We compare Carnap's and Kuhn's views on science. Although there are important differences between them, the similarities are striking. The basis for the latter is a pragmatically oriented semantic conventionalist picture of science, which suggests that the view that post-positivist philosophy of science constitutes a radical revolution which has no interesting affinities with logical positivism must be seriously mistaken.
: The question which this paper examines is that of the correct scope of the claim that extra-linguistic factors (such as gender and social status) can block the proper workings of natural language. The claim that this is possible has been put forward under the apt label of silencing in the context of Austinian speech act theory. The ‘silencing’ label is apt insofar as when one's ability to exploit the inherent dynamic of language is ‘blocked’ by one's gender or social (...) status then one might justly be said to be silenced. The notion that factors independent of any person's linguistic competence might block her ability to exploit the inherent dynamic of language is of considerable social as well as theoretical significance. I shall defend the claim that factors independent of a person's linguistic competence can indeed block her ability to do things with words but I will show that the cases that have been previously considered to be cases of illocutionary failure are instances of rhetic or locutionary act failure instead. I shall refine the silencing claim as previously advanced in the debate in at least one fundamental respect. I also show that considering the metaphysics of speech acts clarifies many of the issues previously appearing as thorny bones of contention between those who hold that the only notion of silencing that is coherent is that of physically preventing someone from speaking or writing and those who hold the opposite sort of claim sketched above. (shrink)
Thomas Kuhn's post-1980 writings have increasingly emphasized the role played by language in the characterization of scientific revolutions and incommensurability. We argue that Kuhn's `linguistic turn' can be understood best against the background of a Whorfian conception of language and certain neo-Kantian themes. While this enables Kuhn to refine and unify his earlier views, it also creates some difficulties.
Two alternative solutions to the problem of computing the values of theoretical quantities and of testing theoretical hypotheses are Sneed’s structuralist eliminationism and Glymour’s bootstrapping. Sneed attempts to solve the problem by eliminating theoretical quantities by means of the so-called Ramsey-Sneed sentence that represents the global empirical claim of the given theory. Glymour proposes to solve the problem by deducing the values of the theoretical quantities from the hypothesis to be tested. In those cases where the theoretical quantities are not (...) strongly Ramsey-eliminable, eliminationism does not succeed in computing the values of theoretical quantities, and it is compelled to use bootstrapping in this task. On the other hand, we see that a general notion of bootstrapping provides a formally correct procedure for computing theoretical quantities, and thus contributes to the solution to the problem of testing theoretical hypotheses involving these quantities. (shrink)
One of the most legendary educational books ever written is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Émile ou de l’Education”. Most obviously Rousseau wrote this book guided by diverse more or less conscious purposes and one of the main problems it presents is paradoxical: Does education have to promote freedom by force? In this article I will, firstly, present several aims that might have triggered Rousseau to write “Émile”. Secondly, I will discuss Rousseau’s view of the so called “educational paradox”. Since this quandary touches (...) the topic of many other of his books, I will discuss “Émile” along with Rousseau’s other works and thus place his educational story in his “great narrative”. (shrink)
This article takes as its starting point the commonplace that Rousseau’s Emile enabled his contemporaries to discover not only childhood but physical education. Focused on what the pedestal erected for Jean-Jacques somewhat overshadows, a brief historiographic overview and a survey of some major writings on education before Rousseau (by the Abbot Fleury, John Locke, Jean-Pierre de Crousaz and Charles Rollin) will show that the ideas defended by the writer were not innovative in the slightest. But also, and this seems (...) far more important, that these ideas took place in a particular context : the mid-eighteenth century dispute between pedagogues and physicians over the body of the child, which resulted as much from the medicalization of pedagogy as from the educationalization of medicine, at a time when the boundaries between disciplines had not yet been defined. In the context of the ascension to power of physicians, reinforced by the first statistics on child mortality, as will be suggested in conclusion, Rousseau’s advocacy for corporal education gave the initiative back to the pedagogues. (shrink)
Rousseau tries to show that civic patriotism is compatible with genuine moral cosmopolitanism as well as republican cosmopolitanism (the compatibility thesis). I try to clarify these concepts, and distinguish them from other types of cosmopolitanism, such as moral, cultural, economic, and epistemological cosmopolitanisms. Rousseau winds up with a form of rooted cosmopolitanism that tries to strike a balance between republican patriotism and republican as well as thin moral cosmopolitanism, offering a synthesis through education. A careful reading of Émile shows that (...) this is a book about the formation of a moral and cognitive cosmopolitan who avoids the deformations of a commercial society influenced by processes of globalisation. (shrink)
