Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Can't We All Get Along?

R.R. Reno, Moses and Multiculturalism, First Things (May 7, 2007):
[Martha] Nussbaum sounds like Rodney King with subordinate clauses. [In Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education] [s]he hopes for a university dedicated to “cross-cultural understanding” and “respectful dialogue” that will produce an environment “in which we can all learn to function as citizens of the entire world.”
The stiletto is sharp and clever. Withal, Professor Nussbaum's faith in the humanizing properties of higher education is touching (in the good sense). But one naturally wonders if Nussbaum's faith is factually warranted. Much depends, of course, on what the university actually looks like. There is a difficulty: one wants unvarnished discussion and debate rather than propaganda (however well-intended). One also wants "good values." What kind of university generates them? At what price?
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