- Aug 2023
If leisure and political power requirethis education, everybody in America now requires it, andeverybody where democracy and industrialization penetratewill ultimately require it. If the people are not capable ofacquiring this education, they should be deprived of politicalpower and probably of leisure. Their uneducated politicalpower is dangerous, and their uneducated leisure is degrad-ing and will be dangerous. If the people are incapable ofachieving the education that responsible democratic citizen-ship demands, then democracy is doomed, Aristotle rightlycondemned the mass of mankind to natural slavery, and thesooner we set about reversing the trend toward democracythe better it will be for the world.
This is an extreme statement which bundles together a lot without direct evidence.
Written in an era in which there was a lot of pro-Democracy and anti-Communist discussion, Hutchins is making an almost religious statement here which binds education and democracy in the ways in which the Catholic church bound education and religion in scholasticism. While scholasticism may have had benefits, it also caused a variety of ills which took centuries to unwind into the Enlightenment.
Why can't we separate education from democracy? Can't education of this sort live in other polities? Hasn't it? Does critical education necessarily lead to democracy?
What does the explorable solution space of admixtures of critical reasoning and education look like with respect to various forms of government? Could a well-educated population thrive under collectivism or socialism?
The definition of "natural slavery" here is contingent and requires lots of context, particularly of the ways in which Aristotle used it versus our current understanding of chattel slavery.
Democracy and Education was written before the assemblyline had achieved its dominant position in the industrialworld and before mechanization had depopulated the farmsof America.
Interesting history and possible solutions.
Dewey on the humanization of work front running the dramatic changes of and in work in an industrial age?
Note here the potential coupling of democracy and education as dovetailing ideas rather than separate ideas which can be used simultaneously. We should take care here not to end up with potential baggage that could result in society and culture the way scholasticism combined education and religion in the middle ages onward.
- Jul 2022
Yet not all of the sciences use (or require) mathematics to the same extent, for example, the lifesciences. There, the descriptive, analytical methods of Aristotle remain important, as does the(somewhat casual) recourse to final causes.
Is the disappearance of the Aristotelian final cause in modern science part of the reason for the rise of an anti-science perspective for the religious right in 21st century America?
People would seem to want or need a purpose to underlie their lives or they otherwise seem to be left adrift.
Why are things the way they are? What are they for?
Is the question: "why?" really so strong?
During the seventeenth century, this associative view vanished and was replaced by more literallydescriptive views simply of the thing as it exists in itself.
The associative emblematic worldview prevalent prior to the seventeenth century began to disappear within Western culture as the rise of the early modern period and the beginning of the scientific revolution began to focus on more descriptive modes of thought and representation.
Have any researchers done specific work on this shift from emblematic to the descriptive? What examples do they show which support this shift? Any particular heavy influences?
This section cites:<br /> William B. Ashworth, Jr. “Natural History and the Emblematic World View,” in Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westfall, eds #books/wanttoread<br /> which could be a place to start.
Note that this same shift from associative and emblematic to descriptive and pedantic coincides not only with the rise of the scientific revolution but also with the effects of rising information overload in a post-Gutenberg world as well as the education reforms of Ramus (late 1500s) et al. as well as the beginning of the move away from scholasticism.
Is there any evidence to support claims that this worldview stemmed from pagan traditions and cultures and not solely the art of memory traditions from ancient Greece? Could it have been pagan traditions which held onto these and they were supplemented and reinforced by ecclesiastical forces which used the Greek traditions?
Examples of emblematic worldview: - particular colors of flowers meant specific things (red = love, yellow = friendship, etc.) We still have these or remants - Saints had their associative animals and objects - anniversary gifts had associative meanings (paper, silver, gold, etc.) We still have remnants of these things, though most are associated with wealth (gold, silver, platinum anniversaries). When did this tradition actually start? - what were the associative meanings of rabbits, turtles, and other animals which appear frequently in manuscript marginalia? (We have the example of the bee (Latin: apes) which where frequently used this way as being associated with the idea of imitation.) - other broad categories?
- Dec 2021
The unwritten rule of Cybernetics seems to be - Maintain the homeostasis until you break it for the better. #Cybernetics #Ashby
This is a good rule of thumb for political science as well. Some of our issue in America right now is that we're seeing systemic racism and many want to change it, but we're not sure yet what to replace it with.
The renaissance created scholasticism which created a new system, but too tightly wound religion into the humanist movement. Similarly Englightement Europe and America subsumed the indigenous critique, which opened up ideas about equality and freedom which hadn't existed, but they still kept the structures of hierarchy which have caused immeasurable issues. These movements are worth studying to see how the new systems were created, but with an eye toward more careful development so as not to make things even worse generations later.