Educational authority is an issue in contemporary democracies. Surprisingly, little attention has been given to the problem of authority in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile and his work has not been addressed in the contemporary debate on the issue of authority in democratic education. Olivier Michaud's goals are, first, to address both of these oversights by offering an original reading of the problem of authority in Emile and then to rehabilitate the notion of “educational authority” for democratic educators today. Contrary (...) to progressive readings of Emile, he argues, Rousseau's position on this issue is not reducible to “education against authority.” What appears at first glance to be an education against authority is, in a deeper sense, an education toward and even within authority. Michaud contends that we have to embrace these complexities and contradictions that inform Rousseau's work in order to gain insights into the place and role of authority in democratic education. Michaud sheds light on Rousseau's stance on authority through a close study of specific topics addressed in Emile, including negative education, opinion, one's relation to God, friendship and loving relationships, and, finally, the relation Rousseau established with his reader. (shrink)
The trajectory from Rousseau through romanticism to twentieth-century efforts to preserve natural settings for their aesthetic values is a familiar one. What may be less familiar and more fruitful to explore at the present time is Rousseau’s stoic recognition of the need for limitation and balance in the ways that human beings interact with their surroundings. Rousseau’s discussion of the dynamics of natural need, artificial desires, and human powers or faculties appears in its most elaborated form in Emile, within (...) the context of the pedagogue’s role in fostering authentic happiness. Given our present preoccupation with competition, consumerism, and growth, Rousseau’s ethic of self-limitation and retrenchment is unlikely to be embraced by policy makers any time soon, but his alternative vision nevertheless merits contemporary recognition. (shrink)
Abstract One of the seminal works in the history of educational thought is Rousseau's Emile. This article seeks to examine Rousseau's advocacy of a secular approach to morality and its particular implications for the moral education of the young Emile. A keyword in Rousseau's thinking is nature and an attempt is made to examine critically the naturalistic ethics from which so many of his moral prescriptions were derived. It then proceeds to outline some of the central aspects of (...) his recommendations for the moral education of Emile and incorporates his reflections upon home life, habit?training, punishment, the importance of reason, needs and the value of history as a moral educator. The remainder of the article seeks to show the influence of Rousseau's ideas upon the secularization of moral education, a process which began just after the French Revolution, gathered momentum in the nineteenth century (particularly with the triumph of republicanism and the added impetus given by the influential writings of Durkheim), and saw its full fruition in French schools in the early part of the twentieth century. (shrink)
One of the mantras of progressive education is that genuine learning ought to be exciting and pleasurable, rather than joyless and painful. To a significant extent, Jean-Jacques Rousseau is associated with this mantra. In a theme of Emile that is often neglected in the educational literature, however, Rousseau stated that “to suffer is the first thing [Emile] ought to learn and the thing he will most need to know.” Through a discussion of Rousseau's argument for the importance of (...) an education in suffering, Avi Mintz contends that the reception of Rousseau by progressives suggests a detrimental misstep in the history of educational thought, a misstep that we should recognize and correct today. We ought to revive the progressive tradition of distinguishing the valuable educational pains from the harmful ones, even if we disagree with the particular types of pain that Rousseau identified as educationally valuable. (shrink)
In May 1933 the historian of chemistry Hélène Metzger addressed a letter to the renowned historian and philosopher of science Émile Meyerson, a cri de coeur against Meyerson's patronizing attitude toward her. This recently discovered letter is published and translated here because it is an exceptional human document reflecting the gender power structure of our discipline in interwar France. At the age of forty-three, and with five books to her credit, Metzger was still a junior scholar in the exclusively male (...) community of French historians and philosophers of science. We sketch the institutional setting of higher learning in France at the time, noting the limited openings it offered to would-be femmes savantes, and situate Metzger in this context. We also describe the philosophical differences between Metzger and Meyerson. Though Metzger never managed to obtain a post of her own, in her letter to Meyerson she forcefully lays claim, at least, to a mind of her own. (shrink)
The paper focuses on Rousseau’s understanding of passionate life and especially his interpretation of erotic desire in Émile . The main argument presented is that Rousseau by his studies of erotic desire gives us at present day the possibility of radicalizing our understanding of human being in pedagogy. Firstly, by allowing us to rethink passions as important phenomena in human life and secondly, by understanding pedagogical practice as an arena which is part of forming passions, including erotic desire.
