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FW: 8/26/2004 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education s Daily Report for subscribers _________________________________________________________________ Good day!
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31 5:15 PM
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      ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
      Daily Report for subscribers
      _________________________________________________________________

      Good day!

      Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education
      for Thursday, August 26.

      * ___________________________
      [snip]



      MAGAZINES & JOURNALS

      A glance at the summer issue of "Seed":
      The moral clout of storytelling

      Storytelling has helped make human beings "a nicer species,"
      says Steven Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard
      University, in a conversation with Rebecca Goldstein, a visiting
      professor of philosophy at Connecticut's Trinity College and the
      author of several works of fiction, including "The Mind-Body
      Problem." They discuss a variety of topics related to how
      science and art are grappling with "substantive questions."

      Human behavior has changed in the past millennium, Mr. Pinker
      says. "Much of the world has seen an end to slavery, to genocide
      for convenience, to torture as a routine form of criminal
      punishment, to capital punishment for property crimes, to human
      sacrifice, to rape as the spoils of war, to the ownership of
      women," he writes. "We are getting less cruel, and the question
      is how."

      Exposure to a wider range of stories has helped people empathize
      with groups that they might otherwise have considered
      "subhuman," he suggests. "Fiction can be a kind of moral
      technology."

      Ms. Goldstein agrees that storytelling serves a moral purpose.
      "To be in the throes of a story, to have one's emotions provoked
      by another's story is not quite ethics, but it's kind of the
      shadowlife of ethics," she writes. "Storytelling is something
      that can awaken attentiveness, engagement, and empathy to a life
      that isn't one's own. And to be attentive, engaged, empathetic:
      that is moral."

      The article, "The Seed Salon: Steven Pinker and Rebecca
      Goldstein," is not online. Information about the magazine is
      available at http://www.seedmagazine.com

      _________________________________________________________________

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      Copyright (c) 2004 The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc.
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