- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 18, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199250448
- ISBN-13: 978-0199250448
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,891,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Demands of Liberal Education
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" The Demands of Liberal Education is an intellectually stimulating work that provides aesthetic pleasure through the incisive subtlety of its arguments and the elegant clarity of its prose. Levinson has given educators, policymakers, and political philosophers a book that will serve as an invaluable resouce in research and teaching."-- Educational Researcher
About the Author
Dr. Meira Levinson is a teacher at the Atlanta Public Schools
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Instead, she takes her cue from a string of moral and political philosophers who have, since the dawn of modernity, identified liberation with possession of self-autonomy. In some instances, they have begun insisting on the responsibility to take measures to assure that people populating the grounds are indeed outfitted with the touted autonomy and self-determination. With this understanding dominating her thinking, Levinson has blithely shed any pretense to reasonableness and developed a doctrine to the effect that the school system imposed on us by the powers that be should ignore parental predilection and enforce uniformity upon the entire conglomerate of students. Each and every student must, on her having, be compelled to grow into an autonomy-outfitted human being, embodying a liberal outlook on the world at large. The school is called upon to weed from its midst any tendency thwarting the cause of enhancing students' autonomy in as optimal a fashion as possible. It must, as she has it, purge itself of all obstacles to the ready assimilation of the denizens of the classroom to the cadre of what she thinks of as the autonomistically privileged. Thus are all students to be straight-jacketed into the autonomous mold.
Autonomous indeed! The book is downright hostile to the far more level-minded supposition that liberalism doesn't liberate the state to impose liberal autonomy as a lifestyle upon its member citizens. Instead, it constrains the state to leave citizens to raise children as they will and, in this way, to empower the next generation of citizens to experience a wide range of alternative modes of living and to fashion their own lifestyles - and that of their progeny - as an overlay upon the resultant prolifically variegated undercurrent. Levinson goes to the trouble of marshalling all the philosophically analytic ammunition at her disposal, building fastidiously upon an already well-entrenched body of literature; but in the end she plays fast-and-furious with her cache and subverts it, much to her own detriment.
This is not meant to serve to discourage you from having a look at the Levinson book. On the contrary, read and be amazed! See how cunningly an idea from the literature can be twisted to serve a preordained, steadfastly hewn-to purpose. Witness firsthand how an argument is held onto come what may, in total oblivion to the mass of evidence piling up in its disfavor. Then go and consider the agenda that underlies the rash of maneuvers taken. If you're in the least bit like me, you will undoubtedly come away with the conviction that the whole exercise has been but another attempt at shielding the unsuspecting from the truth. It has been undertaken as a means of constraining our freedom to face freedom's own formidable challenges.