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Peirce, Affectivity, and Social Criticism
How can sincere, well-meaning people unintentionally perpetuate discrimination based on race, sex, sexuality, or other socio-political factors? To address this question, Lara Trout engages a neglected dimension of Charles S. Peirce's philosophy - human embodiment - in order to highlight the compatibility between Peirce's ideas and contemporary work in social criticism. This compatibility, which has been neglected in both Peircean and social criticism scholarship, emerges when the body is fore-grounded among the affective dimensions of Peirce's philosophy (including feeling, emotion, belief, doubt, instinct, and habit). Trout explains unintentional discrimination by situating Peircean affectivity within a post-Darwinian context, using the work of contemporary neuroscientist Antonio Damasio to facilitate this contextual move. Since children are vulnerable, nave, and dependent upon their caretakers for survival, they must trust their caretaker's testimony about reality. This dependency, coupled with societal norms that reinforce historically dominant perspectives (such as being heterosexual, male, middle-class, and/or white), fosters the internalization of discriminatory habits that function non-consciously in adulthood. The Politics of Survival brings Peirce and social criticism into conversation. On the one hand, Peircean cognition, epistemology, phenomenology, and metaphysics dovetail with social critical insights into the inter-relationships among body and mind, emotion and reason, self and society. Moreover, Peirce's epistemological ideal of an infinitely inclusive community of inquiry into knowledge and reality implies a repudiation of exclusionary prejudice. On the other hand, work in feminism and race theory illustrates how the application of Peirce's infinitely inclusive communal ideal can be undermined by non-conscious habits of exclusion internalized in childhood by members belonging to historically dominant groups, such as the economically privileged, heterosexuals, men, and whites. Trout offers a Peircean response to this application problem that both acknowledges the blind spotsof non-conscious discrimination and recommends a communally situated network of remedies including agapic love, critical common-sensism, scientific method, and self-control.
Implications for Access, Equity and Knowledge Production
This book addresses the implications of this development in Kenya, with regard to the responsiveness of private higher education to issues of broadening access, equity and the traditional research function of universities.
A Philosophical Perspective on Film
In their thoughtful study of one of Stanley Cavell’s greatest yet most neglected books, William Rothman and Marian Keane address this eminent philosopher’s many readers, from a variety of disciplines, who have neither understood why he has given film so much attention, nor grasped the place of The World Viewed within the totality of his writings about film. Rothman and Keane also reintroduce The World Viewed to the field of film studies. When the new field entered universities in the late 1960s, it predicated its legitimacy on the conviction that the medium’s artistic achievements called for serious criticism and on the corollary conviction that no existing field was capable of the criticism filmed called for. The study of film needed to found itself, intellectually, upon a philosophical investigation of the conditions of the medium and art of film. Such was the challenge The World Viewed took upon itself. However, film studies opted to embrace theory as a higher authority than our experiences of movies, divorcing itself from the philosophical perspective of self-reflection apart from which, The World Viewed teaches, we cannot know what movies mean, or what they are. Rotham and Keane now argue that the poststructuralist theories that dominated film studies for a quarter of a century no longer compel conviction, Cavell’s brilliant and beautiful book can provide a sense of liberation to a field that has forsaken its original calling. read in a way that acknowledges its philosophical achievement, The World Viewed can show the field a way to move forward by rediscovering its passion for the art of film. Reading Cavell’s The World Viewed will prove invaluable to scholars and students of film and philosophy, and to those in other fields, such as literary studies and American studies, who have found Cavell’s work provocative an fruitful.
Moral Formation in American Higher Education
The Schooled Heart addresses a basic question about the nature of the university: should moral education figure among the university's purposes? This volume offers an affirmative response to that question. A central purpose of the university is the moral formation of students, what Beaty and Henry call the schooling of the heart.
