Monday, January 12, 2015

On not treating cultural resources as capital

The PBS News Hour today had an interesting video story titled “Investing in America’s cultural capital,” which was an interview of the chairpersons of the National Endowment for the Arts (Julia Chu) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (William Adams—who has a PhD in philosophy).

Below, Part 1, I extract the passages from the interview which most interest me; then, Part 2 is a copy of my extended “Comment” online at the transcript, which is the motivation for this posting. Part 1 provides context.

My very short Part 3, “progressive pragmatism as grounded idealism,” links to Adams’ NEH policy speech, Nov. 2014 (whose mid-parts I recommend), which I discuss briefly. And I link to the new NEH “Common Good” project, which I want to discuss later.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

fundamentalism and philosophy (as therapeutic)

Firstly, I want to distinguish fundamentalism from extremism. Fundamentalism is a way of understanding that’s not necessarily pathological, though it’s inviting to pathological persons because fundamentalism is simplistic.

Yet, good might be done by bringing extremism back from the jungle to a non-violent fundamentalism—which implies that violent mental illness can be healed. I would not claim that extremism is best healed through fundamentalism! But fundamentalism is not inherently disposed to violence. Extremism is best healed through, first, standard psychiatry (if not correctional services), then through long-tern psychotherapy, maturation of self understanding, and realistic education. Gaining (or re-gaining) authentic spirituality is a normal aspect of professional psychotherapy. Yet, fundamentalism isn’t yet authentically spiritual, I would argue.