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A World of Ideas; Essential Readings for College Writers,9780312434441

A World of Ideas; Essential Readings for College Writers

by
Edition:
7th
ISBN13:

9780312434441

ISBN10:
0312434448
Format:
Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
7/5/2005
Publisher(s):
BEDFORD
List Price: $66.67

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Summary

The most successful reader of its kind,A World of Ideasis ideal for composition instructors who want to introduce their students to some of the world's most important thinkers and their ideas: for example, Niccolo Machiavelli on government, Sigmund Freud on the mind, and Virginia Woolf on feminism. Because students perceive writers such as these as serious and important, they take the writing course more seriously: they learn to read more attentively, think more critically, and write more effectively. But more important, this may be a student's only opportunity to encounter these thinkers. No other composition reader offers a comparable collection of important readings along with the supportive apparatus students need to understand, analyze, and respond to them.

Author Biography

LEE A. JACOBUS is professor of English at the University of Connecticut and the author/editor of popular English textbooks, among them The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Fifth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2005); The Longman Anthology of American Drama; and Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading. He has written scholarly books on Paradise Lost, on the works of John Cleveland, and on the works of Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and the Dialectic of Certainty. He is also a playwright; two of his plays -- Fair Warning and Long Division -- were produced in New York by the American Theater of Actors.

