Monday, October 15, 2012

Teaching Aristotle Today

    A former colleague of mine who teaches political theory observed that it’s now impossible to teach students about Aristotle’s conception of the family as a household. The kids get annoyed that an ancient Greek thinker held such a skewed view of family relations. It makes no sense, for example, that an aging dude was put in charge of other family members. After all, women should be wage-earners as well as make their own decision about reproductive rights. One young Brazilian exchange student went ballistic when the instructor failed to scold Aristotle for not discussing gay marriage. Isn’t this about family togetherness, the student asked, an attitude we should be praising instead of ignoring?
An excerpt from Paul Gottfried's latest — Charles Murray’s Fatal Conceit.

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Truly, "The ceremony of innocence is drowned"

But it could even be worse I suppose -

If I recall correctly, I think Eric Voegelin reported that one time when he was teaching a political theory class in a rather tumultuous place (not the USA?), one of his students who was intrigued by his lecture flatly and unflinchingly told him that once his (the student's) generation comes to power, Voegein would have to be killed for these ideas.

That, of course, was at a time when most kids weren't on acne or anti-depressent medication, so thankfully none of them acted upon it. But man - talk about "academic freedom"!

October 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM  

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