4/15 – Why Conservative? Why Progressive? – The Debate
Location: Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium on GVSU’s downtown campus
Panelists: Michael DeWilde, Barbara Elliott, Winston Elliott, Ted McAllister, Paul Murphy, Noreen Myers
Is common ground possible in our polarized political and cultural environment?
Join us for a robust exploration of what it means to be a progressive and what it means to be a conservative. Our goal is not to get bogged down in policy wrangling over the issue de jour. Our panelists are interested in the cultural, historic, philosophical, and perhaps religious elements that help explain their commitment to their tradition. The focus and format will provide an opportunity for the vivid articulation of first principles and the fruitful exchange of definitions, redefinitions, reasons, and justifications for the panelists believing the way they do.
This event extends the exploration of the theme of bipartisan cooperation in a democratic culture, which we started to explore with Richard Norton Smith, H. W. Brands, Kiron Skinner, Hank Meijer, and Gleaves Whitney during the NEH-funded town hall, America’s Senator: The Unexpected Odyssey of Arthur Vandenberg on November 14, 2012.
The Hauenstein Center is proud to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Russell Kirk Center, The Business Ethics Center at GVSU, and The Henry Institute at Calvin College:
Some of the questions and topics that will be explored include:
1. Define — or redefine — what it means to be a conservative or progressive.
2. What misconceptions would you like to debunk about your tradition?
3. Having heard some misconceptions debunked, what intellectual or political obstacles would prevent you from working constructively with the other side?
4. What is the role of the state vis-à-vis civil society in helping the most vulnerable citizens?
5. Under what conditions and in what capacity do you see the United States intervening in foreign countries?
6. Should the progressive or conservative school of thought be revised to speak to the rising generation? If so, how?
7. What seems to be the biggest obstacle to finding common ground with the other tradition?
8. What question(s) would you like to put to one or more participants of the other tradition?
9. Is there any area of the other tradition, from your perspective, that offers opportunities for finding common ground in order to better the human condition? (We are thinking, for example, of Jonathan Haidt’s ground-breaking work on how conservatives and progressives engage in moral reasoning, and where they speak meaningfully to each other, and where they talk past each other. The discussion at this point could also tackle specific policy controversies.)
The three conservative presenters with biographical links are:
- Barbara Elliott, president, Center for Cultural Renewal, Houston, Texas, and professor in the Honors College at Houston Baptist University http://www.centerforrenewal.org/About_Barbara_J._Elliott.html
- Winston Elliott, Editor-in-Chief of The Imaginative Conservative and President of The Free Enterprise Institute http://www.Imaginativeconservative.org and http://www.imaginativeconservative.org/p/winston-elliott.html
- Ted McAllister, history professor at Pepperdine University and currently a scholar-in-residence at Princeton University http://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/academics/faculty/default.htm?faculty=ted_mcallister
The three progressive presenters with biographical links are:
-Michael DeWilde, philosophy professor, GVSU, and founder of Working Classics http://www.gvsu.edu/philosophy/michael-dewilde-41.htm and http://michaeladewilde.com/
-Paul Murphy, history professor, GVSU http://www.gvsu.edu/history/paul-v-murphy-111.htm
-Noreen Myers, employment law attorney, Grand Rapids, recently retired chairwoman of the GVSU board of trustees http://hauensteincenter.org/noreen-k-myers/
10/22 – The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
October 22, 2013 - 7 PM – Charles W Loosemore Auditorium
401 W. Fulton St Grand Rapids, Mi.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.
His starting point is moral intuition—the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim—that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.
The Hauenstein Center is proud to partner with the GVSU’s Business Ethics Center for this event.
Jonathan Haidt joined New York University Stern School of Business in July 2011. He is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, based in the Business and Society Program Area.
Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. In that book Haidt offers an account of the origins of the human moral sense, and he shows how variations in moral intuitions can help explain the American culture war between left and right. At Stern he is applying his research on moral psychology to rethink the way business ethics is studied and is integrated into the curriculum. His goal is to draw on the best behavioral science research to create organizations that function as ethical systems, with only minimal need for directly training people to behave ethically – “something nobody has yet found a way to do.
Before coming to Stern, Professor Haidt taught for 16 years at the University of Virginia, where he was given three awards for outstanding teaching, including the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, conferred by Governor Mark Warner. His first book was The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. His writings appear frequently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Professor Haidt received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.