Literature/1987/Bloom

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Bloom, Allan (1987). The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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w: Allan Bloom
  • Bloom championed the idea of ' Great Books' education. [...] Although Bloom was characterized as a conservative in the popular media, Bloom explicitly stated that this was a misunderstanding, and made it clear that he was not to be affiliated with any conservative movements.

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w: The Closing of the American Mind #Closing of the American Mind
  • Bloom's Closing of the American Mind is a critique of the contemporary university and how Bloom sees it as failing its students. In it, Bloom criticizes analytic philosophy as a movement, "Professors of these schools simply would not and could not talk about anything important, and they themselves do not represent a philosophic life for the students." To a great extent, Bloom's criticism revolves around his belief that the "great books" of Western thought have been devalued as a source of wisdom. Bloom's critique extends beyond the university to speak to the general crisis in American society. "Closing of the American Mind" draws analogies between the United States and the Weimar Republic. The modern liberal philosophy, he says, enshrined in the Enlightenment thought of John Locke -- that a just society could be based upon self-interest alone, coupled by the emergence of relativism in American thought -- had led to this crisis.

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Gradient-optical-illusion.svg
The shade of the bar looks invariant in isolation but variant in context, in (favor of) sharp contrast with the color gradient background, hence an innate illusion we have to reasonably interpret and overcome as well as the mirage. Such variance appearing seasonably from context to context may not only be the case with our vision but worldview in general in practice indeed, whether a priori or a posteriori. Perhaps no worldview from nowhere, without any point of view or prejudice at all!

Ogden & Richards (1923) said, "All experience ... is either enjoyed or interpreted ... or both, and very little of it escapes some degree of interpretation."

H. G. Wells (1938) said, "The human individual is born now to live in a society for which his fundamental instincts are altogether inadequate."