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The Open MindCold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature$
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Jamie Cohen-Cole

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226092164

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226092331.001.0001

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A Fractured Politics of Human Nature

A Fractured Politics of Human Nature

(p.217) Chapter Eight A Fractured Politics of Human Nature
The Open Mind

Jamie Cohen-Cole

University of Chicago Press

In the decade between 1965 and 1975 open-mindedness moved from serving as an element of cultural cohesion to one that divided Americans one from another. This chapter examines how the cultural web sustained by open-mindedness unraveled at two ends of the political spectrum. The first half of this chapter focuses on the late 1960s and examines how the political culture of Cold War period came apart when the New Left enthusiastically adopted the open mind and pried it away from centrist political positions and from the social scientists, intellectuals, and policy makers who espoused them. The second half of this chapter turns to the politics of the open-mind in the early 1970s when the New Right attacked the vision of open-minded reason that had linked the academy, centrist culture, and human nature as a organizational and movement building strategy. The chapter focuses on the reaction to place where the culture of open-mindedness was at its most concentrated: MAN: A Course of Study (MACOS). Conservatives contended that the cognitive vision of humans as, by nature, open-minded embedded an anti-American, liberal, and secular humanist agenda. They used opposition to the cognitive vision of human nature as a strategy for building their political movement.

Keywords:   Open-mindedness, New Right, Political culture, Conservative, New Left, Liberal, Human nature

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