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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Follow up on Theodicy

Here are some links apropos of my last post "Theodicy". The first 3 links are philosophical in nature and the last is a book link by a guy I saw on CNN that I liked. From the description of Arum's book , it looks like a good analysis of the concrete history of how teachers have lost disciplinary tools through decades of bad court decisions. The first link is Peikoff's fascinating lecture theorizing that schizophrenia is a recent phenomena related to modern philosophy's attack on reason.

("Modernism and Madness", Dr. Leonard Peikoff, 1993) Is there a connection between schizophrenia—"the low point of the human mind"—and culture—"the height of human achievement"?

("What To Do About Crime", Dr. Leonard Peikoff, 1995) Is crime a philosophical phenomenon? Seeking a rational explanation for the epidemic of crime, Dr. Peikoff takes the approach of a scientific researcher: he examines the essential characteristics of typical criminals—and inductively identifies their common principles.

("Postmodernism", Dr. Robert Garmong) Postmodernism is the dead-end of the Kantian war on reason and is the driving force behind today's nihilistic collectivist movements. Postmodernism openly and brazenly rejects the need for reason, logic and values. Dr. Garmong shows how it arose, philosophically, and its destructive effects on literature, architecture and politics. This course will help arm you to understand and combat the evils that are tearing apart Western civilization today.

(Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority, Richard Arum, 2005)
Reprimand a class comic, restrain a bully, dismiss a student for brazen attire--and you may be facing a lawsuit, costly regardless of the result. This reality for today's teachers and administrators has made the issue of school discipline more difficult than ever before--and public education thus more precarious. This is the troubling message delivered in Judging School Discipline, a powerfully reasoned account of how decades of mostly well-intended litigation have eroded the moral authority of teachers and principals and degraded the quality of American education.

Richard Arum and his colleagues also examine several decades of data on schools to show striking and widespread relationships among court leanings, disciplinary practices, and student outcomes; they argue that the threat of lawsuits restrains teachers and administrators from taking control of disorderly and even dangerous situations in ways the public would support.

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