The Importance of Ambiguity in Russian and American Culture

  • W. J. Gavin
  • T. J. Blakeley
Part of the Sovietica book series (SOVA, volume 38)


One great problem facing the twentieth century is that of a pervasive cultural myopia. Again and again we define ourselves in exclusive, elitist categories, both on a personal and on a national level. The current situation has reached the critical stage, for as McLuhan has shown, we are now all intimate citizens of a global village.1 The tragedy of our present situation is that it represents a significant departure from early American culture. Our tradition in general is not susceptible to articulation in an arbitrarily truncated manner. Even a cursory view of such eminent writers as William James and John Dewey will indicate a dissatisfaction with a priori deductive systems; instead, philosophical outlooks are constantly subjected to the press of experience. Philosophy in America reflected its frontier beginnings in maintaining that no account of the universe could be deemed complete until the last person in experience had had his say.


AMERICAN Culture Deductive System Religious Experience Mystic Experience Quick Bird 
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Copyright information

© Listening 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Gavin
  • T. J. Blakeley

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