How do we know?

Once again, the latest Dissent magazine (fall 2012) has a number of great articles on education–and related issues. David Marcus on The Horizontalists fascinated me. He asks, “Why do we think we know better?” in the context of democratic decision making, Here’s his quote from Clifford Geerts: “What we need are not enormous ideas…but ways of thinking that are responsive to particularities, to individualities, oddities, discontinuities, contrasts, and singularities.”

When folks asked us what our “discipline policy” was at CPE, we said, “one at a time–depending…” Or as Michael Walzer argued, “We have to start from where we are” and ask “what is the right thing for us to do?”

I agree–that’s my default position. But what about….. Can we operate on two levels–remembering always that we need to defend taking away liberties, because….. Rather than start there?

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