Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not great if they’re mostly male authors

That's the headline given to this letter from Linda C. Morrison of Newton to the editor of The Boston Globe regarding the Alex Beam column that was the subject of our earlier post. Her criticism is that a Great Books curriculum consists mostly of works by men, and works of European authors (or, we might say, authors from the Western World).
"We need to include the late medieval author Christine de Pizan; the medieval philosopher Hildegard of Bingen; the 18th-century physicist Emilie du Chatelet; the American feminist Margaret Fuller; the American social activist Jane Addams, and many others. ...

"Why the philosopher John Stuart Mill but not the author and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft? The American educational philosopher John Dewey but not Maria Montessori or Elizabeth Peabody? The Catholic theologian and philosopher Augustine, but not the theologian Mary Daly? The German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz but not the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu?

"... How can one include works by Jane Austen without adding a book or two from Tale of Genji, written in the 11th century by Murasaki Shikibu, a court woman in Heian Japan?"

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