What could it mean to speak of philosophy as the education of grownups? This book takes Stanley Cavell's much-quoted, yet enigmatic phrase as the provocation for a series of explorations into themes of education that run throughout his work - through his response to Wittgenstein, Austin and ordinary language philosophy, through his readings of Thoreau and of the moral perfectionism he identifies with Emerson, through his discussions of literature and film. Hilary Putnam has described Cavell not only as one of the most creative thinkers of today but as amongst the few contemporary philosophers to explore the territory of philosophy as education. Yet in mainstream philosophy his work is apt to be referred to rather than engaged with, and the full import of his writings for education is still to be appreciated. Cavell engages in a sustained exploration of the nature of philosophy, and this is not separable from his preoccupation with what it is to teach and to learn, with the kinds of transformation these might imply, and with the significance of these things for our language and politics, for our lives as a whole.In recent years Cavell's work has been the subject of a number of books of essays, but this is the first to address directly the importance of education in his work. Such matters cannot fail to be of significance not only for the disciplinary fields of philosophy and education, but in politics, literature, and film studies - and in the humanities as a whole. A substantial introduction provides an overview of the philosophical purchase of questions of education in his work, while the essays are framed by two new pieces by Cavell himself. The book shows what it means to read Cavell, and simultaneously what it means to read philosophically, in itself a part of our education as grownups.
The Teacher’s Attention is a fresh take on relationships in schools. Looking beyond our obsession with raising test scores, this book recognizes that education is a key partner in raising children. Garrett Delavan contends that allowing students, educators and parents to navigate a smaller number of relationships—a concept he calls "relationship load"—provides many benefits, including a better chance at achieving equal access to a good education for all children.
Delavan shows how class size, school size, and longer-term student-teacher relationships are all equally critical components for educating our children ethically and successfully. After examining these proposed reforms in detail, Delavan also considers counterarguments and provides a detailed projection of costs and savings, putting to rest the assumption that smaller classes and smaller schools are necessarily more expensive. Finally, the book discusses possible steps toward implementation, showing how the author's proposed reforms are remarkably practical.
A Democratic Approach for Public Schools
"This provocative and timely book challenges Americans to rethink what it means to take democracy and religious freedom seriously in public education. Emile Lester takes the reader beyond culture war conflicts rooted in religious divisions and offers bold, new solutions for addressing our differences with fairness and robust toleration. Instead of battlegrounds, he argues, public schools can and should be places that include all voices in ways that prepare citizens to engage one another with civility and respect. Teaching about Religions is essential reading for all who care about the future of public schools---and the health of American democracy." --- Charles C. Haynes, Senior Scholar, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center "More than simply a synthesis of existing scholarship, [this book is] an original contribution to the field. [The] major themes are timely, and this book might well contribute to public discussion of important issues in our culture wars." ---Warren Nord, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill "Arriving in the wake of a bitter battle over the place of Islam in America and in the midst of calls for greater understanding and civility, Emile Lester's new book is a timely contribution to the debate about the best ways to teach about religion in our nation's public schools. A pioneering researcher in this field, Lester offers thoughtful critiques of existing proposals as well as fresh ideas. His recommendations reflect painstaking efforts to understand the concerns of groups (most notably, conservative Christians) to which he does not belong, and a firm grasp of the difference between fostering understanding of other faiths and pressing for acceptance of them. Lester's prescriptions, always informed and fair-minded and sometimes provocative, should drive the debate forward in productive ways." ---Melissa Rogers, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution Frequent news stories about the debates waged between secularists and religious conservatives have convinced most Americans that public schools must choose between promoting respect for religious minorities and respecting the interests of conservative Christians. As a result, public schools fail to teach students about the meaning and value of protecting religious liberty and consequently perpetuate mistrust across the cultural divide, further empower extremists, and obscure the fact that most Americans of all religious backgrounds share a commitment to basic democratic principles. In response, the public schools in the religiously diverse and divided community of Modesto, California, have introduced a widely acclaimed required world religions course. Drawing on groundbreaking research on the creation of and response to the Modesto course as well as on political philosophy, Emile Lester advocates a civic approach to teaching about religion in public schools that at once emphasizes respect for all views about religion and provides a special recognition of conservative Christian beliefs.
Faith in the University
The public university classroom is a place where socialization still occurs: it's where students learn to be citizens of the world. Having attended to political correctness and multi-culturalism, universities are now facing the issue of spirituality in their quest to educate the whole person. In this book, Chris Anderson takes up this task by carefully exploring how a professor of faith can help a public university accomplish its pluralistic mission. Anderson illustrates how the study of secular literature throws fresh light on the ways in which the Bible can be read. He also deftly shows how a sympathetic study of the Bible trains secular readers for understanding the abiding significance of the Western literary canon as a kind of scripture. Anderson thus gives readers a book that is as much about the experience of a faithful teacher and the proper ends of education as it is about discovering the right ways to read texts, be they sacred or secular.