By J. Peter Euben
In Corrupting early life, Peter Euben explores the affinities among Socratic philosophy and Athenian democratic tradition so as to take into consideration problems with politics and schooling, either old and sleek. The booklet strikes skillfully among antiquity and the current, from old to modern political conception, and from Athenian to American democracy. It attracts jointly vital fresh paintings by way of political theorists with the perspectives of classical students in ways in which shine new gentle on major theoretical debates corresponding to these over discourse ethics, rational selection, and political realism, and on political concerns reminiscent of institution vouchers and schooling reform. Euben not just argues for the generative potential of classical texts and Athenian political concept, he demonstrates it by means of pondering with them to supply a framework for reflecting extra deeply approximately socially divisive matters resembling the struggle over the canon and the "politicization" of the university.Drawing on Aristophanes' Clouds, Sophocles' Antigone and Oedipus Tyrannos, and Plato's Apology of Socrates, Gorgias, and Protagoras, Euben develops a view of democratic political schooling. Arguing that Athenian democratic practices constituted a convention of responsibility and self-critique that Socrates extended right into a means of doing philosophy, Euben indicates an important reciprocity among political philosophy and radical democracy. by way of asking no matter if we will be able to or should still take "Socrates" out of the academy and placed him again in entrance of a much broader viewers, Euben argues for anchoring modern larger schooling in appreciative but skeptical stumble upon with the dramatic determine in Plato's dialogues.
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Extra info for Corrupting Youth: Political Education, Democratic Culture, and Political Theory
How and when were the texts that presently constitute the canon chosen? Why these and not others? What were the political imperatives and cultural circumstances that once led people to denounce Melville as a trivial hack but now lead them to celebrate Moby Dick as perhaps the greatest American novel ever written? Why was Nietzsche dismissed as a fascist crank just decades before achieving canonical status as the theorist of modernity and saint of postmodernity? And why do readings of texts seem to change over time?
There are indeed serious problems with higher education. They include faddism, presentism, impatience (which leads to the Koran being read in a week as part of a survey course), self-righteous and ignorant dismissal of texts not read or read hastily, and a failure to recognize what the critics owe to what they are criticizing. But the seriousness of these criticisms is compromised by the critics’ own self-righteousness, their denial that there is any such thing as cultural power or that if there is it comes to them “naturally” as the transmitters of what is best and highest, and by defensive reiteration of what may be outworn pieties.
Interdisciplinary work usually deﬁnes a new specialization rather than lessens it. ”55 The politics of identity sometimes paralyzes not only attempts at a coherent curriculum, but at concerted action on issues like poverty, the debt, industrial stagnation, meaningless work, racial and sexual discrimination, environmental degradation, violence, the emotional and ﬁnancial havoc created by an increasingly older population, and, not least, the crisis in our public school system. Canonists are right again when they argue that without a common language conversation would be a babble and differences would remain unrecognized and unheard; that without a common culture diverse people would be unable to talk to each other; and that without a sense of a shared fate in the future they would have no need to do so.
Corrupting Youth: Political Education, Democratic Culture, and Political Theory by J. Peter Euben