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The Aim of Education: - Happiness and Truth, 7 Mar 1942

Identifier: Coll-1310/3/1/2/25

Scope and Contents

In the lecture, Thomson outlines his utilitarian educational creed, which involves the greatest happiness of the greatest number. He makes a moral and ethical case for this, and contrasts and balances it with the concept of truth, as well as the needs of the individual, particularly the cultivation and encouragement of genius and talent.

Thomson relates this creed back to educational systems and problems, summarising the sometimes conflicting demands each section of the community has of education: school pupils, parents, employers, communities, and government. He touches on the importance of literacy and the attitudes of the ruling classes to its rise, as well as the issue of propaganda in schools.


  • 7 Mar 1942


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

The lecture was the first delivered by Thomson to Kings College of Education Society, Newcastle.


1 typescript, 17pp

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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