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The Quest For Excellence

Author: Dustin Gish
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0761868135
Size: 50.73 MB
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Liberal education aspires to excellence through the cultivation of free human beings who excel in thought, word, and deed. But what exactly is excellence, and why do we admire it? How do we conceive of what is excellent? What constitutes excellence—either for human beings, or in the realms of philosophy, literature, science, and politics? Why is excellence an aim of liberal education? What kinds of texts, courses, and inquiries contribute to achieving this end? Such questions animate the studies herein. The essays in this volume reflect on the idea of excellence embedded within core texts, as well as how such texts influence and ennoble higher education. In its chapters, we consider rival forms of excellence from ancient Greece and Rome, through modern Europe and America, and beyond. The world of antiquity and its accounts of excellence, as represented in the works of Euripides, Aristotle, Plato, Archimedes, and Cicero, are here brought into dialogue with diverse modern perspectives on excellence, as articulated by Shakespeare, Descartes, Newton, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Austen, Darwin, Lincoln, Tennyson, and Nietzsche, as well as (more recently) by John Dewey, Martin Luther King Jr., Cardinal Newman, and Eboo Patel. Our desire to seek and understand excellence transcends borders, and the purpose of this volume is to help perpetuate in contemporary higher education the study of core texts essential to the cultivation of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

Thomas Jefferson And The Science Of Republican Government

Author: Dustin Gish
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108165915
Size: 47.62 MB
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This biography of Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, his only published book, challenges conventional wisdom by demonstrating its core political thought as well as the political aspirations behind its composition, publication and initial dissemination. Building upon a close reading of the book's contents, Jefferson's correspondence and the first comprehensive examination of both its composition and publication history, the authors argue that Jefferson intended his Notes to be read by a wide audience, especially in America, in order to help shape constitutional debates in the critical period of the 1780s. Jefferson, through his determined publication and distribution of his Notes even while serving as American ambassador in Paris, thus brought his own constitutional and political thought into the public sphere - and at times into conflict with the writings of John Adams and James Madison, stimulating a debate over the proper form of Republican constitutionalism that still reverberates in American political thought.

Resistance To Tyrants Obedience To God

Author: Dustin A. Gish
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 073918220X
Size: 78.34 MB
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Both reason and religion have been acknowledged by scholars to have had a profound impact on the foundation and formation of the American regime. But the significance, pervasiveness, and depth of that impact have also been disputed. While many have approached the American founding period with an interest in the influence of Enlightenment reason or Biblical religion, they have often assumed such influences to be exclusive, irreconcilable, or contradictory. Few scholarly works have sought to study the mutual influence of reason and religion as intertwined strands shaping the American historical and political experience at its founding. The purpose of the chapters in this volume, authored by a distinguished group of scholars in political science, intellectual history, literature, and philosophy, is to examine how this mutual influence was made manifest in the American Founding—especially in the writings, speeches, and thought of critical figures (Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Carroll), and in later works by key interpreters of the American Founding (Alexis de Tocqueville and Abraham Lincoln). Taken as a whole, then, this volume does not attempt to explain away the potential opposition between religion and reason in the American mind of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, but instead argues that there is a uniquely American perspective and political thought that emerges from this tension. The chapters gathered here, individually and collectively, seek to illuminate the animating affect of this tension on the political rhetoric, thought, and history of the early American period. By taking seriously and exploring the mutual influence of these two themes in creative tension, rather than seeing them as diametrically opposed or as mutually exclusive, this volume thus reveals how the pervasiveness and resonance of Biblical narratives and religion supported and infused Enlightened political discourse and action at the Founding, thereby articulating the complementarity of reason and religion during this critical period.

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research

Author: Institute of Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309165488
Size: 55.35 MB
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Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research examines current interdisciplinary research efforts and recommends ways to stimulate and support such research. Advances in science and engineering increasingly require the collaboration of scholars from various fields. This shift is driven by the need to address complex problems that cut across traditional disciplines, and the capacity of new technologies to both transform existing disciplines and generate new ones. At the same time, however, interdisciplinary research can be impeded by policies on hiring, promotion, tenure, proposal review, and resource allocation that favor traditional disciplines. This report identifies steps that researchers, teachers, students, institutions, funding organizations, and disciplinary societies can take to more effectively conduct, facilitate, and evaluate interdisciplinary research programs and projects. Throughout the report key concepts are illustrated with case studies and results of the committee’s surveys of individual researchers and university provosts.

