Chat with us, powered by LiveChat After reading the Pinar & Bowers article and reviewing the PowerPoint presentation, (1) Reflect on the key terms/concepts presented by Pinar and Bowers, and how do they relate to the field of politics of curriculum? (Be specific and address each key term/concept you identified) From Aronowitz and Giroux Chapter 2: (2) Compare Bloom’s and Hirsch’s educational reforms to education (Be Specific and provide examples from the chapter), and (3) Aronowitz and Giroux state on p. 52 that Hirsch and Bloom seem to promote a public philosophy informed by a crippling ethnocentricism. What are the implications of such a statement on pedagogy? (Be specific in your answer) PostModernEducation_Chapter_2.pdfPolitics_of_curriculum.pdf -

After reading the Pinar & Bowers article and reviewing the PowerPoint presentation, (1) Reflect on the key terms/concepts presented by Pinar and Bowers, and how do they relate to the field of politics of curriculum? (Be specific and address each key term/concept you identified) From Aronowitz and Giroux Chapter 2: (2) Compare Bloom’s and Hirsch’s educational reforms to education (Be Specific and provide examples from the chapter), and (3) Aronowitz and Giroux state on p. 52 that Hirsch and Bloom seem to promote a public philosophy informed by a crippling ethnocentricism. What are the implications of such a statement on pedagogy? (Be specific in your answer) PostModernEducation_Chapter_2.pdfPolitics_of_curriculum.pdf


After completing the weekly readings, provide a thorough response in your own words to the weekly questions posted below. Please make sure you submit a one-word document with all your answers. A minimum of 550 words and a maximum of 700 words (font size 12, single-spaced) are required for each complete assignment. Please follow APA format in your work. Please remember to include one or two sentences identifying the habits of mind Links to an external have used to promote the reflection of the readings.

  • After reading the Pinar & Bowers article and reviewing the PowerPoint presentation,
    • (1) Reflect on the key terms/concepts presented by Pinar and Bowers, and how do they relate to the field of politics of curriculum? (Be specific and address each key term/concept you identified)
  • From Aronowitz and Giroux Chapter 2:
  • (2) Compare Bloom’s and Hirsch’s educational reforms to education (Be Specific and provide examples from the chapter), and
  • (3) Aronowitz and Giroux state on p. 52 that Hirsch and Bloom seem to promote “a public philosophy informed by a crippling ethnocentricism”. What are the implications of such a statement on pedagogy? (Be specific in your answer)




Since the second term of the Reagan administration, the debate on edu­ cation has taken a new turn. Now, as before, the tone is principally set by ~he _right, but i~s position has been radically altered. The importance of linking educational reform to the needs of big business has contin­ ued to influence the debate, while demands that schools provide the ski lls necessary for domestic production and expanding capital abroad have slowly given way to an overriding emphasis on schools as sites of cultural production. The emphasis on cultural production can be seen in current attempts to address the issue of cu ltural literacy, in the de­ velopment of national cu rriculum boards, and in reform initiatives bent on providing students with the language, knowledge, and values necessary to preserve the essential traditions of Western civilization.1

The right's position on cultural production in the schools arises from a consensus that t he problems faced by the United States can no longer be reduced to those of educat ing students in the skills they will need to occupy jobs in more advanced and middle-range occupational levels in such areas as computer programming, financial analysis, and elec­ tronic machine repair.2 Instead, the emphasis must be switched to the current cultural crisis, which can be traced to the b roader ideological tenets of the progressive education movement that dominated the cur­ riculum after the Second World War. These include the pernicious doc­ trine of cultu ral relativism, according to which canonical texts of 1hc Western intellectual tradition may not lw lwld superior to olhN'>; 1lw



notion that student experience should qualify as a viable form of knowledge; and the idea that ethnic, racial, gender, and other rela­ tions play a significant role in accounting for the development and in­ fluence of mainstream intellectual culture. On this account , the 1960s proved disastrous to the preservation of the inherited virtues of West­ ern culture. Relativism systematically downgraded the value of key lit­ erary and philosophical traditions, giving equal weight to the dominant knowledge of the "Great Books" and to an emergent potpourri of "de­ graded" cultu ral attitudes. Allegedly, the last twenty years have w it­ nessed the virtual loss of those revered traditions that constitute the core of the Western heritage. The unfortunate legacy that has emerged has resulted in a generation of cultural illiterates. In this view, not only the American economy but civilization itself is at risk.

