Society

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 87–96 | Cite as

The Intellectual Crisis in Philanthropy

CULTURE AND SOCIETY

Abstract

Defenders of modern philanthropic freedom often defend donor intent and celebrate voluntary action. Nevertheless, donor intent and voluntarism have often undermined the conditions of constitutional freedom. This paper proposes that philanthropy currently suffers an intellectual crisis very much like the intellectual crisis in public administration diagnosed by Vincent Ostrom. The Common Core State Standards initiative is a case study of the problems of epistemic drift in philanthropy and raises questions about whether merely defending donor intent and voluntary action for their own sake is sufficient. To escape philanthropy’s current intellectual crisis requires a clearer consideration of the epistemic choices that shape donor intent and voluntary action.

Keywords

Philanthropy Philanthrocapitalism Education Federalism Public choice Common Core State Standards Vincent Ostrom Public administration 

Further Reading

  1. Bosworth, D. 2011. The Cultural Contradictions of Philanthrocapitalism. Society, 48, 382–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cornuelle, R. 1965. Reclaiming the American Dream: The Role of Private Individuals and Voluntary Associations. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Cornuelle, R. 1983. Healing America. New York: Putnam.Google Scholar
  4. Dewey, J. 1935/2000. Liberalism and Social Action. New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  5. Ealy, L. T., & Ealy, S. D. 2006. Progressivism and Philanthropy. The Good Society, 15, 35–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Greve, M. S. 2012. The Upside-Down Constitution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Nisbet, R. 1975. Twilight of Authority. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Ostrom, V. 2008/1973. The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration, 3rd ed. With Barbara Allen. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  9. Ostrom, V. 1991. The Meaning of American Federalism: Constituting a Self-Governing Society. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies.Google Scholar
  10. Ostrom, V. 1997. The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies: A Response to Tocqueville’s Challenge. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  11. Polanyi, M. 1946/1964. Science, Faith and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Reagan, B. 2013. The New Science of Giving. Wall Street Journal.Money, May 17, 2013.Google Scholar
  13. Schambra, W. A. 2005. The Problem of Philanthropy for Civic Renewal. Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. Accessed online June 18, 2013 at http://www.pacefunders.org/pdf/essays/Schambra%20FINAL.pdf.
  14. Taleb, N. N. 2012. Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder. New York: Random House.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CarmelUSA

Personalised recommendations