The Political Thought Of Xenophon

Author: Dustin Gish
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781845402631
Size: 69.99 MB
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This special issue of Polis, dedicated to the political thought of Xenophon, springs from the lively panels on Xenophon sponsored by the Society for Greek Political Thought at the Northeastern Political Science Association annual meetings. These panels bring together and encourage dialogue between scholars from varied backgrounds, in particular classicists, philosophers and political scientists, all groups with great interest in Xenophon, though often for different reasons. This volume contains a brief introduction, nine papers and five book reviews, and unites diverse participants in their desire to better understand Xenophon as a political philosopher.

Shakespeare And The Body Politic

Author: Bernard J. Dobski
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739170961
Size: 70.87 MB
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mate Shakespeare’s corpus, and one of the most prominent is the image of the body. Sketched out in the eternal lines of his plays and poetry, and often drawn in exquisite detail, variations on the body metaphor abound in the works of Shakespeare. Attention to the political dimensions of this metaphor in Shakespeare and the Body Politic permits readers to examine the sentiments of romantic love and family life, the enjoyment of peace, prosperity and justice, and the spirited pursuit of honor and glory as they inevitably emerge within the social, moral, and religious limits of particular political communities. The lessons to be learned from such an examination are both timely and timeless. For the tensions between the desires and pursuits of individuals and the health of the community forge the sinews of every body politic, regardless of the form it may take or even where and when one might encounter it. In his plays and poetry Shakespeare illuminates these tensions within the body politic, which itself constitutes the framework for a flourishing community of human beings and citizens—from the ancient city-states of Greece and Rome to the Christian cities and kingdoms of early modern Europe. The contributors to this volume attend to the political context and role of political actors within the diverse works of Shakespeare that they explore. Their arguments thus exhibit together Shakespeare’s political thought. By examining his plays and poetry with the seriousness they deserve, Shakespeare’s audiences and readers not only discover an education in human and political virtue, but also find themselves written into his lines. Shakespeare’s body of work is indeed politic, and the whole that it forms incorporates us all.

Natural Kinds And Genesis

Author: Stewart Umphrey
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498531423
Size: 11.96 MB
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In Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities, Stewart Umphrey raises and answers two questions: What is it to be a natural kind? And are there in fact any natural kinds? First, using the everyday understanding of things, he argues that natural kinds may be understood as classes or as types, and that the members or tokens of such kinds are individual continuants. A continuant is essentially a being-in-becoming, a material thing which changes and yet remains the same, in virtue of its nature or essence, as long as it exists. In the primary sense of the term, then, a natural kind is a class whose members closely resemble one another substantially, in virtue of their essences. Alternatively, it is a type whose tokens exemplify it in virtue of their essences. To answer the second question, one must make use of relevant scientific theories as well. Umphrey agrees with scientific essentialists that there are natural kinds, but he argues that most of the chemical, physical, and biological kinds posited in current theories are not natural kinds in the primary sense of the term. The natural-kinds realism he affirms is thus quite restricted: it requires the existence of enduring things which closely resemble one another in virtue of their essences, and such things exist, apparently, only if they have come into being, or emerged, in the course of symmetry-breaking events. Natural Kinds and Genesis will be of interest to philosophers of science and to those interested in the metaphysics of natural kinds and their members.

Souls With Longing

Author: Bernard J. Dobski
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739165437
Size: 50.42 MB
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Souls with Longing focuses on representations of honor and love in the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare. The contributors to this collaborative volume reveal how Shakespeare’s representations of the longing for and pursuit of honor and love in his characters teach us about who we are, what we desire, and why. Shakespeare’s works thus vividly represent a grand pageant of souls with longing which holds sway over our political, moral, and romantic imaginations.

Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists

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Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 78.13 MB
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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is the premier public resource on scientific and technological developments that impact global security. Founded by Manhattan Project Scientists, the Bulletin's iconic "Doomsday Clock" stimulates solutions for a safer world.

Human Goodness

Author: Paul Schollmeier
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 69.76 MB
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Human Goodness presents a pragmatic moral theory that revives the classical Greek concept of happiness.