ERIC Number: ED231716
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-17
Reference Count: 0
Instructor Apathy and the Malaise of Listless Colleges. Part 1: A Pathologist's Report on the Fact-Value Distinction.
Williams, Richard L.
The reported "malaise" of college instructors of the social sciences, particularly in political science, has its roots in the attempt to model the social sciences after the natural sciences and thus to separate fact from value. Scientific method requires that politics be redefined as an activity involving relationships of power, rule, and authority and the discovery of principles of political action. The result is a wholesale corruption of our understanding of the institutions of American government. For example, the "Federalist Papers" determined that separation of powers was designed to combine the requisite energy and stability in government with inviolable attention to liberty and majority rule (Federalist #37) and that the press was a medium through which to pass the necessarily partisan sentiments of leaders and citizens (Federalist #10). These ideals are far from the interpretations of current political scientific thought. A conflict, then, is created between the originating principles of political science and its ongoing public responsibility. The result is that many political scientists have lost heart. An emphasis on values clarification, suggested by many, would only further reduce the discipline by entrapping it in educational consumerism. There is a need to return to the edifying and disciplining influence of higher education, as its founders in this country intended it to be. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Community College Social Science Association Conference (San Diego, CA, March 17, 1983).