Woodrow Wilson & Princeton — He Gets Purged from it? Higher Ed Gets Dumber | National Review Online

Haidt is surely right the most endangered species of diversity on campus these days is political diversity. To which I would add: genuine moral and religious diversity. He’s also probably right that things will get worse before they get better.

So why is Haidt the best or most realistic of the evolutionary psychologists? His undergraduate major was philosophy! Take that, Senator Rubio!

Source: Woodrow Wilson & Princeton — He Gets Purged from it? Higher Ed Gets Dumber | National Review Online

The American Scholar: The Allure of the Intuitive – Jessica Love

As neuroscience becomes increasingly sophisticated, psychologists, too, will have to begin speaking the language of chemicals and synapses and circuitry. Here’s something I don’t think people outside the field realize: at the moment most cognitive psychologists go about their work as though neuroscience doesn’t exist. Sure, we occasionally speak of theories being “consistent with” our current understanding of neuroscience. Yes, we all have colleagues who scan brains or map sea slug neuroanatomy. But do we really engage? Does it affect our research agenda? Do we invite these colleagues out for drinks? We do not. But eventually we—like those who take comfort in Just-So stories about human nature—will have to reckon with important, provocative theories about mental states that will never feel in the least intuitive, or even understandable.

via The American Scholar: The Allure of the Intuitive – Jessica Love.

One of the things that Whitman insists on is that everything is true for “I”—for the person speaking—is true for any other person also. So that the celebration of self is also the celebration, by extension, of all other human beings. That would imply respect. And it would imply reverence. It would imply real, fair-minded attention to the beliefs of others. I think all of those things are more and more conspicuously absent from the way that things are done in this country. And it’s a terrible loss.

There is no sacred “We” but one that acknowledges that sanctity of any “I.” And I think that one of the things that’s destroying this is the impulse to draw battle lines. This is certainly coming from the culture that identifies itself as “religious” as much as it’s coming from anywhere (perhaps more, at this point). People simply have an impulse to standardize themselves to one model or another that’s presented to them as desirable.

But another thing is the therapeutic culture that built up around the self, and made people consider themselves frighteningly prone to illness or invalidism, afraid of their own thoughts, afraid of their own emotions. Afraid to let idiosyncrasy develop in themselves. I think when you’re afraid of your mind, afraid of your thoughts, it’s more likely to become something to be afraid of. And then the best part of it, the amazing part of the mind, is basically suppressed. I don’t want to over-generalize, but I think that often happens.

Marilynne Robinson, Marilynne Robinson on Democracy, Reading, and Religion in America

One of the things that Whitman insists on is that everything is true for “I”—for the person speaking—is true for any other person also. So that the celebration of self is also the celebration, by extension, of all other human beings. That would imply respect. And it would imply reverence. It would imply real, fair-minded attention to the beliefs of others. I think all of those things are more and more conspicuously absent from the way that things are done in this country. And it’s a terrible loss.

There is no sacred “We” but one that acknowledges that sanctity of any “I.” And I think that one of the things that’s destroying this is the impulse to draw battle lines. This is certainly coming from the culture that identifies itself as “religious” as much as it’s coming from anywhere (perhaps more, at this point). People simply have an impulse to standardize themselves to one model or another that’s presented to them as desirable.

But another thing is the therapeutic culture that built up around the self, and made people consider themselves frighteningly prone to illness or invalidism, afraid of their own thoughts, afraid of their own emotions. Afraid to let idiosyncrasy develop in themselves. I think when you’re afraid of your mind, afraid of your thoughts, it’s more likely to become something to be afraid of. And then the best part of it, the amazing part of the mind, is basically suppressed. I don’t want to over-generalize, but I think that often happens.

Marilynne Robinson, Marilynne Robinson on Democracy, Reading, and Religion in America

Article: Essay – The Rap on Happiness – NYTimes.com

Essay – The Rap on Happiness – NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/books/review/Bloom-t.html

The real problem with happiness is neither its pursuers nor their books; it’s happiness itself. Happiness is like beauty: part of its glory lies in its transience. It is deep but often brief (as Frost would have it), and much great prose and poetry make note of this. Frank Kermode wrote, “It seems there is a sort of calamity built into the texture of life.” To hold happiness is to hold the understanding that the world passes away from us, that the petals fall and the beloved dies. No amount of mockery, no amount of fashionable scowling will keep any of us from knowing and savoring the pleasure of the sun on our faces or save us from the adult understanding that it cannot last forever.

(via Instapaper)