Allan Bloom (1987) and E. D. Hirsch (1987) represent different ver­ sions of the latest and most popular conservative thrust for educational rt•form. Each, in his own way, represents a frontal attack aimed at pro­ viding a programmatic language with which to defend schools as cul­ tural sites, that is, as institutions responsible for reproducing the knowledge and values necessary to advance the historical virtues of Western culture. Hirsch presents his view of cu ltural restoration lhrough a concept of literacy that focuses on the basic structures of l,1nguage, and applies this version of cultural l iteracy to the broader <onsideration of the needs of the business community, as well as to the 111aintenance of American institutions. His view of literacy represents ,In attack o n educational theories that validate student experience as a kt•y component of educat ional formation and curriculum develop­ trwnt. For Hirsch, the new service economy requires employees who 1 ln write a memo, read within a specific cultural context , and commu- 11lc-.1te through a national language composed of the key words of Wt•stcrn cultu re. In the same spirit, Bloom offers a much wider critique of t•ducation . Advancing a claim that schools have contributed to the l1111trumentalization of knowledge and that the popu lation has fallen vlt tlm to rampant relativism and anti-intellectualism, Bloom proposes a ~1•1 u•s of education reforms that privileges a fixed idea of Western cul- 1IU 1' o rganized around a core curricu lum based on the old Great llooks:

Of c mrr<,c, the only serious solution [for reform in higher Pd11c,1tlonf Is almost universally rejected: the good old Great llnok-. appro,l<'h, In which a liberal education means reading e 1 ,1.,111 1w1u 1r,1lly 111c ognl/t•d classical texts, just reading them, lc-111111-( the•111 die I.lie• wh,11 tlw qw•-;lion<, on• and the method of


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approachi,,g them – not forcing Il11•m 111111 111ft 14111h II 111o1l, 11 up, not treating them as histo rical prodt1111,1 hut 1tyI1111I11 1n11d them as their authors wished them to be ro~1d . • 1h11 111111 thing is certain: wherever the Great Books mako up , cc111Irnl part of the curriculum, the students are excited and satlsrled , feel they are doing something that is independent and fulfil ling, getting something from the university they cannot get elsewhere. The very fact of this special experience, which leads nowhere beyond itself, provides them with a new alternative and a respect for study itself. (344)


This propensity for making sweeping claims without even a shred of evidence raises serious questions about the nature of Bloom's position as well as the quality of his own scholarsh ip. Moreover, Bloom's posi ­ tion is hardly·novel. It has been with us since the Enl ightenment and has long been invoked as an argument for the reproduction o f elites. It is a position that advocates a social system in which a select cadre of intellectuals, economically p rivileged groups, and their professional servants are the only individuals deemed fit to possess the culture's sa­ cred canon of knowledge, which assures their supremacy.

Both of these books represent the logic of a new cultural offensive, one of the most elaborate conservative educational manifestos to ap­ pear in decades. But it is important to recognize that this offensive rep­ resents a form of textual authority that not only legitimates a particu lar version of Western civilization as well as an elitist notion of the canon, but also serves to exclude al l those other discourses, whether from the new social movements or from other sources of opposition, which at­ tempt to establish different grounds for the production and organiza­ tion of knowledge. In effect, the new cultural offensive is not to be un­ derstood simply as a right-wing argument for a particular version of Western civilization or as a defense for what is seen as a legitimate ac­ ademic canon; instead, both of these concerns have to be seen as part of a broader struggle over textual authority. In this case, the notion of textual authority is about the right-wing shift from the discourse of class to the broader relationship between knowledge and power, and the struggle to control the very grounds on which knowledge is pro­ duced and legitimated. What is at issue here is not simply how differ­ ent d iscourses function to reference particular forms of intellectual, ethical, and social relations but how power works as both a medium and outcome of what we might call a form of textual politics.

Textual authority is both pedagogical and political. As a social and historical construction, textual authority offers readers part icular sub­ ject positions, ideological references that provide but do not rigidly

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11..1, 1111lt1P p,utl, 111 11 Yh •w 1111111• world. A~"' pedagogical practice, the 11".t lw, 111 111• 11•111111111 111!11ply .,~ <• :,ludy in the production of ideology ltul " " p:11 I of ,1 wlcl111 i Ir n 1lI o f power that calls into play broader insti­ l11l lon,1I µractices and social structures. In effect, textual authority rep­ I1•~1•11ls the medium and outcome of a pedagogical struggle over the rnl,il lonship between knowledge and power as well as a struggle over tho construction and the development of the political subject. Need­ l1iss to say, Bloom and Hirsch represent forms of textual authority linked to a cultural practice that have broad implications for educa­ tional re form and for the wider crisis in democracy. We intend to ana­ lyze, in this chapter, the ideological and pedagogical content of these books in the context of the current debates, beginning with an analysis o f Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind.

