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Anti-intellectualism to Anti-rationalism to Post-truth Era
The Challenges for Higher Education
- Anti-intellectualism to Anti-rationalism to Post-truth Era: The Challenges for Higher Education argues that emergence of the post-truth world is evidence that anti-intellectualism, long recognized as a characteristic of American culture, has morphed into anti-rationalism as a surging force in American society that threatens our collective commitment to rationality. A post-truth world, however, is not an immutable condition and cannot be accepted as the new norm. The author argues that American higher education take responsibility for combating anti-rationalism by promoting the development of student's personal attributes that constitute a rational mind-set and rationalist identity, such that they hold themselves accountable for commitments to seeking truth and the value of critical thought and reasoned discourse as defining element of their way of being in the world. Scholarship exists across many disciplines regarding anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism in American society and the personal attributes that together constitute a rational mind-set, including an evaluativist personal epistemology, open-mindedness and conscientiousness, and a rationalist identity. The author brings the perspective of a psychologist to the analysis and synthesis of this scholarship and the implications for educational practices that are effective in promoting the development of student's rational mind-set and rationalist identity necessary to combat anti-rationalism and the post-truth world.
- Robert J. Thompson Jr. is professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.
- Preface Acknowledgments Part I: Anti-Intellectualism: Contributing Factors and Societal Effects Chapter 1: Introduction: Intellect and the Paradox of American Attitudes Chapter 2: Hofstadter: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life Chapter 3: Hofstadter Reexamined and the Resurgence of Anti-Intellectualism Chapter 4: The Types and Characteristics of Intellectuals and their Work Chapter 5: Standard Critique, Loss of Authority, and the New Public Intellectual Part II: Post-Truth, Rationality, and False Beliefs Chapter 6: A Post-truth World and Valuing Truth Chapter 7: Rational Thinking Chapter 8: The Formation and Correction of False Beliefs Part III: Personal Attributes Constituting a Rational Mind-Set Chapter 9: Personal Epistemology Chapter 10: Personality Traits and Epistemic Dispositions and Virtues Chapter 11: Identity Formation and the Narrative Process of Self-Authorship Part IV: The Challenges and Opportunities for Higher Education Chapter 12: Restoring our Shared Commitment to Rationalism Chapter 13: Promoting the Development of a Rational Mind-Set and a Rationalist Identity
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