Links roundup, 9.27

This article discusses the reading ability gap between boys and girls. Really all of the studies show that boys are not reading as much or as well as girls. As such, girls are far better prepared for higher education, and now women outpace men in BAs, MAs, and PhDs. How do we get boys to read more? One common answer is to give them “boy” stuff to read. Stuff about butts and farts and this sort of a thing (I am told that the Captain Underpants series is really popular). The idea is to get them reading, and then worry about the content of their reading later. This seems to me to be a very bad idea. Aristotle remarks that right education is training where one comes to “delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought”.

Related story here. George Will reflects on the “gender police” and whether or not there is as much of a need to advance women in the workplace in an age where women are getting more advanced degrees than men and pay disparity has almost totally disappeared. I think Will is right that remaining “pay disparities largely reflect women’s choices” and that women choose to go into certain fields and choose not to go into other fields. Left unasked by Will is why so few women go into math and engineering. And to me the biggest question is this – why are fields traditionally dominated by women (like education) so poorly paid? Education is consistently listed as a top value and priority of voters, why is it so poorly funded?

This article gives an interesting backstory on the speech restriction which prevents churches from endorsing political candidates on pain of losing their tax-exempt status. I am not all that interested in having my church do such a thing (I think those prudential judgments should be left to the people, while the Church does have a role in discussing principles), but it does seem to me that it should be the choice of the church and not the IRS. I wonder why no one has challenged this ban, because it seems unconstitutional (the article discusses this point).

This article gives 7 reasons why Aquinas excelled as a teacher, including: he was not threatened by science, he knew that faith and reason are distinct but compatible, and he knew the value of human philosophy.

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About Kleiner

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.
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