Future editions

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15 Aug 2018 - General

  As a college instructor, I too am disturbed by the effort to drown out rather than debate viewpoints one does not share. Although out highest political authorities today fail utterly at civility, we should still do our utmost to try to encourage courteous debate, civil exchange of ideas, and engagement with facts. No one wins when all we do is scream at one another.  

To address the criticism, for that edition the publisher slightly increased the number of pages (while going to a thinner stock) and increased the size of the pages by something like 30 percent. Future editions were split into five volumes, and contained many more pages. The downside to this approach is that a professor can easily create a syllabus that has no connection to what Americans were actually reading and thinking of as their literature at various points in history. I always tried to use the breadth of the newer anthologies judiciously. A different anthology, for example let me pair Richard Frethorne's desperate letters with John Smith's enthusiastic promotional writings.

If someone is capable of forming an opinion then its possible to reason with them. The key is to understand how someone thinks so you can craft an argument they can relate too. Sometimes it takes a whole lot of patience and thinking outside the box but its doable. The tendency to scream over anyone who doesn't share their opinion means you can't take a direct approach so either shock them into shutting up or sneak the argument in. Present the subject from an approach they wouldn't anticipate - like mentioning the interesting hypothesis you found on the internet that Aristotle may have been African (Google and you'll find it) and asking for their thoughts on it.

It seems as if people or students like you are afraid of the challenge of thinkers like Plato and Aristotle. It is as if you believe that ideas have gender or race, or something like that. An idea is a cross cultural phenomenon. Take a look at the list of the the 103 ideas at write my essay and tell me how these are not something worth studying and are somehow passe. By the way, if I am not mistaken Thoreau, and his friend/mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson along with the rest of the Transcendentalists including several women were white, and not now worth reading I suppose.