Bloom's critique of American education does not address the indiffer­ ence of schools to the realities of the international marketplace, as in the old technicist discourse that reduces schooling to job training. In­ stead, Bloom attacks modernity, especially what he considers the ram­ pant relativism that marks the last one hundred years of Western his­ tory. Like Jose Ortega y Gasset, his illustrious predecessor, Bloom seeks to restore the dominance of Platonism-that is, the belief in the transhistorical permanence of forms of t ruth – to education. Where President Reagan's secretary of education, William Bennett, and the older elitists reiterated the call for "excellence," but never succeeded in articulating its substance, Bloom presents his proposals in more concrete terms.

Bloom's attack on liberal educational practice and the philosophy that underlies it is a sobering reminder that political and social analy­ ses, which have identified themselves with modernity as a critique of advanced industrial societies, constitute powerful weapons in the hands of both the right and the left. Here we have all the elements of an elitist sensibility: abhorrence of mass culture; a rejection of experi­ ence as the arbiter of taste and pedagogy; and a sweeping attack on what is called "cultural relativism," especially on those who want to place popular culture, ethnic and racially based cultures, and cultures grounded in sexual communities (either feminist or gay and lesbian) on a par with classical Western traditions. For conservatives, each of these elements represents a form of anti-intellectualism that threatens the moral authority of the state. Consequently, much more than eco­ nomic survival is at stake: at issue is the survival of Western civilization as it represents itself through 2,500 years of philosophy, historiography, and literature.

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Bloom's sweeping agcndJ i11h•11d1, lo 1•11111111,,11• 111111111 , ,, ,1•rlous object of knowledge. According to Bloom, till'< ul1111,1lt,1 p1·"p1•tllvc is what Plato meant by the allegory of the cave. We art' p111vu11ted from seeing the sunlight by culture, which is the enemy of what Bloom calls "openness." Although vaguely apologetic on the subject, Bloom ends up arguing that Western tradition is superior to non-Western cu ltures precisely because i ts referent is not "cultural" but is the universal and context-free love of wisdom; for the underlying ethic of Western civi­ lization, according to Bloom, is its capacity to transcend the immediate circumstances of daily life in order to reach the good life. Lower cul­ tures are inevitably tied to "local know ledge" – to family and commu­ nity values and beliefs, which are overwhelmingly context-specific. As it happened in the course of history, the Greeks managed to teach some thinkers-Bloom being one-the way to universal truth.

For Bloom, the teachings of Plato and Socrates provide the critical referents with which to excoriate contemporary culture. Bloom sys­ tematically devalues the music, sexuality, and pride of youth, and traces what he envisions as the gross excesses of the 1960s (the real ob­ ject of his attack) to the pernicious influence of German philosophy from Nietzsche to Heidegger as refracted through the mindless relativ­ ism of modernizers. Feminism is equated with " libertinism," or mak­ ing sex easy; "affirmative action now insti tutionalizes the worst aspects of separatism"; and rock music "has the beat of sexual intercourse" and cannot qualify, according to Bloom's Socratic standard, as a genu­ inely harmonic reconciliation of the soul with the passions of the body. Instead, rhythm and melody are viewed as a form of barbarism when they take on the explicit sexual coloration of modern rock music. For Bloom, popular culture, especially rock music, represents a new form of barbarism whose horror he conjures up in the image of a thirteen­ year-old boy watching MTV while listening to a Walkman radio:

He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child w hose body throbs with o rgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism o r the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes

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111i , 11 -.011tl11w11ts, In thl!. case, have been shaped by what he per-111 • 11 1v11'l , ,, ltullt ,1tlons of a serious moral and intellectual decline among 1

,11 ,1 111 youth: a challenge to authority formed by the stud~nt move-1111 1111,111" of tlw I960s and the levelin~ ideology of democratic reform 1 h,11,1c tt•ii'>tlc of radical intellectuals.

