The Need for Diverse Perspectives

Marion Dane Bauer's article "The Censor Within"

Marion Dane Bauer's article "The Censor Within"

Marion Dane Bauer’s article “The Censor Within” printed in the Fall 1984 issue of Top of the News shares her concern for morality when writing for young adults, but argues that a book’s moral stance should not qualify its value. Rather its literary integrity should define a book. While Bauer supports moral fortitude, she does not limit morality to religion. The article shares her initial and later thoughts on The Chocolate War. She determines that her base objection to The Chocolate War is that Cormier believes differently than she, but that this was no reason to discredit his work. She continues by arguing that all people should read widely to understand points-of-view that are alternative  to their own. Bauer also warns against worshipping the holiness of books, reminding readers that actions in a book do not lead directly to altered actions on the part of a reader. To achieve freedom, diversity must be accepted, so reading something one disagrees with marks the presence of liberty.

Related Links:

A college newspaper article where a student argues for reading books you disagree with

The Introduction to Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson's anthology Democracy and Disagreement

Gary Gutting interviews philsophy professor Jerry Gaus on the value of disagreement