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Higher Education in the Making
Pragmatism, Whitehead, and the Canon
Higher Education in the Making
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George Allan - Author
SUNY series in Constructive Postmodern Thought
Price: $45.00 
Hardcover - 262 pages
Release Date: February 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-5989-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5989-8

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Price: $26.95 
Paperback - 262 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-5990-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5990-4

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Argues for a pragmatic canon always in need of renovation.

George Allan argues that the so-called "culture wars" in higher education are the result of the dogmatic and unyielding certainty that both canonists and anti-canonists bring to any discussion of how best to organize an undergraduate curriculum. He then proposes a middle way. Drawing from William James, John Dewey, and Alfred North Whitehead, he contrasts the absolutist claims of both canonists and anti-canonists with a fallibilist approach and argues for a more pragmatic canon that is normative and always in need of renovation.

A wide variety of voices are heard in Allan's conversation about the nature and meaning of an education canon, including philosophers Aristotle, Descartes, Arthur Lovejoy, Hannah Arendt, Spengler, Emerson, Lyotard, and Rorty. Contemporary voices include Eva Brann, Charles Anderson, Francis Oakley, Martha Nussbaum, Gerald Graff, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Bill Readings.

"Allan writes with clarity and engagement about issues of fundamental importance. This is a provocative and well-argued book." — John B. Bennett, author of Collegial Professionalism: The Academy, Individualism, and the Common Good

"This book brings forth a solid and fruitful discussion of the future of the American canon. Allan does an excellent job in explaining all sides of the debate and making a good case for each one of them." — Cornelis de Waal, author of On Mead

George Allan is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Dickinson College. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Patterns of the Present: Interpreting the Authority of Form, published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Series Introduction

1. Crumbling Cathedrals

2. Content Canonists

3. Procedural Canonists

4. Anti-Canonists

5. Relative Canonists

6. Canonical Dynamics

7. Canonical Dialectics

8. Pragmatic Canonists

9. Education for a Democracy

10. Religious Education

11. Education for Our Common Good

12. Cathedral Ruins

13. Constructive Pragmatics

Works Cited

Note on Supporting Center

Index

SUNY Series in Constructive Postmodern Thought



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