1ho!iC.' judgments merely provide a prologue to a ~uch more force­ ful ,,ncl unsparing attack on nihilism, w hich '. according to Bloom and hi., political and intellectual peerage, co~s1stently de_values_ s_c_hola_r­ .,11 ,p, or, in its more universal aspect, the hfe of_t~e '.11ind. N1h_1hsm in II loom's philosophy is a code word for the glonf1cat,on _o_f _act'.on an? power and represents the real threat to contempor_ary civ1hzat1on. ~1- hlllsm has a number of historical roots: the modernism of the good life that stresses pluralism and diversity; the vacillations of democracy that )('rmit the ignorant a degree of freedom that, in four undergraduate

1 years, students are not prepared to use; a fragmentat ion born out of the uncertainties of a moral order that cannot present to the young either a unified worldview or goals to overcome the greed of modern

_life; and, in a more politically charged context, the decad_e of the 1960s, which was marked by a flagrant disrespect for authority, espe­ cially the authority of the intellect. Here we have m_ore than_ the usual tepid porridge of conservative disco~rse. Bloom '.nvokes images of "chaos and decay" in the moral fabric of our society. However, the sources of decay are rarely seen to be economic and po litical. l~de~d, there is not a whisper of criticism of capitalis_m. _In fa~, cap,_tahsm appears only as a sidelight in Bloom's rather indirect d1scuss1on of

Marxism. , h1This brief description does not exhaust the breadth of B o~m ~ . y- perbolic tirade. Our concern, of course, is focused on Bloom s v1s1on of the crucial role schools can perform in correcting the cu_rrent state of academic and public national culture he so roundly despises,- Natu­ rally, Bloom does not expect all schools to parti~ipate in reversing <_>Ur count ry's spiritual malaise. The task falls to the l1terall~ twenty or thirty first-rate colleges and universities that are ~les_se? with the best stu­ dents but are regrettably frittering away their mIss1on to restore to the West the mant le of greatness. .

Commanding his minions to revise radic~lly _the curncu~um'. to purge it of allusions to student experience (which, in any case, 1s ~1~ed in ignorance), Bloom seeks to rid the classroom of cultur~I- relativism and of all those areas of st udy that do not venerate t he traditions of the


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p•,st. Bloo m's call for curriculum rcforrn Is d1•,11 , I 1111 tit, 1111111 111 tltt• seexual, racial, and cultural revolution lhal anlr11.it11d 1111 • 1•111 •1,111011 11 'v,.,lno confronted the white men at the Pentagon and at olltrn lnstitu­ ~i,ons of e~onomic, polit ical, and cu ltu ral power twenty years ago. Re- 1rn1tate Latin as the l ingua franca of learning and transmit Western civ­ il iizition through the one hundred greatest books that embody its S)#'!lem of values.

()f course, the state universities and colleges are now populated by th'lecasualties of contemporary culture: large numbers of ch ildren of d iiiiorced parents, who are portrayed by Bloom as unfortunate – even tr;·agic- products of current conditions; blacks and other minorities "V 'hose university experience is " different from that of other students" bE:B".;wse of their history of "disadvantage," and whose dedication is, e:,.,<~pt in rare instances, not to learning but to practical advantage; and di 1spirited faculty members whose dreams of l iving in a community of sc::holars have been destroyed by the "interruptions" o f modern social Problems. For Bloom, these conditions disqualify the state universities a_nio colleges as appropriate sites for professors and students to expe­ rience the awe and wonder o f confronting the "great minds" of the ag;es.

It would be too easy to dismiss th is frankly aristocratic vision of edu­ C:a·tion as simply an effort to establish a new status quo conforming to Cl.ark Kerr's model : a three-tier postsecondary education system in whth theoretical knowledge is confined to the Ivy League institutions an .<l major state universities – principally the University o f California at, <i some of the Big Ten – and private institutions such as Ch icago, t?ute, and Emo ry. But th is would not do justice to the political inte n­ ti04n in the neoconservatives' attack on higher education, or compre­ he nd the danger and novelty o f their argument.

