Saturday, 1 March 2008

Week Nine: Science and Education

In week 9 we turn to the mind, and (on Monday) to education and science.

More under the cut...


What kinds of education do utopians advocate and why?
What is the purpose of education?
Who is to learn, and who is to teach?

• David Halpin, 'Utopianism and Education: The Legacy of Thomas More', British Journal of Educational Studies, 49 (2001), 299-315.
• Robert Owen, The Book of the New Moral Order, C7 (in The Reader, pp. 207-19).

• Miriam Eliav-Feldon, Realistic Utopias: The ideal imaginary societies of the Renaissance, 1516-1630 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), chapters 2, 3.

Science in utopia can be treated as a dilemma (the perfection or destruction of human nature), as time (a means of measuring progress, of shattering the present and reaching the future), as a fantasy through which we rethink and criticise the present (cyborgs and other aliens).

Science as Dilemma
Does science perfect or corrupt human nature?
Who is in control of science?
What is science?

• Robert P. Adams, ‘The social responsibilities of Science in Utopia, New Atlantis and after’ Journal of the History of Ideas (1949) [online] nota bene the date and check out the footnotes.
• J. C. Davis, 'Science and utopia: the history of a dilemma', in Nineteen Eighty-Four: Science between utopia and dystopia, ed. Everett Mendelsohn and Helga Nowotny (1984), pp. 21-48

Science as Disruption
What is the relationship between science, progress and change in Utopia?

• J. Weinberger, ‘Science and Rule in Bacon’s Utopia: An Introduction to the reading of New Atlantis’ The American Political Science Review, 70/3 (1976), pp. 865-885
• F. Jameson, ‘Progress versus Utopia, or, Can we imagine the Future’, Science-Fiction Studies 9, Part 2, no. 27 (July 1982): 147-158 reprinted in Archaeologies of the Future, part 2, chapter 4. This older article is thoroughly glossed in the thirteen chapters of part one of Archaeologies: ‘The Desire called Utopia’, culminating in ch 13.

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