By Leonard Harris
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Extra info for Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher
After what might be called the in-house publication of the essay on the Alhambra, this is Locke’s first appearance in print. But it, too, is probably the result of Locke’s connection with one of his teachers, for presumably Brandt or one of the other instructors at the School of Pedagogy helped the essay into the light of publicity. Though an apprentice piece, designed in part for a restricted audience of other teachers, the polished essay nevertheless raises an issue in the field of education that is almost always controversial: is school the place for moral training?
The course of undergraduate study at Harvard at the turn of the century was extremely rigorous compared to previous and later periods. This was combined, however, with a recent reform of the curriculum, initiated by Harvard 31 President Charles Eliot, that did away with required courses and substituted a system of electives. Allowing undergraduates to pick courses that were especially important for their career plans served as the main justification for the changes. A sizable portion of the faculty objected to this, fearing such an orientation would only develop commercial and business mentalities.
ALPHU 164-50/17) 34 Chapter Two With a letter of introduction from Brandt, where the mentor described his student as “apt in philosophical subjects as in languages,” Locke met Josiah Royce in his first semester, having read one of his recent books while at Central High. He was told that the philosopher had earned the nickname of the “modern Socrates” because of his ugly appearance. Locke not only admired Royce’s library, he made a point of reading another one of his books before the meeting and told the professor how much it had done for him.
Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
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