For, un like Irving Kristol's rantings against the 1960s New Left (who "Ve1e trying to create an "adversary culture" in opposition to the su ­ P.-e,))ely democrat ic and capitalist society that had become America), Blc:iom joins Hilton Kramer and t he professors of the Cold War intel li­ g~~tsia of the 1950s in advocating a return to the age of the medieval Sc:J-tnolmen, or at least to the high European cultu re of the nineteenth c:~ n :t.,ry. Rather than praising democracy, he yearns for t he retu rn of a 11'1co1e rigidly stratified civilizat ion in which the crowd is contained ~ithn the land of the marketplace and its pleasures are confined to the ritualsof the carn ival . W hat he wants to exclude are the majority o f thie PC>lflUlation from t he precincts of reason. At the same time, he would dn….,1 the vox populi from the genuine academy where the Absolut:e Sp i it should f ind a home, but does not, because of the confusion that

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11 IH"" ,1111hhl the cl,111w 11111 ,111d 11,,ht,y ll1ll11t•11(u o f the discourses of 111 1,,1, 0111111111111•111 , p11l1111 , ,111111•qu,1llly. Uloom identifies the impulse

I•, ,,g,1111,11l.1111.,,11 ' ' "' 111,, c lih•I ( ulprit in the decay of higher learning, as w1•II " " tlio worst lrnp,,i.~l' of democracy. But university administrators 111•,11 oqual rcsponslblllty for pandering to these base motives. Instead 111 lt•1-llr1g bound by tradit ion to transmit the higher learning, which, ,lil(•r sill, is the repository of what is valuable in schooling, they gave 1w,1y t·hc store. Universities lost their way in the scandal that is culture.

Pluralists and democrats might dismiss these elitist ruminations witho ut grasping the valid elements of the complaint. For there can be 111, doubt that the reception that Bloom's book has enjoyed signifies 1ha1 he has struck the elitists' collective nerve. Intellectuals are uneasy ,1bout their role as teachers because their own experiences, interests, ,ind values seem profoundly at odds with the several generations they have taught since the 1960s. But even more searing is their growing feeling of irrelevance, not only w ith respect to the process of educa­ tion, b ut also with respect to their role in public life.

In Bloom's exegesis, the past must p lay a crucial role in the formu­ lation of the future. Intellectuals are to join in a classical evocation of a mythically integrated civil ization that becomes the vantage point from .which to criticize the current situation. In all o f its versions, the inte­ grated past is marked by the existence of a community of the spirit; it is a time when at least a minority was able to search for the good and the true, unhampered by temporal considerations such as making a living. For the idyllic past is always constructed in the images of le isure, or, to be more fair, in an environment whe~e society provides a sufficient so­ cial surp lus to support a priest class, or their secu lar equivalents. In contrast, t he contemporary construction of the intellectual is on the model of technical thought rather t~an pure reason. The intellectual transmits algorithms rather t han ideas, and o rients students to careers rather than criticizing the social structure.

Bloom's attack o n higher education conveniently excludes the de­ gree to which the existing arrangements of social and economic power have contributed to the shaping of the intellectual life that he so stri­ dently laments. What Bloom fails to mention in h is attack on the ser­ vants of higher educat ion is t hat the disappearance of political intellec­ tuals corresponds to the passing of politics from "public" life. Educational institutions, once charged w ith the task of providing a little learning to ruling elites and providing them with a mandarin class, have assumed a crucial p lace in the economic and cultural order. Their task is no longer to preserve c ivilization as it has been defined by the Greek and Roman aristocracies; these institutions are now filled with

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knowlcdge-produu•r s, who, It, ,1dv,11u 1•d 1 ,1pl1,,lI-.1 111 It 11, h,,w Ill' come part o f the process of material and sod.ti r11pr11d11, 111111 I Ir•• ld<•n of the intellectual as adversary of the dominant cultur1• 1-. 11t11•rly for eign to current arrangements (for example, the president of Barnard College, a former corporate lawyer, appeared on television comment­ ing as an insider on the stock market crash and barely referred to her role as educator except to observe that students were calling home and nervously asking their parents, " How are we doing?").

In his last chapter Bloom alludes to business civilization and de­ scribes negatively the way economics has overwhelmed the social sci­ ences in "serious" universities (taking the place once held by sociol­ ogy in the days w hen students desired to help other people rather than looking out for themselves). Sounding like a member of the Frankfurt school of critical theory, Bloom even manages to criticize the belief, common among natural scientists, that their disciplines yield the only "real" knowledge. Characteristically, Bloom appeals to the elite schools to introduce philosophy as a key component of liberal educa­ tion in order to counter the threat to higher education being posed by the rigid empiricisms of economics and natural science.

The tension between t radition and innovation plagues all who are seriously concerned with education. But Bloom refuses to go beyond scapegoating to ask how classical texts have fai led to address the gen­ erations that came into postsecondary education after the Second World War: why Latin and Greek were no longer deemed essential for even the elite university curricula; why students, administrators, and the overwhelming majority of faculty came to view universities as de­ gree mills, at worst, or at best as places where the enterprising student could be expected to receive a good reading list. These questions can­ not be addressed, much less answered, by invective.

