Hello Chris & Ken,
1st off, thank you for the clarification. My mistake - I misinterpreted the word. I must confess, I did not read the first few posts of that string - my perpetually jetlagged busyness has cost me quite a bit of rigor here. I therefore interpreted the word according to my sometimes tumultuous experience in a half-dozen or so universities that I have received degrees and post graduate degrees from. Most of these institutions were very leftist and self-proclaimed 'liberals'; as in overtly liberal leftist thinking. I took a couple of courses in critical thinking and deductive process without mention of the historical term of liberal as you put it. Mind you I was educated in a postcolonial world mindset in North America, Europe and UK: I'm barely 30odd with interests in molecular physics, mathematics/probability - not much to do with this topic. Needless to say, as a scientist/inventor etc. eventually, I was clearly not at home amongst these hardline socialists (some
communist) who proclaimed ownership of the term 'liberal' as such. Ironic, some might say.
My experience with conservatives is very different than yours. I have found more bigots on the 'left' than on the 'right'. I myself, can not consider myself either. I think they both have some decent intentions. But as for practical solutions.... that's a whole new debate.
I believe the role of relativism however, is largely taken for granted. Would you not say that most people, at least in our circles, are more relativistic in their deductive process than purely deductive logic would warrant? Perhaps this is a bold thing to say but I would be interested to know your thoughts, perhaps in another string.
Nonetheless, I'm no expert in this field. Interesting topics indeed.
Chris Rust <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dr. Joseph Chiodo wrote:
> Most fundamentalist or neo-liberals however, are too simply minded in their constructs to notice...
Sorry Joe, I'm afraid you are perpetuating the problem here. I am
concerned about our responsibility, as academics and researchers, to be
What I was trying to say, in my oblique British way, is that terminology
can be very misleading, especially in an international arena. The very
term "neo-liberal" would be an oxymoron in my country where political
Liberals are soft-left with an undercurrent of Adam Smith. In Australia
the Liberal Party is the most right-leaning mainstream party which would
probably have some ideas in common with the Republicans in the USA.
"Liberal" and "libertarian" do connect. As you look around the world you
see that the idea of liberalism has been very liberally interpreted.
And liberal education, or liberal arts education, which I've always been
told is the foundation of US university education, is nothing to do with
the kind of political thinking that seem to be implied by the term
liberal in that country. It implies a broad foundation of knowledge
rather than a specialism and I assume it produced George Bush and Dick
Cheney as well as more "liberal" thinkers. If such a foundation leads
people to question demagoguery that's a consequence of education and
awareness. I read a while ago that people with a higher education are
less likely to be racist - in my book that means they are more liberal
(ie open-minded and inclusive) and better for it. If you have a
different specialist definition of the word, as a researcher, I'm afraid
you have to be precise about that and aware of the possibility of confusion.
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