Commonplace Book #53

To think about thinkers and texts and to think with them: this is conversation, the conversation of the present with its own past.  To think only about a text and to claim that one cannot, as an academic, responsibly think with it: this is Weberianism.  Weberian academics ask only whether what someone says about what a text means is true or false and what such a saying might imply.  Tradition-minded academics ask these questions too, but they may also ask whether what a text says about how we are to live and what we are to do is true or false. Tradition-minded academics will not agree about the answers to these latter questions, but they can and should agree, against the Weberians, that such questions should be asked and answered truthfully throughout the academy.  And in the course of this latter process, academics would most definitely help students “lead more ethical, fulfilling lives.” 

Mark Schwehn, Exiles from Eden, 18.

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