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Man and the multitude. This University of Illinois Centennial symposium presented by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences studies contemporary man poised between past and future and between isolation and the community of the world. Guest speakers and panel members comment on the conflicting forces which push men apart from others. And into communion with others. Lectures in this series will be followed by discussions involving speakers visiting professors and University of Illinois faculty members as well as interested students. On our last program two speakers presented their views on man and the multitude. James Gustavsson professor of Christian ethics Yale University examined the determination of the self in modern society. He analyzed the sustaining and restraining roles of morality and religion within the family unit and in the world at large. Mr. Gustafson established that the pattern of relationships and obligations which involve a person is his identity.
Religion extends these relationships to a universal level. However both religion and morality may in fact stifle creativity and individuality. Norton long professor of politics Brandeis University also spoke on our last program. He compared political reality and individual responsibility with special attention on the similar features of the ghetto and the university. Three common factors protest riots and dope created a spirit of alienation which he labeled as a cop out attitude. Both locales foster a lack of upward mobility lack of power and a sense of meaninglessness. Mr. Long clarified the difference between protest and politics in prompting correction of problems. Lester's Gusterson and long will answer questions posed by Morris Davis associate professor of political science University of Illinois. R. Benjamin Garrison. Minister
Wesley Methodist Church in Abana Illinois. And Marcus singer a professor of philosophy University of Wisconsin. Perry T-Bo associate professor of philosophy at University of Illinois will serve as chairman of this discussion. Richard Brandt professor of philosophy University of Michigan opens the discussion with comments on Mr. Gustavsson his lecture. Now I was interested in the parallel he drew between the relationship between the between the relationship position one has in a family and one's moral obligations. Now it seems to me that. What he pointed out. Was that the family. Won and both sustained and at the same time. Restrained that the two different sides of the same coin as it were. And the
kind of answer you might give to a person who chafed under the restraints of the family. Is to point out to him that. There was the other side that. His position in the family. Made him what he was feel his life. And so on and that. One simply being realistic has to accept the restraints will become strengths. Now suppose you. Took this same view. Now I'm rather inclined to agree myself that. One might view. Moral principles at least those I would like to subscribe to. AS. Principles for action. Which. People must impose on themselves. You have life together is to be tolerable. Rules against
assaulting other persons. Against injuring them in some way. Requiring that people keep their promises. Things of that sort. Seem to me rules which. If they are accepted and followed by all of us or even most of us. Make life. Tolerable for everybody. And. I would want to say that. This fact justifies. To anyone who chafes under moral rules justifies his respect for them. Because it can be pointed out to him. That if he had a choice between living in a society. Where people had different rules are no rules of this sort it all if another was a choice between living in a society. Where everyone was purely self-seeded seeking. And regarded no such rules and a society in which he lives. It would obviously be to his advantage to
choose the society in which he lives. And so far that seems to me. A justification of respect for morality. And. I think that that's the kind of account that is reasonably given. Now it seems to me however that at this point one has to make a distinction. I denigrate to a great many principle who at least some principles which are part of our traditional morality may not serve this role. That is there may be restrictions which. Common morality imposes upon people. Which cannot be said to be restraints upon the conduct in order that life with others be more tolerable. In other words there are traditional constraints. Which cannot be justified in this way. Now I'm not sure whether. France or gushed Gustavsson would go along with me and say that where there
is a divergence. Between. Traditional morality. And the kind of morality which can be justified that we really don't have much obligation to pay attention to traditional morality. That would be the first question I'd want to raise. Now the second one. Would be would be this. That. While this sort of justification. Can be given. For respect for. Moral rules. It seems to me that there is a sense in which. This kind of justification does not provide a. Rational basis. For a person in all circumstances making serious sacrifices. When called upon to do so by some moral principle. It's all very well decide that. If you had a choice between living in a society in which no one accepted moral principles. And
living in the society in which you are. You would much prefer it would be to your advantage to choose a life in the society in which you are. But doesn't seem to me that this shows that it's rational for a person. To choose to live by moral principle. In situations where it is clearly to his disadvantage to do so. So I'm rather inclined to end up in the rather painful position that. In cases in which I've many cases in which I would think that people ought to follow their moral principles. I don't see how any rational justification can be given to them for doing so. So to that extent it seems to me that. To that extent moral action cannot be fully rationally justified. It goes to speech question on the last point to begin with the last. I think I understand you I agree with you that is to say. It seems to me that there's a level at
