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Philosopher's Progress

Philosopher's Progress A PEGS Journal VOL. 17 NO. 1 THE GOOD SOCIETY Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society "The art of governing well has to be learned." -- Walter Lippmann Eugene F. Miller Writing in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out that democratic America, from its colonial beginnings, had been especially hospitable to the idea of progress.1 This would remain true for at least a century after Tocqueville's travels in the United States; but by the end of World War II, currents of European thought that strongly questioned or rejected Enlightenment views of progress would have a substantial impact here, challenging what Progressive Era thinkers such as Herbert Croly had regarded as the Nation's animating faith--its imaginative projection of an ideal future, expressed as a belief in "the Promise of American life."2 These currents of anti-Enlightenment thought have greatly affected America's universities, forcing them to reconsider the progressivist foundations on which they were built. At the heart of the oft-discussed crisis of the university are doubts as to what progress can mean now. To progress, in the elementary sense, is simply to move forward in space or time towards some end or destination which, if achieved, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Good Society Penn State University Press

Philosopher's Progress

The Good Society , Volume 17 (1) – Sep 20, 2008

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1538-9731
Publisher site
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Abstract

A PEGS Journal VOL. 17 NO. 1 THE GOOD SOCIETY Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society "The art of governing well has to be learned." -- Walter Lippmann Eugene F. Miller Writing in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out that democratic America, from its colonial beginnings, had been especially hospitable to the idea of progress.1 This would remain true for at least a century after Tocqueville's travels in the United States; but by the end of World War II, currents of European thought that strongly questioned or rejected Enlightenment views of progress would have a substantial impact here, challenging what Progressive Era thinkers such as Herbert Croly had regarded as the Nation's animating faith--its imaginative projection of an ideal future, expressed as a belief in "the Promise of American life."2 These currents of anti-Enlightenment thought have greatly affected America's universities, forcing them to reconsider the progressivist foundations on which they were built. At the heart of the oft-discussed crisis of the university are doubts as to what progress can mean now. To progress, in the elementary sense, is simply to move forward in space or time towards some end or destination which, if achieved,

Journal

The Good SocietyPenn State University Press

Published: Sep 20, 2008

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