ItemNarrating Enlightenment: Oral History and Civil Society after Hitler(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Bailis, Stanley; Bell, James A.Does oral history promote liberal values? civic virtues? This paper will explore the contemporary role of narrative interviews, a core method within the everyday life history movement in Central Europe (Alltagsgeschichte). Reflecting back on a series of interviews I conducted on the Nazi past in 1992-94 in Hildesheim, this paper will show that I and my interview partners responded to the authenticity of this encounter by judging each other categorically. This response denied the ethical ambiguity of the Third Reich and raises the thorny question of whether history should be based on facticity or authenticity. Both oral history and alltagsgeschichte seek to balance these modes of remembrance and, as this paper will show, it is this tension that facilitates the growth of civic virtues. Moreover, this tension is most effective in promoting civic virtues when oral history is conceived and conducted not simply as a means to an empirical end, but as a long-term, social process of remembrance. ItemOvercoming Dogma in Epistemology(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Bell, James A.Nothing will put academics on a high horse quicker than unacceptable standards of evidential support or interpretative argument. The trouble is that there are different and incompatible standards. Unacceptable standards means, then, unacceptable from a certain epistemological perspective. Since academic disciplines or subdisciplines are often defined by a given epistemological position, people can easily become epistemological dogmatists. Almost anyone associated with academia is aware of the result: misunderstanding and mistrust across disciplines and missed opportunities for creative thinking within disciplines. In this article these misfortunes are tackled with tools forged from philosophy, science, anthropology, and cultural history. The goal is transformative: we can dismount the high horse by learning to understand, tolerate, appreciate, and even use alternative approaches in our own work. Indeed, we should do just that. ItemHow Much Is Enough? The Limits of Interdisciplinary Openness in Environmental Ethics(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Bailis, Stanley; Bell, James A.One of the most interdisciplinary and integrative branches of philosophy is environmental ethics. It is closely associated with the movement that has arguably been the most transformative public phenomenon in the past three decades, and during its brief history, it has experienced dramatic transformations of its own. Originally an interdisciplinary effort at the unlikely juncture of forestry and philosophy, it has grown into an applied branch of moral philosophy that is situated in the context of ecology, environmental economics, and public policy. I argue that environmental ethics is in need of another transformation: its long-term viability requires the consolidation of its basis-- that is, the justification of its core claims. The current conception of environmental ethics as an applied approach suffers from the absence of a coherent foundation. In the short run, the attention to this foundational, disciplinary labor would limit the interdisciplinary openness of environmental ethics; in the long run, however, these very limitations will ensure the worth of environmental ethics as an integrative approach that can fruitfully interact with other disciplines. ItemArt and Transformation(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Bailis, Stanley; Bell, James A.Many contemporary artists intend to challenge the viewer's modes of perception by manipulating traditional imagery, but does this transformation of cultural stock images constitute a transformation in the audience? This paper will examine artists who appropriate images using reproductive technologies in an attempt to reach a large audience and initiate social change. ItemIntroduction: Transformative Encounters With Integrative Ethics. Papers from a 1997 A.I.S. session(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Balis, Stanley; Bell, James A.Values are like the air we breath: they can go unrecognized even though they are critical to our lives. We do become aware of received values, however, when they fail to provide wise guidance. Those are the times that ethical crises can arise, bringing on the emotional, personal, and spiritual impact of transformative experience. Indeed, a change in outlook or viewpoint is normally expressed as a change in or reinterpretation of given values. That is the case whether values are understood as a set of structured ethical norms (follows that one should not do) or as an aesthetic response (I like), or anything on the continuum between these two extremes. ItemDewey Meets the Buddha(Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, 1998) Bailis, Stanley; Bell, James A.From the Greeks we have inherited the notion that a profound awareness of suffering is essential for ethical maturity. In Buddhism, a fundamental aspect of ethical awareness is that all life is suffering. In a more contemporary context, a fundamental aspect of John Dewey's philosophy is that a meaningful education must bring all of life into the classroom learning experience. By combining these ideas, we confront the possibility that deep ethical transformations can occur by incorporating our students' suffering as a fundamental component of the classroom learning experience. But what are the strategies through which we and our students can utilize suffering in order to bring about ethical transformation? This paper will explore an integrative method of philosophy teaching that blends the East with the West.