Scholars Debate, Engage Audience at 2011 Social Justice Night
|Four Arrows (aka Don Trent Phillips, Ph.D.)|
The Doerr Center for Social Justice Education and Research hosted more than 160 students, faculty and community members in the Anheuser-Busch Auditorium for Social Justice Night 2011. The evening, titled "Differing Worldviews of Social Justice Education," featured distinguished scholars Four Arrows (aka Don Trent Phillips, Ph.D.) and Walter Block, Ph.D.
In their first face-to-face presentation, Four Arrows, an environmental and social justice activist/scholar, and Block, a libertarian economist, engaged in a student-facilitated conversation before a live audience. The speakers shared their personal social justice philosophies and the challenges of co-authoring a book based on cooperative argumentation.
Block and Four Arrows shared their belief of the importance of engaging in cooperative argumentation and the role of the academy in modeling opportunities that reduce the polarization happening in the current political arena.
The audience played an active role in shaping the dialogue by engaging in a question-and-answer session that moved the discussion from theory to practice. Together, audience and speakers explored the practical applicability of listening for understanding and cooperative argumentation.
Using the theoretical basis behind the indigenous and libertarian worldviews, both scholars were able to actively provide suggestions and ideas for overcoming the differences that exist between uncommon allies.
|Walter Block, Ph.D.|
"I enjoyed watching Four Arrows and Dr. Block attempt to analyze the actual reasoning underlying their positions," said Dan Emmanuel, a master's ofsocial work student who attended the event. "It was a refreshing change from the tedious rhetoric that has come to dominate American politics and culture. The world would be a better place if everyone understood that the purpose of argument is to gain understanding through the rigorous examination of all beliefs, especially our own. What we saw last night was just a brief glimpse of what can be accomplished when people start to look past their personal feelings and truly engage in critical thinking."
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