which we can engage in rational rational discourse in giving some kind of rational justification to some moral principles but that to do things it seems to me clarified the ultimate rational justification for all moral principles. One is the fact that the moral life is a life of the affections and the sentiments and sensibilities as well as the life of the intellect and consequently to some extent we've got to understand and figure out a way how feelings as well as elective reflective aspects and gauge are engaged in the kinds of principles and values we need here too. And my second son. So the call cation is I suppose that ultimately everybody in a sense makes a leap in terms of answering the question why be moral. You can give reasons to being moral to concede to a certain level but at some point I suppose one can fully rationalize that that give a fully rational answer to that
question. Now in terms of the first one What was the first first one dealt with. Additionally if traditional morality is in conflict with sort of rationally justifiable morality destress traditional morality have authority isn't that is that a fairly putting. First of all I take it we don't necessarily we don't necessarily say that traditional morality cannot have some rational justification. I just say there are aspects of traditional morality which are not accepted simply because they are traditional but because they can be justified in terms of their significance and utility for human well-being so that we're not dealing with two things that are simply opposite of each other by definition. My answer to that question is that that I don't think that traditional morality by virtue of being traditional has any particular authority for us. I think it has it has the right to be considered insofar as it also has emerged out
of the human community's efforts to come to grips with what is required to maintain and keep the human community. But I have no hesitancy whatsoever for example in casting aside certain traditional concepts or some certain traditional moral rules at various levels at which these operate if they are no longer justifiable. Now the justification again I would say cannot always be rational even with reference reference to traditional morality any more than there are two. To this question any more than it can to the end. My answer to the first that is to say one recognises in part one is a part of a tradition. One brings at's makes that tradition subject to criticism but to some extent subjective factors of loyalty to traditions caught up by our capacities for objectivity and rationality in sorting out what aspects of tradition morality we would accept although I think it always ought to be under self-examination and scrutiny. My question is concerning the toss last night rather than the discussion that's gone on here at
the end of the discussion here rather well that I found great difficulty or at least some difficulty in following Professor Gustavsson stock last night and I was this troubled me after the talking so I tried to figure out just exactly why and it seemed to me that and I found they'd be very wrong about this so please don't think I doubt that Professor Gustavsson was more asking the questions rather than answering them insofar as what values we should have to you know to guide the society and that we supposedly you know are in the process of building now. In other words I think you did a very fine job of phrasing the questions but and although other people have difficulty answering them I was hoping for a little bit more along the line of dancers and their being. And another point is that I was a little confused by his terminology and they were exact. I suppose the words are reasonably simple you know sustaining and restraining but that when you
have psychology courses and you're taught to think in terms of positive and negative conditioning an operant response at the end sustain in restraining or just little bit form. And then the I don't thing is that down while the other speakers out our break box the artist has a loft and talked about such problems as urbanization as transportation and the palms and to get our human dignity and I guess it has to sound processing the thing again and it didn't seem to me like he was dealing with quite the same problems and so perhaps you can explain to me just exactly how dry I have been able to understand the aether like chairs and get some have thought of. You may if you wanted to. Well I'll make a response first I think you're heard me correctly that I didn't get to the delineation precisely at let's say what human
welfare consists or what the wellbeing of the human community consists of. Now the reason I didn't get to that was one they gave me 30 minutes instead of 50. But that's not so much an excuse but I think it's important to establish insofar as possible the grounds on which you arrive at this kind of question and what I was trying to indicate is that doctor wasn't theirs. There are profound human bases by rote upon which one proceeds to ask these kinds of questions. QUESTION I'd like to ask Professor Rollo. It is a lonely he's longing for us alone and is telling us that we shouldn't confuse politics with protest. That what is needed and what should be done is I understood him. Which should be engaging is not. Protest but
effective political action. In fact I think he said it is absurd to protest and not move to effective political action. The one thing that puzzled me about that. Is that there were at one level there seems to be an obvious difference between a mere protest and effective political action. As you begin to explore this matter the difference between the two begins to break down. For example. In India. Before the British pulled out. Protest to protest movements and civil disobedience movements were a full on political action. And could be. Reasonably regarded as a fact. Second thing. In this connection. In speaking of fact political action.
