“The advocates of professional learning” Davison continues “will smile when we tell them that this same faculty which we would have encouraged, is simply that of speaking good sense in English, without fee or reward, in common conversation.” By means of conversation men form and communicate opinions and interests; they exercise influence and power.

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