The conservative appeal to the past becomes an ideological flag car­ ried against the future. It is not that the relativists, of both left and lib­ eral persuasions, want to destroy the spirit and form of Western cul­ tural heritage. Rather, they seek to reveal how such a heritage has often been employed as a weapon against those who would democratize in­ stitutions, who would change relations of power. Every achievement of civilization – the pyramids, great works of Greek philosophy and sci­ ence, the wonderful representations of the human body and the soul that emerged during the Renaissance-has been built on the backs of slaves, or on the labor of a faraway peasantry, in short, on a material foundation that undermines the notion of an uncomplicated marriage between high culture and humanism. Ignoring this fact, as Walter Ben­ jamin reminds us, helps to sustain the culture and civilization in

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H••111•1,,I I t 111 thl11 ,, n 1111 th, 11,1,,,111011 ••H••lmt privilege is frequently ,11, 11111p,111lc•cl lty ,111 ,111 ,, ~ ,111,1111,1 Ilw Intellectuals. What oppressed I 11•11plc• 11r111Pr ,1,111cl 111•!11•1 lh,111 most is that intellectuals are typically ….,v.111I-. of tlw 111IKhly, they ohcn provide legitimacy for deeds of

1.111•, pilv,1tc violonn•, .ind exploitation. This, of course, is the mean­ Ing o( the argument that every achievement of high culture is preceded hy tht' blood of those who make it possible.

When Bloom calls for reviving Latin as a requirement for educated youth, he opposes one of the crucial reforms of the e!ghteenth- and nineteenth-century democratic revolutions: the establ ishment of the vernacular as the language not only of commerce and manufacture but also of public life, literature, and philosophy. His fealty to classical texts excludes the Presocratics and Aristotle and focuses instead on Socrates and his disciple Plato precisely because of their attempt to separate truth from knowledge. Truth in Plato's Symposium requires no external object for its justification but refers instead to itself, particularly to pu­ rity of form. Knowledge is always one-sided, referring to an external object. l t constitutes a representation of things and not, in Pla:o's terms, the things themselves. This distinction was challenged dunng the Enlightenment, when, increasingly, truth and knowledge began to have the same external referent; subjectivity was removed from the realm of science and occupied, as did ethics, psychology, and philos- ophy, a quasi-religious margin. .

The virtue of Bloom's t irade, despite its reactionary content, ,s to re­ mind us of what has been lost in the drive for rationalization, for the supremacy of science over philosophy, history over eternal essences. That is, a twentieth-century obsession, to both define and celebrate history as an evolutionary mode of ideological and material progress produced through the marriage of science and technology, has r~­ sulted in a refusal to give primacy to the important and problematic relationship of truth, power, and knowledge. From the point of view of a conservative for whom the past is all that is worth preserving, the consequences of Enlightenment ideology find their apogee in the bru­ tality of the cultural revolutions of 1789 and 1968; but of course he for­ gets to mention the response of traditional Sch?olmen to Galile~'s dis­ coveries. The intellect, in this case, defends itself by threatening to obliterate its adversaries.

The historical legacy of technicization has been to turn universities into training institutions, which creates few spaces for intellectuals. Within the ranks of the democratic professoriate, a debate often rages between those who spurn the elitism that emanates from the new con­ servative attack on affirmative action, open admissions, and student-

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centered learning, and o lhl1 I1, who would tt y 1111•l1,111 1111 , 1 ,,,If .,..,v ing hal!-truths from Bloom's critique of coI1tp11II1111,1t ) pn'1l'11•10111l,11y education (for example, open admissions is dc trlmonl 11 lo q11,1llty odu cation, affirmative action is unfairly discriminatory, and so forlh).

What must be accepted in Bloom's discourse is that anti-intellectu­ alism in American education is rampant, influencing even those whos(' intentions are actually opposed to closing the doors to genuine learn­ ing. We know that the environment in most universities is inimical to broadly .based, philosophically informed scholarship and dialogue concerning burning questions of politics and culture. In a few places, !ibe~al and radical intellectuals are building microinstitutions (centers, institutes, programs) w ithin the universities as outposts that attempt to resist the larger trends toward instrumentalized curricula. These pro­ grams wisely accept that they are engaged in an intellectual as well as a political project; but, for the most part, their influence is confined to t he already initiated.

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