4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2017
    1. Education generates habits of application, order and the love of virtue; and controuls, by the force of habit, any innate obliquities in our moral organization.

      This sentence was interesting to me because it suggests a natural link between education and morality. Primarily, Jefferson put forth the idea that a solid education leads to good character by "force of habit;" also notable, however, is the implicit suggestion that a lack of good education comes along with a danger of poor moral character. Jefferson refers to these "moral obliquities" as "innate," suggesting that the natural starting place is bad morality, rather than good. Looking at this sentence through a modern perspective, there are some obvious questions. If Jefferson believed that people needed education to improve their morals, why did he simultaneously restrict the liberty of his own slaves. Why weren't women allowed to attend UVA recently? This passage is a new way for me to look at some of the hypocrisies surrounding UVA's founding that we have discussed before.

    2. To instruct the mass of our citizens in these their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens,

      This phrase caught my eye as I read through the document again. I think it is interesting that, even in the earliest days of the university, there was an emphasis placed on informing citizens of their rights and duties. This relates to my first semester at UVA; there have definitely been countless time that I've passed a table or received an email giving me useful information about rights and duties. One example would be how active the UVA community is during election season. I was told in many different settings how to register to vote in Charlottesville; I was reminded through emails, class announcements and more to vote in the days leading up to the election; I took a free shuttle provided by the university to the polling location on election day. I find it interesting that this emphasis on instructing people on their rights and duties has persisted so much that I noticed it during my first semester this year.

  2. Sep 2017
    1. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us.

      Student self-governance, now one of the hallmarks of UVA, was not part of the original plan for the university. Although it is not explicitly outlined, the report does include the idea that the eventual form of government should seek to instruct through "habitual appeal & exercise," rather than to punish or instill fear. Instruction, rather than punishment, is one of the main aspects of self-government at UVA today. Obviously, punishments do exist, but not for the sake of punishment itself, and there are now a great deal of resources available to learn about the different aspects of UVA student life. Although self-governance was not specifically detailed in the report, it is interesting that the underlying sentiments of instruction and building character survived.

    2. and tho rather, as the proofs of the being of a god, the creator, preserver, & supreme ruler of the universe, the author of all the relations of morality, & of the laws & obligations these infer, will be within the province of the professor of ethics;

      It is noteworthy that the authors of the report choose to place these matters of religion under the jurisdiction of the department of ethics. It sets up an interesting relationship between religion and ethics. The document suggests that it is more responsible to think in terms of ethics than in terms of religion. This reminds me of Jefferson's personal Bible, in which he omitted anything miraculous or scientifically problematic. I think we see strong traces of his influence in this paragraph.