Stanley Fish is an equal opportunity antagonist. A theorist who has taken on theorists, an academician who has riled the academy, a legal scholar and political pundit who has ruffled feathers left and right, Fish here turns with customary gusto to the trouble with principle. Specifically, Fish has a quarrel with neutral principles. The trouble? They operate by sacrificing everything people care about to their own purity. And they are deployed with equal highmindedness and equally absurd results by liberals and conservatives alike.
In this bracing book, Fish argues that there is no realm of higher order impartiality--no neutral or fair territory on which to stake a claim--and that those who invoke one are always making a rhetorical and political gesture. In the end, it is history and context, the very substance against which a purportedly abstract principle defines itself, that determines a principle's content and power. In the course of making this argument, Fish takes up questions about academic freedom and hate speech, affirmative action and multiculturalism, the boundaries between church and state, and much more. Sparing no one, he shows how our notions of intellectual and religious liberty--cherished by those at both ends of the political spectrum--are artifacts of the very partisan politics they supposedly transcend. The Trouble with Principle offers a provocative challenge to the debates of our day that no intellectually honest citizen can afford to ignore.
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It describes, says Fish, ""whatever qualifications are deemed desirable for the performance of a particular task, and there is nothing fixed about those qualifications."" Fish supports affirmative action because he believes we must take into account the history of oppression suffered by the group...| Read Full Review of The Trouble with Principle
Estabrook Urbana, Illinois From Gabriel Finkelstein If Terry Eagleton wants to slag off Stanley Fish, that’s perfectly fine with me, because Fish, like Trump, makes a lot more money than I do.| Read Full Review of The Trouble with Principle
Therefore, Fish's criticisms of liberal principles and his alternative to them leave his readers exactly where they were (according to Fish) all along: in the web of their own commitments.| Read Full Review of The Trouble with Principle
The point that we do not hold our beliefs voluntarily does not support Fish's claim "that beliefs emerge historically and in relation to the other beliefs that are already in the content of our consciousness" (p.| Read Full Review of The Trouble with Principle
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