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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 8, Issue 10, 1998
Selected Contributions to the Third World Congress of Universalism, Part I

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1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Albert A. Anderson Guest Editor's Preface
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Albert A. Anderson Universal Dialogue
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3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Yersu Kim A Conception of Universality for an Age of Diversity
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4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Kwame Anthony Appiah How to Universalize Liberalism?
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5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Steven V. Hicks Education, Community, and Universalism: An Introduction
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6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Willard F. Enteman Philosophy of Liberal Education for Democracy in the Twenty-first Century
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Current debates about liberal education have distracted us from responding intelligently to the growth and dominance of professional preparation programs. In 1828, the Yale faculty, confronted with similar circumstances, developed what may be the last widely influential philosophy of liberal education. It gives us a starting point, as does Plato's Republic. Democracy and the knowledge-based economy require us to articulate a new philosophy of liberal education. Using Kantian terminology, I argue that, whereas the basic purpose of professional preparation is to produce heteronomous behavior, the purpose of liberal education should be the development of autonomous individuals.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Hans-Herbert Kögler The Challenges of Multiculturalism, General Education, and Grounded Cosmopolitanism
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Redefining the canon and the core curriculum is a popular topic in the current debate concerning multiculturalism. The focus on education is indeed crucial, insofar as it creates a symbolic ground for a democratic society, implying the possibility of universal dialogue across cultural and social differences. Yet to overcome the fragmenting dissensus among radical, conservative, and liberal positions, we need a concept of "general education" that reconciles the normative ideals of equality and freedom with the social reality of ethnic, social, and sexual diversity. I argue that we can develop such a new philosophy of education in the spirit of a grounded cosmopolitanism by showing how a shared and still culturally sensitive understanding can emerge from different cultural backgrounds. The goal of democratic education consists thus in the creation of a culturally grounded yet reflexively open self, as the precondition for democratic participation in the multicultural public sphere.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Brian Seitz Metapaidea and the Subject of Orientation
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Education has come to mean the transmission of information, rather than the intimate awareness not just of things but of the learner's relation to things. Whereas the practice of paideia associated with modem philosophy has involved an effort to isolate the human in opposition to and contradistinction from that which is non-human, the metapaideia in question here is a practice of self-education, which is not "about the self"---not a given self—-so much as it is about the constitution of the self through dialogue with all that is other than self. That is, metapaideia follows from the question, "Where am I?," a question open to all possibilities, not, that is, to a universal as such, but to a universal dialogue or to a dialogue with the universe, an exchange with every aspect of the subject's situation.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Thomas Thorp Paideia and Universalism
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Jaeger's proposal in his 1933 work, Paideia, that classical Greece should be viewed as the origin and the sustaining source of Westem civilization is likely to be viewed today as, at best, quaint or, at worst, pemicious. But I argue that Jaeger's conception of paideia as acculturation or as the formation of character through culture is superior to current views of human development and education. At the same time, Jaeger accounts for the profundity of the classical Greek conception of education or acculturation by appealing to a relatively late Platonic notion of a universal standard or rational principle. I attempt to show that this late philosophical determination of paideia distorts an older Greek view of human culture, a view that might offer a model for a universalism that need not appeal to the idea of a self-grounding rational principle.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Brian Schroeder Breaking the Closed Circle: Levinas and Platonic Paideia
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Levinas' philosophy is in part predicated on a retrieval or recasting of select Platonic motifs, yet his relationship to such thinking is frequently, and necessarily, ambiguous. While refraining from the often hyperbolic language of Nietzsche's reversal or inversion of "Platonism," Levinas' more sober approach effects both a radical tum away from and toward, Plato's teaching on paideia. Echoing Nietzsche's injunction that the teacher is sometimes a "necessary evil," and calling into question the visual luminescence of the so-called Platonist "doctrine" of forms (eide) and the closed interiority of the subject in which they are instilled, I propose a Levinasian-oriented metapaideiac model based on the primacy of the exteriority of hearing, and thus of dialogue, as that which comes from a height, from a nondominating "mastery." I reconsider Plato's image of paideia, the essence of which is "tuming around" and Levinas' rejection of the Socratic maieutic method of elenchus in an effort to advance the question of whether a universal conception of ethics can be taught, and if so, how teaching produces ethics.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
Peter W. Wakefield Responding to Shame: Plato's Gorgias and the Philosophical Curriculum
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Socrates presents philosophy as an intrinsically valuable process, which renders human life valuable even if no human being attains complete knowledge. I show first that Plato viewed an ongoing commitment to dialogue as the key to a good life and to justice, both for the individual and for society. Second, I trace possible applications of this view of philosophy as ongoing dialogue to the contemporary philosophy curriculum. I discuss two specific apphcations: exposing the curriculum to Afrocentric challenges and insisting upon the liberating power of the discussions of justice presented by the ancients.
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 8 > Issue: 10
On Contributors
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