POLS 250 Chapter Notes -Omnipotence, Ralph Ellison, Donald Winnicott

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As the arts and humanities are everywhere downsized, there is a serious erosion of the very qualities that are essential to democracy itself. The arts and humanities teach children the critical thinking that is necessary for independent action and for intelligent resistance to the power of blind tradition and authority. Cultivation of our inner eyes, as students of art and literature learn to imagine the situations of others, a capacity essential for the success of democracy. Democracies filled with citizens who lack empathy will inevitably breed more types of marginalization and stigmatization, thus exacerbating rather than solving problems. Nussbaum argues that growth does not invariably generate better quality of life; neglect and scorn for the arts and humanities puts the quality of all our lives, and the health of democracies, at risk. Rabindranath tagore (indian nobel prize laureate in literature, and founder of an experimental school and university)

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