This paper argues that liberalism and communitarianism provide views of the moral life that are both too narrow. Communitarianism roots the moral life in the norms of particular communities. Liberals argue that communitarianism is likely to be parochial and sectarian. Liberalism has sought for norms that are universal and generalizable. Communitarians claim that liberalism is a "view from nowhere" that is more likely to produce rootlessness and anomie than justice . This paper seeks for a "space between". Its principle claim (...) is that moral capacities such as empathy and sympathy and conceptions such as kindness and decency occupy a space between liberalism and communitarianism because, while they depend on attachments more than principles, they are evoked by characteristics of others that are not rooted in group membership or shared identities. (shrink)
Schools in liberal societies are responsible for producing liberal citizens. However, if they have too robust a view of citizenship, they may find themselves undermining the view of good lives held by many pacific and law abiding groups. Here I argue against treating citizenship as an educational good that simply trumps private values when they conflict and in favor of a view that seeks a context sensitive balance between such conflicting goods. The paper explores Rawls's distinction between two moral powers (...) as a way of understanding the character of some of the private interests in schooling. (shrink)
Strike explores the differences between Marxists and liberals over the nature of the good life, about how human beings are formed, and about episemology, and uses these discussions to explore views of schooling.
Kenneth Strike’s essay on pluralism, personal identity, and freedom of conscience, takes up the concept of identity, and contrasts cultural and religious pluralism. He argues that the issues of affiliational obligation and recognition are often different in these two types of pluralism, and that religious groups are often asking for something very different from cultural groups. Strike makes a case for a more fluid conception of the idea of identity and against its essentialist form; he holds, e.g. that some of (...) his affiliations are stronger than others and more tied to his sense of a larger self, but it is questionable, he argues, whether any of these affiliations could not be re-evaluated without loss of the larger idea of the self. Strike does allow that members of groups more oppressed than his might certainly rally around the attributes that they hold in common, and he is sympathetic to this strategic function of identity. Nevertheless, he wants to hold onto the individualized and phenomenological conception of identity: identity is whatever the agent feels it to be. (shrink)