A True Gentleman
What is our Community? Who is a True Gentleman?
In keeping with the principles of the Memphis University School Honor Code, the Community Creed, and the school’s Judeo-Christian tradition, class conduct in Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics will reflect the high ideals and moral standards both called for and informed by these sources. In this class, you are expected to honor one another above yourself in discussion and debate. We will encourage free thought and respect each individual opinion expressed. At times we will disagree; at times we will argue. Other times we will laugh. These responses are healthy, and I expect you to wrestle honestly with the subject matter while enjoying our investigation of philosophy, ethics, and the great people who contributed their ideas in shaping who we are today.
Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics meets the ½ credit Upper School Religion requirement. Though an elective, the course work is rigorous, and you must apply yourself daily in order to pass. The quizzes are offered both as an indication of your preparedness and as mercy from having to prepare for tests. This class is a reading, discussion, and writing class. You must read daily and speak often in class to receive the full 15% participation grade. You must write to English Department standards of grammatical correctness, spelling, and punctuation for both Reflection Papers and the Term Paper.
As Upperclassmen, students in Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics have the unique position among the student body to relate their knowledge from various academic disciplines to our eclectic subject matter. You will have to think and ask questions of yourself as you may have never asked before. We will address questions as: “Can I really know anything? What goals are we as human beings to pursue in life? What sort of persons are we to be? What are the rules?” These are questions of philosophy and ethics. I hope you enjoy our circuitous route through space and time.
The below paragraph summarizes the behavior, motivation and attitude expected of students in this class. MEMORIZE THE TRUE GENTLEMAN AND COMMUNITY CREED TO RECEIVE 5 POINTS ON YOUR FINAL EXAM GRADE!
A True Gentleman is a man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
—John Walter Wayland