ERIC Number: EJ856008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
The Public University's Unbearable Defiance of Being
Holden, Robert H.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v41 n5 p575-591 Sep 2009
Modernity has imposed on many of us, and perhaps especially on academics, a habit of silence with regard to what John Rawls called deeply held "comprehensive" moral beliefs. According to Rawls and his many disciples, the survival of liberalism depends upon the bracketing of comprehensive beliefs whenever we step into the public sphere. And in the field of higher education, that would have to include the classroom, the lab, the library carrel, the hotel conference suites where we confer and exchange ideas, as well as the vast academic publishing apparatus. I would like to call attention to the way that the supposed requirement of the Rawlsian silence is being challenged, not just by conservative critics but even by such a staunch defender of conventional liberalism as Jurgen Habermas. Second, if Habermas and the other critics are right, then a fortiori, the public university--perhaps the most representative and exemplary of all the institutions of civil society--ought to welcome the infusion of relevant but closely held beliefs, including religious ones, in carrying out its research and teaching responsibilities.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Political Attitudes, Moral Values, Public Colleges, Beliefs, Politics of Education, Educational Environment, College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Religion, Educational Philosophy, Educational Principles
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A