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The Humanities and Public Life
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The Humanities and Public Life

Peter Brooks


This book tests the proposition that the humanities can, and at their best do, represent a commitment to ethical reading. And that this commitment, and the training and discipline of close reading that underlie it, represent something that the humanities need to bring to other fields: to professional training and to public life. What leverage does reading, of the attentive sort practiced in the interpretive humanities, give you on life? Does such reading represent or produce an ethics? The question was posed for many in the humanities by the “Torture Memos” released by the Justice Department a ... More

Keywords: ethical reading, professional training, interpretive humanities, ethics, Torture Memos, Justice Department, Shelley

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780823257041
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823257041.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Brooks, editor
Princeton University

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Peter Brooks

Ordinary, Incredulous

Judith Butler

I. Is There an Ethics of Reading?

The Ethics of Reading

Charles Larmore

Responses and Discussion

Hilary Jewett

II. The Ethics of Reading and the Professions

The Raw and the Half-Cooked

Patricia J. Williams

Conquering the Obstacles to Kingdom and Fate

Ralph J. Hexter (with Craig Buckwald)

Responses and Discussion

Hilary Jewett

III. The Humanities and Human Rights

Responses and Discussion

Hilary Jewett

Concluding Discussion

Hilary Jewett

End Matter