Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Nation of Illiterate Zombies

I saw this cartoon by Oliphant in today's nytimes.

And asked, "Why do I think there is truth here?"

And answered: Because today's youth mostly abide in "the shallows." They lack critical thinking skills.

I googled, and found this.

"Many humanities professors have become disinclined to investigate with our students how we generate the values we believe in, or the norms according to which we go about our lives. In other words, we have been less interested in showing how we make a norm legitimate than in sharpening our tools for delegitimization. The philosopher Robert Pippin has recently made a similar point, and has described how evolutionary biology and psychology have moved into this terrain, explaining moral values as the product of the same dynamic that gives rise to the taste for sweets. Pippin argues, on the contrary, that "the practical autonomy of the normative is the proper terrain of the humanities," and he has an easy task of showing how the pseudoscientific evolutionary "explanation" of our moral choices is a pretty flimsy "just-so" story.
If we humanities professors saw ourselves more often as explorers of the normative than as critics of normativity, we would have a better chance to reconnect our intellectual work to broader currents in public culture."
- Michael Roth, "Beyond Critical Thinking"

I thought: "Beautiful!" Explanatory. It jives with my experience teaching critical thinking in college.