The Idea of the American University
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.
Three books showed up this week with chapters by ME in them. Even without those chapters, each would still be a fabulous (although somewhat diminished) book. So as not to test your patience, I will feature them one at a time.
Bradley C. S. Watson edited The Idea of the American University. Here are some tastes:
1. James P. Schall, S.J.: "The professor was [used to be] more than a specialist. This is why the university...was concerned with something more, with wisdom, with something that could not be acquired except through long reflection. It seems quite clear [today] that students can matriculate in universities and learn nothing of what is important about God, cosmos, life, death, and what it all means."
2. Marc C. Henrie: As a result of "the multicultural transformation of the curriculum"...we...are presented with the spectacle of many students today who habitually associate high ideals, penetrating insight, and profound wisdom with just about every culture but their own."
3. Gary D. Glenn: "When teaching a class on political philosophy, I spoke one day of the soul. A graudate student...looked puzzled and said he did not know what it meant, and asked what 'the modern word' for that would be."
4. Peter Wood: "To this day, American higher education continues to live in this Berkeley-invented mirror universe where 'academic freedom' is routinely invoked to justify excluding views from campus. The result is ideological conformity--and yet another diminution of the institutional diversity on which American education once prided itself."
5. Susan E. Hanssen: "The proliferation of independent schools and indeed the growing popularity of home-schooling is the most American feature of our panorama of education today; the continued attachment to classical liberal education is the most distinctively American contribution to the varieties of higher education available today."
I'll share more tastes later. But you can already see the variety of conservative perspectives in defense of liberal education, of a university actually devoted to ideas.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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