The trouble with Brights

Pure Pedantry : Why Pairing Science and Atheism is High-Brow:

In 1922, John Dewey, pragmatist philosopher and champion of Progressive education, wrote an article in The New Republic entitled “The American Intellectual Frontier.” The subject was William Jennings Bryan’s attack on evolution that would later culminate in the Scopes trial. The argument that Dewey made was not what you would think, however. Though he was most definitely part of the the Northeastern liberal establishment at the time, he did not dismiss Bryan’s attacks as indicative of rural ignorance. Instead, he made the argument that while he disagreed with Bryan, liberals had to take him seriously because if they did not they were in danger of making liberalism high-brow. This would have the negative consequence of making liberalism a minority movement by definition and prevent the adoption of a their social program.


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