In this radical critique of contemporary social theory, Eugene Halton argues that both modernism and postmodernism are damaged philosophies whose acceptance of the myths of the mind/body dichotomy make them incapable of solving our social dilemmas.
Claiming that human beings should be understood as far more than simply a form of knowledge, social construction, or contingent difference, Halton argues that contemporary thought has lost touch with the spontaneous passions—or enchantment—of life. Exploring neglected works in twentieth century social thought and philosophy—particularly the writings of Lewis Mumford and Charles Peirce—as well as the work of contemporary writers such as Vaclav Havel, Maya Angelou, Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, and Victor Turner, Halton argues that reason is dependent upon nonrational forces—including sentiment, instinct, conjecture, imagination, and experience. We must, he argues, frame our questions in a way which encompasses both enchantment and critical reason, and he offers an outline here for doing so.
A passionate plea for a fundamental reexamination of the entrenched assumptions of the modern era, this book deals with issues of vital concern to modern societies and should be read by scholars across disciplines.
"Bereft of Reason is a thoughtful critique informed by a passionate commitment to the renewal of critical concerns. For this reason alone it should be widely read and inform current debates."—Lauren Langman, Sociological Inquiry
"Halton takes the 'ghost in the machine' as a dominant defining metaphor for modern thought and life, and criticizes it with gusto, wit, wide reading, and philosophical acumen."—Robert J. Mulvaney, Review of Metaphysics
Winner of the 1997 ARNOVA Award for Distinguished Book in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research
The private third sector has largely displaced public universities and bureaucracies as Latin America's leaders in social science and related policy activities. In many nations, these private research centers have become the main workplace for intellectuals. Mostly think tanks, they are influential political institutions, often making strong contribution to democratization.
The success of these research centers marks an unsurpassed triumph for international philanthropy, but it also raises questions about the proper role and structural home for research and advanced study. Levy shows how the centers' success often undermine a region's struggling universities while failing themselves to fulfill higher education's fundamental mission.
Levy deals broadly with regional developments, yet systematically identifies and analyzes the crucial subpatterns. He integrates impressive empirical data with conceptual perspectives on nonprofit organizations, comparative politics, and comparative education as well as Latin American studies.