Or even speaking of political action it seems to me the professor alone is taking for granted. A concept of political action which is presupposed in our society and which might not be accepted. Or recognized as such in another form of society and it seems to me that at least some of the people who are engaging in a number of the protests that are going on today. Are trying to change the pre-suppositions. Which determines the foreign for us have political action. Put this in the form of statement long enough to get a question. Yes very cogent stain. I think the first place. I didn't mean that protests are an important part of the election
and concerned about protests that remain at the level of public saying and protests that remain at the level of the demonstration the ones only in a state as likely to be saying to protest that I'm not concerned with the Ways and Means organization and zeroed it lead to work towards a change in the state of the Sayers. I do not equate the United States with India. Time the British Raj was operated in India as a matter of fact this is one of the objections I have to the protest. People like Professor Chomsky of the MIT might conceivably equate the United States with Nazi Germany I think make a grievous mistake because while I have no more use and Chomsky I do believe that this is a constitutional
democracy in which there are avenues of changing the administration in power. And I do not regard the mere baring of one's bosom in the sign of one's the faults of rectitude is by itself a very productive act for the way the lives of the deceased are sandals and sag. As far as I'm concerned they are counterproductive in terms of achieving a stance of will as opposed to the license of the demonstration. Certainly no question the protests in connection with the civil rights movement were quite functional. For arriving at a sense of shock in the nation's conscience and certainly no question. And you're quite right that there are a variety of roles that need to be orchestrated in a political movement. There are some people feel with great sensitivity the gross injustice and those say the ceiling is terribly important from the
point of view of society as opposed to the moral callousness of a lot of people. Very frequently the people who can sense an evil. I know however the people who can do anything practically about it. They have an exquisite sensitivity to morrow outrage that's very important for the society's conscience they should exercise it's very important that you should have groups example groups in the society of one sort or another who are not so tied into the practicalities of the status quo that they are in some sense hide and pillage Curly's inhumanities and injustice. There is however a problem of how you practically go about doing it. When I signed in the protest movement a great deal of reaction almost as the young person has when he discovers his violin has feet of clay and he feels he's been robbed because he ought to be an idol. Great numbers these people act is they discovered evil in the world. Turn on a hysterically cur Michael rant about the gas
chambers of Nuremberg to which he was on and various others. Why do you think you should have been a special exception. You know you really have been born to a good world. Ok it isn't good now so what do we do about it practically. I think we don't really get very far by pretending that the United States is South Africa in which you need to have the natives of a tyrannical Minard. The United States is in. You've got to kick out the British Raj. Is a constitutional democracy and open society with all its defects which people are seriously committed. To constitutional democracy need to use constitutional processes for changing policies with which they disagree. And there are Gloria the practical steps for bringing this about. And at some point protesting for the sake of cult testing is not a very effective way of achieving this is what I'm concerned.
I might add. That would tend to pose. Their own ideas of what is morally important or what is paramount moral issue and others are not doing anyone a service actually being immoral. Because they're corrupting people's moral. Consciences. Oh I take it this is a repressive toleration. Well what is it you know I mean you impose your abar all ideas of course in the sense of imposition and if you say it's tyrannical by definition it's bad. If you try to persuade people to agree with you it seems to me this is the very essence of a democratic society. Because the difference between persuasion and imposition is quite a lot. Do you want to say people impose why use bad words not bad. Mr. DAVIS.
There are. Quite a few years now about the great emphasis placed by us and learn of literature in popular magazines and the need for purpose in life. Strikes me that we have purpose coming out of five years perhaps much too much of it. The university doesn't have any sense of purpose. The business community doesn't have much sense of purpose. A lot of case I'd be terrified if it did in the former case I'm not really sure that it should. It strikes me that the grid at half was just the place not on purpose but on process not on something to achieve way out there in the getting or the doing of things. Somehow the first song is an extremely sophisticated person and therefore it's difficult. Directly before this issue I've been reading not too long ago a number of speeches by turn of the century people who came to Yale University to lecture on good citizenship and while they were conservative and I take it he is not as conservative there still struck me as a kind of a similarity in the notion there and
particularly the idea that one ought to in one's life in university life the purpose of going to Gail is to learn to grow up and to be a useful member of the community as that was then invisible and to go out and to work in the ranks i.e. teach our elementary school after having taken the mickey mouse. Before and I'm just a little bit worried about this as to whether there might not be some some other. Not so much gore oriented as moons oriented approach to this problem. You know I don't know how anybody could tell whether a crisis was any good if we didn't know what purpose he had the process and it seems to me that without having any notion of way you want to go you have no sense of direction and you could sort of amble in any direction and help you in wherever like you wanted to go. It seems to me to make a distinction between purpose and crisis is to give prizes some kind of value independently of the purpose for which you adopt the process and I don't know where
anywhere where you judge means except in terms of ends and I take it a process is a means and was a means to if you don't have a purpose. Well you know there's something very reasonable about this I think every time not. It doesn't matter that we're in a courtroom but I am not sure for example whether that's a people who corne miles upon miles to get to the top or whether getting to the top is simple an excuse for the process of climbing the mountain in the first place. I just don't think that if you can somehow posit a nice goal then this is a reason for moving at all and I don't think that you can judge means well at all. This is it now when I get to the university that you'll achieve something much better if you don't know what it is you're achieving and what you do achieve is not knowing whether you fail which is a part of the agenda not just a quirk in Mr Garrison. I'm somewhat known but of course you get there you're never nonplussed.
