Seeking to Balance Values of Science and Humanity

Pam Belluck, New York Times, August 11, 2001.


As one might expect, Dr. Leon Richard Kass, the University of Chicago professor who will head President Bush’s council on bioethics, has written on subjects like cloning, physician-assisted suicide and in-vitro fertilization.

But Dr. Kass has also written a book about eating customs and table manners. And along with his wife, Amy Apfel Kass, a humanities professor, he teaches a class on marriage and courtship, which champions traditional virtues like patience and fidelity and draws on examples from Jane Austen and Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”

To Dr. Kass, 62, these subjects are simply pieces of an intellectual whole.

“This is all part of anthropology in the ancient sense,” he said. “What does it mean to be a human being? A relation between what is given to us naturally and what we make of ourselves culturally.”

New York Times