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Chapter One: The Search for a Pragmatic Utopia

Section 6: Conclusion


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Odissi Dance by Asako Takami (left) and Manoranjan Pradhan (right), May, 1998, at Theater of Yugen, San Francisco, California.



Our discussion of the search for a pragmatic utopia has focused upon eventualities within our control. Of course, the future is not entirely knowable. We can predict, with varying degrees of confidence, that the world will remain the same in some ways and will change in specifiable other ways. To the extent that sameness reigns, we may preserve educational methods - while welcoming improvements.



To the extent we can specify changes, we need to ascertain the demands they will make on future adults, and adapt our methods accordingly. To the extent that the changes are beyond our powers of prediction, we must educate a populace capable of adapting to and coping with the variety of contingencies that may be produced by a changing environment. However, these problems are not outside the scope of our endeavor. The pragmatic utopia must prepare for the predictable and the uncertain aspects of our future.



We have now defined "pragmatic utopia" as the achievable and stable set of conditions which will best promote the achievement of human potentials and corresponding senses of well being. It would be logical for the reader to presume that the paper will now proceed in a linear fashion. First, specify in what ways the future is predictable. Second, construct a pragmatic utopia. Third, determine the requirements that utopian society will make upon its members. Fourth, and finally, what educational methods will promote the skills, values, and knowledge so required. In fact, the paper does roughly follow this outline.



However, this neat linearity is largely illusory. While we discuss education last, it should be clear that without discussing the results of different approaches to education, one can not really consider what are human potentials. Until one discusses human potentials, one cannot really construct a pragmatic utopia. There is a definite cyclical quality to this problem, although it resembles a gradually progressing spiral rather than a vicious circle. Furthermore, this paper is a part of the process it describes, and this adds the convolutions of self-consciousness to the endeavor. For these reasons, despite chapter demarcations, no section is really complete until the final chapter is begun.







Book Contents

Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future



Chapter 1 Contents

Evaluating the Global Transcultural Friendship

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The Evolution of Societal Structures

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Utopian "Good"



Conclusion for Chapter 1

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Contents of Chapter 2