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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 49, No. 4 (Winter 1982)

Arien Mack, Journal Editor
Stanley Diamond, Guest Coeditor

We are living through bewildering times where the conduct of education is concerned. There are deep problems that stem from many origins—principally from a changing society whose future shape we cannot foresee and for which it is difficult to prepare a new generation. The author explains that at the heart of any social change one finds fundamental changes in regards to our conceptions of knowledge.

All art, worthy of the name, is subversive, subversive of civil society, of civilization… As the network of civilization has become denser, and states have become more totalitarian during the past 7,000 years, the act of cultural creation, which is the act of art, has become more dangerous both to the subject and to the structures of domination.

“There is, in man, a remarkable tendency to be soothed and satisfied whenever a problem, instead of being solved, has merely been located somewhere,” Wolfgang Kohler once remarked. I would add that we also tend to be tranquilized by finding a label for a phenomenon rather than solving a problem. The author examines instances of these tendencies in contemporary psychology.

That ethics most generally speaking has a say in matters of technology, or that technology is subject to ethical considerations, follows from the simple fact that technology is an exercise of human power, that is a form of action, and all human action is answerable to moral scrutiny… Technology, as vastly enhanced human power, clearly falls under this general truth. But does it constitute a special case, requiring an effort to ethical thought different from that which befits every human action and has been sufficient for all its kinds in the past?

Kentucky's John Marshall Harlan served on the US Supreme Court during 1877–1911; his influences and views regarding the fundamentality of the Bill of Rights are belatedly being acknowledged.

Criticism of other people’s work is a legitimate part of scientific activity. After all, science is a cooperative enterprise, and though we might sometimes help one another more by publicly stressing points of agreement, raising questions and finding fault, when properly done, can act as a spur. Publicly to criticize one’s own work is a less frequent preoccupation.

Perceiving is perhaps the single activity which serves as the basis for all psychological life. We begin life able to perceive, and this ability develops and changes, but it is this ability which is the basis for all other things we are able to do. It is the basis for all our learning, whether it be learning to speak our language or learning geometry. It is the starting point for our knowledge of the world as well as for the pleasure and pain we find in it. Without it, little else would be possible.

This article examines the inherent hierarchical organization of corporations and the government. This hierarchy promotes efficiency and is the best or only way to manage modern technology. But, it is also a form of organization that provides great and detailed control over employees, and sets up strong incentives to exhibit loyalty in order to win promotion.

Liberal arts education has traditionally been identified with the classical idea of cultivation. For several centuries now, the cultivated individual has been expected to have a good appreciation and understanding of the sciences, the humanities, and the arts… The emergence of the liberal arts is, or the arts befitting a free man, is closely interwoven with the gradual rise of the commercial classes to a position of political, economic, and cultural dominance.

The article examines the seduction of Clifford Geertz. Sociologists, political scientists and social historians have turned increasingly to anthropology, and the anthropologist most often embraced is Professor Geertz… His descriptions of life in Bali or Java or Morocco call to mind one of the aspects of anthropology that has always been so seductive: the lure of distant places and other modes of being.

On what presuppositions would a social theory be capable of accounting for both self-regulation and transgression? The author wishes to show that a certain invitation to a certain transgression goes hand in hand with systemic analysis in an area of contemporary intellectual life where one might least expect it, namely in Martin Heidegger’s deconstruction of Western history.

Discusses Richard T. Ely, Edward A. Ross, and the development of the Social Gospel at the University of Wisconsin from the time period between 1892 to the 1960s. Ely’s sociology was premised on a populist version of Christian socialism.

In this paper, the author presents an argument and some evidence that the reductionistic bias that characterizes the layman’s thinking also often characterizes work in psychology and, at times, in other social sciences. An examination of the history of research in various areas of psychology reveals both the pervasiveness of this perspective and its inadequacy.


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