What if I can see on some of the cogent. Terms that were used in the previous conversation. I think I would. See breaks down if they can bring. The change of definition the professor Davis's remarks about process. It seems to me that. What we've been talking about the. Questions that we raise is not about the engine power you know it's not just you know things and that the answers that we are arriving at. Not OUR who present political realities nor do they define the context in which the ethical man must down one time. I think that is because the situation has in a sense become that a political matter more. In other words going as we want as we try.
To reach a level of conversation which is on a higher plane and with greater earnestness and like magazine we come out with the same camo evoking the same patient. But it seems to me that if I can get long. Target while using up the individual in the society is neither powerless nor one of power. And now when one comes talk about that you will acquire more political action one gets into more horrible harm than the ones one can engage as the students at Santa Barbara home you are a loon you want to know are just lazy and lobbying and getting what you require on the moral progress or morally and spiritually and get better and better every day. But in the process one has oneself legislature as Apple chic suburban youth and therefore validate their higher
process of criticism against the Berkeley campus because the people there wear beards have sandals and therefore somehow don't fit into the system and it seems to me that the godless of whether they connect in the system or not are people who are part of the educational part of the academic community. They were deserving of the frame of mind of the population. Barbara and walk my dogs down. Yeah one can use them on the truck. Whack Marlaina back on one's own behalf. And want me to advance one cause and and do so without any great. Depth. And then when he was out and getting them in the process that one must play back into the system which is neither moral nor politically but goes coasting on the road and I don't just pop one of them going Hey I like running which I
just know it's a cliche argument because exactly was talking about last night. It's exactly something I don't think you will do while this is basically saying we don't expect to play by the rules because we don't like the world we don't know that rules will play by we propose to change the society. We're not going to contaminate our cells because we're holier than thou. And we're going to be truly goodish. Basically it is true that anybody who is concerned with politics and political action better not be a saint to want to be that kind of stuff gets you to a nunnery along with the CEO. The fact of the matter is you can't be in politics without getting a little bit dirty and basically my objection to this is a big copout slogan. It provides you pseudo lack she knew which you appear to be doing something effectively about politics but really massaging your Rio Medio was a holy man. And I cannot really see it as a defective bad response to the problems of constitutional democracy or being serious it's a cop out job.
Man and the multitude
Discussion of Long and Gustafson lectures, part one
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University of Illinois
WILL Illinois Public Media
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the first part of a discussion of lectures by Norton Long and James Gustafson. Speakers include Morris Davis, Benjamin Garrison, Harry Tiebout (all of the University of Illinois); Marcus Singer, University of Wisconsin; and Richard Brandt, University of Michigan.
Series Description
A lecture series commemorating the centennial of the University of Illinois.
Politics and Government
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Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
Speaker: Long, Norton E.
Speaker: Gustafson, James M.
Speaker: Davis, Morris
Speaker: Garrison, Benjamin.
Speaker: Tiebout, Harry M. (Harry Morgan), 1921-1983
Speaker: Singer, Marcus George, 1926-
Speaker: Brandt, Richard B.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-41-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:05
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Chicago: “Man and the multitude; Discussion of Long and Gustafson lectures, part one,” 1967-10-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “Man and the multitude; Discussion of Long and Gustafson lectures, part one.” 1967-10-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Man and the multitude; Discussion of Long and Gustafson lectures, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from