Friday, April 27, 2018

Roger Shattuck, the Setting of Reasonable Limits

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Roger Shattuck [born in 1923 in New York City, New York–died in 2005 in Lincoln, Vermont], a professor emeritus in the University Professors Program at Boston University, died at the age of 82—after a lifetime devoted to literary studies and literary criticism. I have read only one book by Prof. Shattuck, Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography, published in 1996, but it was a good one. Prof Shattuck’s advice that not all knowledge is equal or necessarily good to explore, let alone embrace, is worth considering. Arriving at this point, however, does require much analysis and deep thought, and it takes the reading of much literature, philosophy and religious texts. The book is liked by those who believe such moral limits are good and disliked by those who do not hold such views. It is easy to find fault with someone who says or writes that what you are doing is not good, harmful or immoral; it takes a certain human quality to consider its validity. Twenty years later, one can conclude it has generally been disregarded, seen today as quaint moralizing. That is, if it is even considered today at all by a generation of young academic post-modernists (and old ones, too, who led them on this path), who rush like lemmings over the cliff of the brave new world of amorality, doing what is right in their eyes, blithely ignorant that such a world would ultimately judge and condemn them—if not now later. They are championing their own downfall. Heaven help us! For more, go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].
Photo Credit: Boston University