Table of Contents

Preface iii
To the Student xi
EVALUATING IDEAS: An Introduction to Critical Reading 1(12)
PART ONE GOVERNMENT 13(100)
LAO-TZU
Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching
19(16)
In recommending that a ruler practice judicious inactivity rather than wasteful busyness, the ancient Chinese philosopher minimizes the power of the state over the individual.
NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI
The Qualities of the Prince
35(18)
In this excerpt from the most notorious political treatise of all time, Machiavelli, a veteran of intrigue in Florence's Medici court, recommends unscrupulous tactics for the ruler who wishes to secure power for himself and stability in his domain.
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU
The Origin of Civil Society
53(22)
The French philosopher Rousseau speculates that members of a society forfeit individual freedoms for the greater good of all and stresses a revolutionary view—equality before the law.
THOMAS JEFFERSON
The Declaration of Independence
75(10)
In this primary document of modern democratic government, Jefferson justifies the right of the American colonies to dissolve their bonds with a tyrannical monarchy and to construct a free nation of independent souls in its stead.
HANNAH ARENDT
Total Domination
85(14)
Arendt, a historian and political theorist, argues that terror is necessary for the state to achieve total domination over the individual and that the concentration camp represents the most intense form of terror a state can exert in modern society.
STEPHEN L. CARTER
The Separation of Church and State
99(20)
Carter, a legal scholar, examines the contemporary anxiety over the separation of church and state and maintains that the provision for freedom of religion in the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect individual religions from the state, not to protect the state from religion.
PART TWO JUSTICE 113(112)
MARCUS TULLLUS CICERO
The Defense of Injustice
119(14)
Cicero, the great Roman orator and legendary champion of justice, plays devil's advocate as he powerfully argues that in some circumstances justice is inexpedient and problematic for a state to provide.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
Civil Disobedience
133(28)
A man who lived by his ideals of justice, Thoreau explains how and why it is not only reasonable but also sometimes essential to disobey unjust laws imposed by the state.
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
161(10)
Stanton draws on her experience as a feminist and on Thomas Jefferson's model to show that, one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence, half of America still waited to be freed from tyranny.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
171(24)
King, a minister and civil rights leader, advocates nonviolent action as a means of changing the unconscionable practices of racial segregation and of achieving justice for all.
JOHN RAWLS
A Theory of Justice
195(14)
The most distinguished contemporary thinker on the subject of justice, Rawls argues that the essence of justice is fairness and that decisions of governments or institutions should be guided by their effect on the least powerful members of the society or group concerned.
MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM
The Central Human Functional Capabilities
209(22)
Nussbaum, a prominent American philosopher, argues that for a society to be just it must make available to every individual the "capability" of receiving an education, decent housing, and enough to eat—among others—and the freedom of choice to either accept or reject those capabilities.
PART THREE EDUCATION 225(110)
MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE
Of the Education of Children
231(16)
Montaigne, the inventor of the modern essay, wrote this short treatise on Renaissance education to help a friend pregnant with her first child. He celebrates virtue and insists that the future child's tutor emphasize excellent behavior. He recommends that children travel, learn languages, and reject all unexamined dogma.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
On Education
247(16)
The greatest of the nineteenth-century American essayists, Emerson's advice on education derives both from his personal experience and from his meditations on the subject. One of his most basic observations is that to be successful, education must respect the child and the child's needs.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS
From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
263(18)
Raised as a slave, Douglass was a superbly self-educated man who became one of the nineteenth century's most influential African Americans. He describes the struggle he faced trying to learn to read in a culture of slavery.
MARIA MONTESSORI
The Montessori Method
281(16)
Montessori, Italy's first female medical doctor, transformed an inner-city school in Rome and demonstrated that respect for the child, cultivation of the child's imagination, and instruction in reading could reach youngsters who were thought to be hopeless.
JOHN DEWEY
Thinking in Education
297(18)
One of the most influential modern thinkers in education, Dewey champions experiential activities that deeply involve students in solving problems perceived as genuine, not artificially posed by the teacher.
PAULO FREIRE
The Banking Concept of Education
315(26)
Freire's work in education focused on poor illiterate workers in Brazil's inner cities. He argues that curricula that do not address students' interests and needs are oppressive and that students need to recognize their oppression if they are to improve their situation.
PART FOUR WEALTH AND POVERTY 335(102)
ADAM SMITH
Of the Natural Progress of Opulence
341(12)
This excerpt from the classic work on modern capitalism The Wealth of Nations explores the economic relationship between rural areas and cities in an attempt to understand the "natural" steps to wealth.
KARL MARX
The Communist Manifesto
353(28)
Marx, the most thorough critic of laissez-faire capitalism, traces the dehumanizing progress of the nineteenth-century bourgeois economic structure and heralds its downfall at the hands of a united international proletariat.
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
Social Consequences of Changes in the Value of Money
381(22)
Keynes, a British economist, examines the effects on society of fluctuations in the value of money, revealing how changes in the value of money differently affect members of the various economic classes.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH
The Position of Poverty
403(14)
Improving the plight of society's poorest members is a central responsibility of today's wealthy nations, says Galbraith, the most widely read economist of the past four decades.
ROBERT B. REICH
Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer
417(26)
The former secretary of labor talks about the different categories of workers in the United States and the inevitable changes occurring as the U.S. economy is altered by globalization.
