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Differing Worldviews in Higher Education [Paperback]

Four Arrows , Walter Block

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Book Description

Nov. 9 2010
Two noted professors on opposite sides of the cultural wars come together and engage in "cooperative argumentation." One, a "Jewish, atheist libertarian" and the other a "mixed blood American Indian" bring to the table two radically different worldviews to bear on the role of colleges and universities in studying social and ecological justice. The result is an entertaining and enlightening journey that reveals surprising connections and previously misunderstood rationales that may be at the root of a world too polarized to function sanely. "How refreshing to read a debate between a libertarian and a progressive where the participants are not trying to one-up each other or score debating points but simply trying to present an intellectually rigorous case for their philosophy, respectfully debate their differences, learn from each other, and hopefully find common ground." -Dr. Ron Paul, (R) Congressman, 14th District, TX

Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Sense Publishers (Nov. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9460913504
  • ISBN-13: 978-9460913501
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,155,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air (courtesy of the free market of course!) Jan. 5 2011
By J. Nitti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'll admit, I am a Walter Block fanboy. I've had more "Ah ha!" moments reading Block than most writers. I credit Ayn Rand for converting me to libertarianism (much to her dismay, I'm sure) and credit Block for offering me the "red pill" of Austro-Anarcho Libertarianism. Needless to say, I was instantly drawn to this collaborative book. And I absolutely thank Four Arrows for it was his idea to co-author a book where intellectuals with opposing ideologies could "cooperatively argue" (although he mistakenly assumed Block was a right-wing conservative before they began writing). And yes, I expected this book's final chapter to read "Four Arrows: Why I'm now a libertarian", but not so fast. Four Arrows is intelligently analytical and sharp. It's refreshing to hear more articulate counter-arguments to libertarian beliefs. Four Arrows asked questions that had me on the edge of my seat, eager to read Block's rebuttals. But in the end, this book only further reinforced my principles as a Rothbardian libertarian. One of the most significant lessons I learned from this book is that we all should recognize the importance of definitions. Particularly when we throw around words like "capitalism", "aggression", even "libertarianism" (to name a few).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for those who'd enjoy reading two good, smart people debate--even if you don't end up changing your mind about the issues Aug. 24 2011
By Marty Nemko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is arguing at its finest:

Two people with totally different world views: Jewish-atheist libertarian and Native-American-leftist
Two people with excellent reasoning skills
Two people with a commitment to hear each other well, respond on the merits, and change their views where appropriate.
Two people whose goal is pure: to make the world better.

And yet neither of them changed much through the process of writing this debate with each other. That, in my view, is testimony to how difficult it is to change anyone...about anything.

So yes, read this book, but probably not to have your mind changed. Read it for the pure enjoyment of experiencing high-quality, ethically conducted debate. You'll probably come away only believing what you believed when you started reading the book, but you'll enjoy it. Tip: This is not a book to be rushed through. It's the kind of book you might, for example, want to take on vacation when the voice of "I need to do X" is softer. While the writing is accessible, the arguments are densely made so take your time. Savor.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Wisdom Relevant to Modern Day Infrastructure Aug. 12 2011
By Mihir Shah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, Ph.D., Ed.D. and Walter Block, Ph.D. are the authors of this fascinating compilation of research and cooperative argumentation. The authors explore numerous topics in an attempt to pursue the truth and gain a better, more comprehensive understanding of the subject, as well as other viewpoints. The idea of cooperative argumentation, particularly the way it is presented in the book, is intriguing. Instead of arguing for the sole purpose of prevailing as victors, the authors use each other's arguments to augment their own and subsequently, the readers' understanding--in order to gain a better perspective of the topic in question.

The authors are essentially worlds apart in their viewpoints: one is a Native American with an indigenous worldview and a liberal inclination, while another is a Jewish atheist with a Western worldview and a libertarian orientation. Nevertheless, this drastic dichotomy and critical, brutally honest argument is what makes the discussions enticing, meaningful, and most importantly, genuine.

The central question revolves around, "Should colleges and universities be in the business of addressing social and ecological justice and all the concepts embraced by it?" The format of the text is straightforward and easy to comprehend, beginning with an overview of the topics; from there the studies become more analytic in nature. In addition, the authors include reflective quotes at the beginning of each chapter to inspire thinking. An excerpt of memorable quotes includes "argumentation should be valued as the elixir of life of participatory democracy," and a reference to Will Rogers' pearl of wisdom, "everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

Dr. Block's passionate support for "the free market" contrasts sharply with Four Arrows' commitment to respect for interconnectedness in many ways, but the two authors have also found much common ground and have each modified slightly their original understandings and resentments of their respective contrary viewpoints. Aside from the exciting and often humorous dialogue between these academic "enemies," there is something that happens between them that our world needs.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening and Spirited Debate Aug. 17 2011
By Dr. Michael R. Edelstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I've seen in which two scholars occupying very different terrain on the political economic spectrum engage in a debate. Their object appears not to score points, but rather to try to understand each other's positions. They give the genuine impression of openness to modifying their own. The results are quite enlightening.

Does this enterprise succeed? There's some, yet very little, coming together of the two disparate philosophies. However both authors, the one with whom I agree with most(Block)and the one with whom I agree with least(Four Arrows,)do make a good faith attempt to be true to the interesting agenda they've set.

Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D
Author, [...]
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