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By Becher

How do teachers understand themselves and associates of their personal disciplines, and the way do they expense these in different matters? How heavily similar are their highbrow initiatives and their methods of organizing their specialist lives? What are the interconnections among educational cultures and the character of disciplines? This identify maps educational wisdom and explores the various features of these who inhabit and domesticate it.

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In this chapter, I explore a series of retreats and evasions in the face of the need to shape and limit ultimate ideals and belief systems in order to support liberal democratic values. Liberal- Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College 14 • Diversity Ascendant ism’s aims are deep and pervasive, but not everyone is prepared to recognize this fact. This detour will help make it clear just how tempting it is to ignore what should be recognized as the unfinished business of our political order: the positive constitutional project of shaping diversity toward the demands of a shared public life.

That is misleading, for these arguments depend on premises that were contested by most believers for centuries, and that are rejected by some even now. Those premises importantly include the conviction that there is no religious duty to impose uniformity, and that the central religious duty is to look to your own conduct and salvation. The appearance of conclusiveness represents the extent to which religious and philosophical beliefs, at least in the United States and some other societies, now generally support liberal principles of toleration.

Iris Marion Young insists that politics should more carefully attend to the voices of those groups that have been unfairly pushed to the margins of society. This is an honorable and important project. But some groups have been pushed to the margins of society for good reason, and the last thing we want is a politics of indiscriminate inclusion. 24 Young champions certain constituencies (blacks, native people, women, gays, the disabled) and simply leaves aside the complaints of Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College Diversity Ascendant • 25 Nazis, fundamentalists, or even the Amish, all of whom could claim to be victims of oppression, at least as Young describes it.

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