Institute Director of Research Joseph E. Davis has a new article in the journal Society, “Social Science, Objectivity, and Moral Life.” Davis offers a cultural critique of the fact/value dichotomy in social science and argues that “[t]he bracketing of ethical concerns under a rubric of value freedom . . . does not eliminate values from social science, nor does it produce better description and explanation. Rather, it simply keeps the role that values play and the tradeoffs made in research decisions unavailable for examination and consideration.” Find the full text of the article here.
Institute Associate Fellow Edward J. K. Gitre has a chapter in a new book, Aesthetic Fatigue: Modernity and the Language of Waste. The collection “examines a strange and seemingly paradoxical relationship: between progress and decline, novelty and obsolescence, value and waste. It reveals how modernity, with its desire to colonise unknown terrain and turn nature into use-value organises our sense of time, our needs and interests in ways that profoundly remake our relationship with the environment.” Gitre’s contribution is “Retread America: Postwar Re-Adjustment, boredom, and Life in the ‘Lonely Crowd’.” A sample is available here, and the book is available for purchase here.
Institute Associate Fellow Laura Alexander was selected as a U.Va. finalist for Universitas 21‘s Three-Minute Thesis Competition, presenting her dissertation topic and research before a live audience of U.Va. students, faculty, and community members in October 2013. The Three Minute Thesis competition (3MT®) challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. Read UVA Today‘s coverage of the event here, and watch Laura’s 3MT here (password: la3mt).
In April of 2012, Institute Faculty Charles T. Mathewes and Doctoral Fellow Philip Lorish brought Nigel Biggar to the Institute to workshop the manuscript for his new book, In Defence of War. The book releases this week, and is already getting attention on Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish and in an interview with Marginalia. “Recovering the Christian tradition of reflection running from Augustine to Grotius, this book affirms aggressive war in punishment of grave injustice. Morally realistic in adhering to universal moral principles, it recognizes that morality can trump legality, justifying military intervention even in transgression of positive international law.” You can pre-order the book here.
The First Things Blog quotes Wilfred McClay’s essay for the Fall 2013 issue of The Hedgehog Review, “The Family That Shoulds Together“: “In the end the therapeutic revolution appears to have gotten one thing terribly wrong. And that one thing is its opening premise: the reduction of the moral to the therapeutic.” Read McClay’s piece here, and find subscription information for THR here.
On Friday November 8 the Institute will host “Liberal Learning and the Research University: A Conversation with Mark Edmundson.” Edmundson recently published Why Teach?: In Defense of a Real Education and will join Chad Wellmon, Institute Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of German Studies, to discuss the past, present, and future of liberal learning in the context of a research university. The event will be an opportunity to engage Edmundson and consider the prospects of higher education in America. The conversation is open to Institute fellows and will take place at Watson Manor from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find full event details here.
Institute Postdoctoral Fellow James Mumford has a new piece in The Spectator on euthanasia titled “The fight for your life is now raging.” Mumford argues against enactment of Charlie Falconer’s Assisted Dying bill in England’s House of Lords and concludes, “Incremental steps, minor adjustments, tiny turns — that is how great and terrible change occurs.” Read the full piece here, and find out more about the Institute’s 2013–2014 class of fellows here.
At The Kern Family Foundation’s character conference in June 2013, Institute Executive Director James Davison Hunter interviewed New York Times columnist David Brooks on the importance of character. The result was an informative exchange between two of the preeminent thinkers and researchers on the topic. Watch their conversation on character, its formation, and its implications in this video, “Character is Destiny.” You can also find video of Brooks’s presentation, “The Architecture of Character,” here.
Richard Sennett’s award-winning article “Humanism,” published in the Summer 2011 issue of The Hedgehog Review, has been translated and reprinted with permission in the Polish publication Znak. If your Polish allows, you can read the article here. Or re-read it in English here.
On November 6 Institute Associate Fellow Anna Kim will present “Sculpture, Iconoclasm and Re-formations of the Spirit: Phenomenological and Theological Reflections on Michelangelo’s Last Pietà” at Duke Divinity School. The lecture, sponsored by Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts and Duke’s Art, Art History, and Visual Studies Department, will be held at 5:15 p.m. in room 0012 Westbrook of the Divinity School, and followed by an audience Q&A. Find event details here.
Kim will present a preview of the lecture on October 30 at 3:00 p.m. at Watson Manor, and invites the University community to comment. Refreshments will be served.