PART FIVE MIND 437(98)
PLATO
The Allegory of the Cave
443(14)
Plato, the founder of Western philosophy, talks about the nature of perception and the limits of the human mind, emphasizing the difficulties everyone encounters in discovering the truth about appearances.
RENÉ DESCARTES
Discourse Four
457(12)
Descartes, a seventeenth-century French thinker, spoke the famous the sentence "I think, therefore I am" in this discourse. He was searching for a single statement absolutely true beyond all doubt that he could use to make a substantial argument proving the existence of God.
SIGMUND FREUD
The Oedipus Complex
469(14)
After Freud posited the existence and functioning of the unconscious mind, one of his most important—and controversial—theories was the assertion that infants went through a stage in which they unconsciously wished to possess their opposite-sex parent all for themselves.
CARL JUNG
The Personal and the Collective Unconscious
483(16)
Jung proposes that as a cultural group we have a collective unconscious—an unconscious awareness and wishes that transcend the individual and represent the needs of the group to which we belong.
MELANIE KLEIN
The Psychological Principles of Infant Analysis
499(16)
Klein was the first to treat infant children with psychoanalytic methods, which previously had been thought to be impossible. She developed the play technique—still used today—to engage the child and observe the actions and behaviors that can provide insight into the child's unconscious mind.
HOWARD GARDNER
A Rounded Version: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
515(26)
Gardner, a contemporary psychologist, has a novel view of the mind that proposes seven distinct forms of human intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
PART SIX NATURE 535(92)
FRANCIS BACON
The Four Idols
541(18)
A prominent figure in philosophy and politics during the reign of England's Elizabeth I, Bacon describes the obstacles that hinder human beings' efforts to understand the world around them and the mysteries of nature.
CHARLES DARWIN
Natural Selection
559(18)
The scrupulous habits of observation that culminated in the landmark theory of evolution are everywhere evident in Darwin's analysis of the ways species adapt to their natural environments.
RACHEL CARSON
The Sunless Sea
577(20)
For ages, the deepest parts of the sea were thought to be lifeless. But Carson reviews research into the depths conducted by underwater explorers and describes creatures of astonishing complexity that live in a world of almost unimaginable darkness.
STEPHEN JAY GOULD
Nonmoral Nature
597(16)
Gould, a scientist of diverse experience, warns against assuming that the natural world mirrors our own ideas of good and evil.
MICHIO KAKI
The Mystery of Dark Matter
613(20)
To understand why galaxies do not fly apart, physicists postulate the existence of a form of matter that makes up 90 percent of the universe but that cannot be seen or touched: dark matter. Eminent physicist Kaku explains the history of the theory of dark matter and reveals the difficulties modern physicists face in describing how the universe works.
PART SEVEN ETHICS AND MORALITY 627(112)
THE TORAH
Moses and the Ten Commandments
633(16)
In this excerpt from Exodus, the second book of the Torah, Moses leads the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and receives from God the Ten Commandments, the basis of Western ethical and moral thought.
ARISTOTLE
The Aim of Man
649(22)
Aristotle describes the search for the highest good, which he defines as happiness. In the process of defining the good, he relates it to the idea of virtuous behavior, living an ethical and moral life. For him, the concept of morality is communal, not just individual.
ST. MATTHEW
The Sermon on the Mount
671(12)
Matthew, the tax gather who became an apostle of Jesus, recorded the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus gave his disciples the Lord's prayer and guidelines for a way of life that expressed morality and faith in God.
THE KORAN
The Night Journey
683(14)
The Prophet Mohammad wrote the Koran some six hundred years after the Sermon on the Mount. Much of the Koran's concern for ethical behavior parallels that of both Moses and Jesus, but one of the interesting new emphases that the Koran adds is the doctrine of fairness, especially in everyday dealings with others.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
Morality as Anti-Nature
697(16)
Nietzsche, one of modernism's most influential thinkers, argues that rules of morality and ethics set down by religions force individuals to adhere to principles that deny their human nature.
IRIS MURDOCH
Morality and Religion
713(16)
Murdoch, one of the twentieth century's most distinguished authors, questions whether there can be morality without religion and whether if evil is conquered the concept of morality would remain.
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
The Ethic of Compassion
729(16)
The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of the Tibetan people, examines the basic concepts of compassion and explains how the practice of compassion leads naturally toward a happy and fulfilling life.
PART EIGHT FEMINISM 739(94)
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT
Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society
745(16)
In this excerpt from one of the first great works of feminism, Wollstonecraft argues that the laws, property rights, and class distinctions of her day are mechanisms of control that deny women their liberty and demean their lives.
VIRGINIA WOOLF
Shakespeare's Sister
761(20)
In this excerpt from A Room of One's Own, her book-length essay on the role of women in history and society, Woolf imaginatively reconstructs the environment of Shakespeare's hypothetical sister and demonstrates how little opportunity she would have had in the sixteenth century.
SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
Woman: Myth and Reality
781(16)
Beauvoir was a French philosopher who reflected on feminism and many other aspects of modern life. In this essay, she explains how the persistent myths about women as "the Eternal Feminine" distort reality and harm real women in society.
CAROL GILLIGAN
Woman's Place in Man's Life Cycle
797(24)
In this excerpt from her ground-breaking book In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development, Gilligan shows how men historically have made women the deviant in society, such as Eve in the Garden of Eden. Men often fashion women, she suggests, out of "a masculine cloth."
BELL HOOKS
The Significance of Feminist Movement
821(12)
In this critique of the modern feminist movement, hooks argues that sexism is only part of the problem women face and that the basic issues that lead to discrimination of all hinds lie deep in principles of Western culture.
WRITING ABOUT IDEAS: An Introduction to Rhetoric 833(22)
INDEX OF RHETORICAL TERMS 855


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