A Portion of Reason

Overview

This book is a collection of essays that examine various subjects in which unreasonableness or low standards of rationality substitute sentimentality for sober thought and thereby restrict action. The essays defend the interconnected values of reasonableness and freedom. Contents: Introduction; Method: Irrationality; Morality: Taking Morality Seriously; Vulgarity; Justice, Merit, and the Good; Science and Animal Experimentation; Education: The Irrelevance of Relevance; The Cult of Anti-Rationalism in Education; ...
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Overview

This book is a collection of essays that examine various subjects in which unreasonableness or low standards of rationality substitute sentimentality for sober thought and thereby restrict action. The essays defend the interconnected values of reasonableness and freedom. Contents: Introduction; Method: Irrationality; Morality: Taking Morality Seriously; Vulgarity; Justice, Merit, and the Good; Science and Animal Experimentation; Education: The Irrelevance of Relevance; The Cult of Anti-Rationalism in Education; Knowledge in a University; Reflections of An Elitist; Can the Humanities Help Us?; Words Without Thought; The Captive University; Society: Petty Despotism; Macmillan Publishing Company on Sex and Race; Marcuse's One-Dimensional Vision; More Clothes for the Emperor: 'Mental Health'; Should We Try to Breed Better People?; About Pornography; Life: Death and Dignity.
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Editorial Reviews

Sidney Gendin
An outstanding commentary on a wide range of social issues. It is an excellent continuation of many themes developed by Sidney Hook. The lucidity and depth of the treatment would have impressed Hook himself.
Library Journal
Hoffman's unifying concern in these 18 essays--written over the past 20 years--is values: what things are good, what bad. He considers, among other subjects, the proper method of reasoning, the nature of morality, the responsibilities of students and faculty in higher education, the role of the university, the nature of contemporary American society, reverse discrimination, mental health, homosexuality, animal experimentation, genetic engineering, pornography, and ``death and dignity.'' In all of these Hoffman philosophy, CUNY has some very definite opinions. Unfortunately, although he demonstrates a wide-ranging knowledge of philosophy, history, and literature, the tone is too often censorious, and the philosophical analyses are not developed as fully as they could be. A marginal purchase.-- Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Mgt. Lib., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819187673
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 3/25/1993
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hoffman is Professor of Philosophy at the York College of CUNY in Jamaica, New York.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction 1
Method
1 Irrationality 19
Morality
2 Taking Morality Seriously 49
3 Vulgarity 77
4 Justice, Merit, and the Good 93
5 Science and Animal Experimentation 111
Education
6 The Irrelevance of Relevance 137
7 The Cult of Anti-Rationalism in Education 153
8 Knowledge in a University 161
9 Reflections of an Elitist 165
10 Can the Humanities Help Us? 173
11 Words Without Thought 189
12 The Captive University 213
Society
13 Petty Despotism: Macmillan Publishing Company on Sex and Race 235
14 Marcuse's One-Dimensional Vision 247
15 More Clothes for the Emperor: 'Mental Health' 275
16 Should We Try To Breed Better People? 303
17 About Pornography 335
Life
18 Death and Dignity 371
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