Professor David Levy Publishes "Shakespeare Winces Not: On Inclusion in Liberal Education"

Professor David Levy, who teaches philosophy at JCU, recently published the article “Shakespeare Winces Not: On Inclusion in Liberal Education” in Perspectives on Political Science.

The abstract of the article is as follows:

It is commonly held that the traditional European classics or Great Books cannot constitute the basis of an inclusive liberal education because they do not reflect the diverse cultural identities of contemporary students. This essay argues for a return to the older view, memorably expressed by W.E.B. Du Bois, that the classics are radically inclusive because they speak to a common human identity. This view is best understood in light of the ancient Greek distinction between physis (nature) and nomos (custom or law). Greek philosophic universalism has shown an ability to transcend profound cultural differences, such as those separating Alfarabi from Maimonides, or Shakespeare from Du Bois. The essay rebuts the frequently heard objections that the universalism of the classics is really a mask for white male hegemony and that it fails to do justice to the unique personal experiences of the oppressed and marginalized. The essay affirms that education must be particularistic as well as universalistic, but it argues that the universalism of the classics remains the key to the most perfect form of inclusion, namely, the friendship of those seeking the truth.

Professor Levy focuses primarily on political philosophy, ancient and modern. He is the author of Wily Elites and Spirited Peoples in Machiavelli’s Republicanism (Lexington Books, 2014). In Fall 2023, he will be teaching PH 240 Modern Philosophy and PL/PH 213 Greek and Roman Political Philosophy.