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With refreshing eloquence, James O. Freedman sets down the American ideals that have informed his life as an intellectual, a law professor, and a college and university president. He examines the content and character of liberal education, discusses the importance of letters and learning in forming his own life and values, and explores how the lessons and the habits of mind instilled by a liberal education can give direction and meaning to one's life. He offers a stirring defense of affirmative action in higher education. And he describes how, in the midst of undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, liberal education helped him in that most human of desires--the yearning to make order and sense out of his experience. Part intellectual biography and part examination of the world of higher education, Idealism and Liberal Education is a quintessentially American book, animated by a confidence that reason, knowledge, idealism, and the better angels of our natures will further human progress. Freedman offers, as models for shaping one's life, profiles of some of his heroes--Thurgood Marshall, Alexander M. Bickel, V-clav Havel, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Hugo L. Black, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, George Orwell, Edmund Wilson, Martin Luther King, Jr., George F. Kennan, Ralph J. Bunche, and Harry S Truman. This volume speaks to all Americans who are drawn to the power of liberal education and democratic citizenship and who yearn for the inspiration to lead thoughtful, committed lives. "This thought-provoking book should be required reading for young people entering college and for the people who advise them. Freedman explores the purpose and importance of a liberal education in shaping values, character, and imagination and convincingly argues for the need for the wisdom and perspective it provides, whatever one's chosen field."--Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund "In this wide-ranging series of essays, Freedman reveals himself again as one of America's most erudite, articulate, and reflective university presidents. Students, parents, fellow presidents, and all who love learning will find something in these pages to ponder with profit."--Derek Bok, Former President, Harvard University Idealism and Liberal Education is an inspiring intellectual diary of James O. Freedman. . . . It is a forceful affirmation of liberal education as a social and cultural force in shaping the minds and characters of our youth as future citizens and leaders of our democracy. It is a tribute to the joy of learning."--Vartan Gregorian, President, Brown University "Beautifully written and a pleasure to read. At a time when the idea of the liberal university is under attack from all sides, Freedman has given a wondrous personal reaffirmation of its place in our lives."--David Halberstam James O. Freedman is President of Dartmouth College.
Philosophy and Romantic Culture
Idealism without Absolutes offers an ambitious and broad reconsideration of Idealism in relation to Romanticism and subsequent thought. Linking Idealist and Romantic philosophy to contemporary theory, the volume explores the multiplicity of different philosophical incarnations of Idealism and materialism, and shows how they mix with and invade each other in philosophy and culture. The contributors discuss a wide range of major figures in the long Romantic period, from Kant and Hegel to Nietzsche, as well as key figures defining the contemporary intellectual debate, including Freud, Heidegger, Adorno, Lyotard, Derrida, de Man, and Deleuze and Guattari. While preserving the significance of the historical period extending from Kant to the early nineteenth century, the volume gives the concept of Romantic culture a new historical and philosophical meaning that extends from its pre-Kantian past to our own culture and beyond.
Subjects and Objects in Consumer Society
Identifying Consumption illustrates how an individual’s buying habits are shaped by the dynamics of the consumer marketplace—and thus how consumption and identity inform each other. Robert Dunn brings together the various theories of spending and develops a mode of analysis concentrating on the individual subjectivity of consumption. By doing so, he addresses how we spend and its relationship with status and lifestyle.
Dunn provides a comprehensive guide to the study of modern consumer behavior before summarizing and critiquing the major theories of consumption. At this juncture, he proposes a method of analysis that focuses on the significance of status and lifestyle in social relations that can help explain how the consumer marketplace is shaped. He concludes by raising issues about different ways of consuming and the relationship between consumption and identity.
Race, Gender, and the Marked Body in Nineteenth-Century America
Examining such texts as Typee, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Captivity of the Oatman Girls, The Morgesons, Iola Leroy, and Contending Forces, Putzi relates the representation of the marked body to significant events, beliefs, or cultural shifts, including tattooing and captivity, romantic love, the patriarchal family, and abolition and slavery. Her particular focus is on both men and women of color, as well as white women-in other words, bodies that did not signify personhood in the nineteenth century and thus by their very nature were grotesque. Complicating the discourse on agency, power, and identity, these texts reveal a surprisingly complex array of representations of and responses to the marked body--some that are a product of essentialist thinking about race and gender identities and some that complicate, critique, or even rebel against conventional thought.
The subject of rights occupies a central place in liberal political thought. This tradition posits that rights are entitlements of individuals by virtue of their personhood and that rights stand apart from politics, that rights in fact hold at bay intrusions of state policy. The essays in Identities, Politics, and Rights question these assumptions and examine how rights constitute us as subjects and are, at the same time, implicated in political struggles. In contrast to the liberal notion of rights' universality, these essays emphasize the context-specific nature of rights as well as their constitutive effects. Recognizing that political disputes throughout the world have increasingly been cast as arguments about rights, the essays in this volume examine the varied roles that rights play in political movements and contests. They argue that rights talk is used by many different groups primarily because of its fluidity. Certainly rights can empower individuals and protect them from their societies, but they also constrain them in other areas. Frequently, empowerment for one group means disabling rights for another group. Moreover, focusing on rights can both liberate and limit the imagination of the possible. By alerting us to this paradox of rights--empowerment and limitation--Identities, Politics, and Rights illuminates ongoing challenges to rights and reminds us that rights can both energize political engagement and provide a resource for defenders of the status quo. Contributors are Richard Abel, Bruce Ackerman, Wendy Brown, John Comaroff, Drucilla Cornell, Jane Gaines, Thomas R. Kearns, Elizabeth Kiss, Kirstie McClure, Sally Merry, Martha Minow, Austin Sarat, and Steven Shiffrin. Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College. Thomas R. Kearns is William H. Hastie Professor of Philosophy, Amherst College.
Dix-huit professeurs-chercheurs proposent une analyse actuelle de l'identité de ces différents acteurs selon divers angles. Il s'agit d'un outil essentiel pour qui veut cerner l'identité de ces acteurs clés de la profession enseignante et leurs croisements dans une optique de complémentarité et d'harmonisation des pratiques. Il s'adresse à tous les intervenants du monde de l'éducation ainsi qu'aux futurs maîtres, dont la construction identitaire est tributaire de l'interaction avec ces différents acteurs.
Studies in Hegel's Logic, Philosophy of Spirit, and Politics
Identity and difference (or sameness and otherness) are contrasting but interrelated terms that have played an explicit role in the development of Western philosophy at least since Plato wrote the Sophist. As Plato pointed out then, and Hegel reiterated more recently in his Science of Logic, the proper comprehension of these terms, and particularly of their interrelation, plays a fundamental role in shaping our conception of philosophical reason itself. The contributors in this book examine Hegel’s treatment of these terms, and the role they play in structuring his philosophical system as a whole and also in shaping his conception of dialectical reasoning.
Conflict Reduction in Divided Societies
How can conflicts between various nationalist/ethnic groups be reduced? Combining theory with case studies of Spain and Ireland, Neal G. Jesse and Kristen P. Williams develop an argument favoring a solution that links resolving issues of identity and perceptions of inequality to the establishment of cross-national, democratic institutions. These institutions can affect deeply held attitudes by promoting overlapping identities and pooling sovereignty. Overlapping identities reduce tension by creating an atmosphere where different ethnic groups lose their strict definitions of Self and Other. Pooling sovereignty across a number of international (and national) representative bodies leads to increased access to governmental policymaking for all parties involved, with each nationalist/ethnic group having a stake in government. Increased access, moreover, reduces threat perceptions and ethnic security dilemmas, and increases trust—all of which play an important role in overcoming such conflicts.