Alan Gewirth extends his fundamental principle of equal and universal human rights, the Principle of Generic Consistency, into the arena of social and political philosophy, exploring its implications for both social and economic rights. He argues that the ethical requirements logically imposed on individual action hold equally for the supportive state as a community of rights, whose chief function is to maintain and promote the universal human rights to freedom and well-being. Such social afflictions as unemployment, homelessness, and poverty are basic violations of these rights, which the supportive state is required to overcome. A critical alternative to both "liberal" and "communitarian" views, this book will command the attention of anyone engaged in the debate over social and economic justice.
In Mutuality in the Rhetoric and Composition Classroom, David L. Wallace and Helen Rothschild Ewald point out the centrality of rhetoric in the academy, asserting the intimate connection between language and knowledge making. They also stress the need for a change in the roles of teachers and students in today’s classroom. Their goal is mutuality, a sharing of authority among teachers and students in the classroom that would allow everyone an equal voice in the communication of ideas.
Arguing that the impetus to empower students by engaging them in liberatory and emancipatory pedagogies is simply not enough, Wallace and Ewald seek to “help readers identify, theorize, and work through problems faced by teachers who already value alternative approaches but who are struggling to implement them in the classroom." It is not the teacher’s job merely to convey a received body of knowledge, nor is knowledge a prepackaged commodity to be delivered by the teacher. It is “constituted in the classroom through the dialogic interaction between teachers and students alike.”
Wallace and Ewald see mutuality as potentially transformative, but they “do not believe that the nature or that transformation can be designated in advance.” Rather it is located in the interaction between teachers and students. Wallace and Ewald look at how the transformative notion of mutuality can be effected in classrooms in three important ways: reconstituting classroom speech genres, redesigning the architecture of rhetoric and writing courses, and valuing students’ interpretive agency in classroom discourse. Mutuality in alternative pedagogy, they assert, is neither a single approach nor a specific set of valued practices; it is a continuous collaboration between teachers and students.
Historians of science have long noted the influence of the nineteenth-century political economist Thomas Robert Malthus on Charles Darwin. In a bold move, Piers J. Hale contends that this focus on Malthus and his effect on Darwin’s evolutionary thought neglects a strong anti-Malthusian tradition in English intellectual life, one that not only predated the 1859 publication of the Origin of Species but also persisted throughout the Victorian period until World War I. Political Descent reveals that two evolutionary and political traditions developed in England in the wake of the 1832 Reform Act: one Malthusian, the other decidedly anti-Malthusian and owing much to the ideas of the French naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck.
These two traditions, Hale shows, developed in a context of mutual hostility, debate, and refutation. Participants disagreed not only about evolutionary processes but also on broader questions regarding the kind of creature our evolution had made us and in what kind of society we ought therefore to live. Significantly, and in spite of Darwin’s acknowledgement that natural selection was “the doctrine of Malthus, applied to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms,” both sides of the debate claimed to be the more correctly “Darwinian.” By exploring the full spectrum of scientific and political issues at stake, Political Descent offers a novel approach to the relationship between evolution and political thought in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.