Despite their importance to the history of economics and social theory, social scientists and historians pay little heed to the structural similarities as well as the important divergences in the work of French-man Emile Durkheim (1858—1917) and American Thorstein Veblen (1857—1929). Consequently, this article places Durkheim and Veblen in their social and historical context, and then (1) their epistemologies are related to their use of cultural lag to explain the persistence of atavistic continuities in the existing order, (2) their (...) theories of social bonding and integration are compared to explain the meaning as well as the structural differences in their collectivism, and (3) these are linked with the predictive power of their broader socioeconomic theories to forecast the future of Western society. The two men made major contributions to the human sciences and a historical retrospect by way of comparative analysis illuminates these contributions. (shrink)
Rousseau’s discussion of education in Émile has for its essential background his rejection of a truly public education in modern society on the one hand and the rejection of the possibility of modern human beings developing in a state of natural innocence on the other hand. His suggestion in Émile is that a form of private education (“home-schooling”) is possible that preserves the inherent goodness of the natural state while at the same time providing the instruction necessary for the student (...) to become a successful social, and thus moral, person. The possibility of such an education on Rousseau’s own terms will be the central focus of this essay; though implications for education today will also be raised. (shrink)
Émile Durkheim es uno de los padres de la sociología. Su obra El suicidio aporta herramientas conceptuales y analíticas para conocer la arquitectura moral de la sociedad. En este artículo se revisan esos artefactos de la teoría social, en su época contrastados científicamente, capaces de medir la fuerza integradora de las agrupaciones humanas y de detectar las variables que determinan su funcionamiento. A pesar del imparable individualismo que define nuestras sociedades, sigue vigente el análisis sociológico que da cuenta del carácter (...) colectivo de muchas de nuestras decisiones y comportamientos. (shrink)
The following analysis seeks to question Rousseau's assumptions concerning the desirability of an �education from things�. In particular, I will focus on the problematic relationship between, on one hand, the development of Emile's sense of freedom and independence, and on the other, his sense of moral autonomy. It is my contention that moral development necessarily entails both what Rousseau provides, namely a well-developed conception of individuality, and something that is sorely lacking in Rousseau's project. Turning to an analysis of (...) the preceptor's role in Emile's education, I will argue that it is precisely this type of connection and commitment to other human beings that Emile's education fails to foster. Ultimately, Emile emerges from his education prepared to deal with other humans on one level, but woefully lacking in other skills that are necessary for moral personhood. (shrink)
Notwithstanding the general accepted understanding that Rousseau is the master of modern education reflecting the progress by enlightenment this articles suggests that Rousseau’s Emile is—as most of Rousseau’s other writings are, too—testimony to a brilliant and passionate writer expressing thoughts about his concern how to deal with passions—passion being one of the most disputed concepts in late seventeenth and in eighteenth century. The reading of Emile has therefore take into account polemic as a literary trope in Rousseau’s style (...) of writing. (shrink)
Rousseau's Emile has attracted an avalanche of critical responses. His theme of negative education, or as he defines it, “well-regulated freedom”, has been denounced as outright manipulation in disguise, which instead of respecting the child's autonomy and dignity, places him at the whim of the teacher's machinations and stratagems. His recommendation that the child's imagination be curtailed (that he may not acquire desires which cannot be satisfied) is widely held to militate against one of the most cherished goals of (...) education: the fostering of the natural curiosity of the child. Rousseau is also accused of professing an “ideology of childhood” which ignores the real needs of children. In the sterilized environment which Rousseau proposes for the growing child, affection, praise and approval, are some of the sacrifices made to this ideology. Furthermore, his views on women are considered degrading, outrageous and blatantly sexist.Yet despite the myriad criticisms leveled against his work, Rousseau's Emile highlights one of the most exacting challenges for education — how to educate the child without alienating him. Rousseau connects this issue with the larger problem of alienation: namely, that experienced by man within the modern social order. Rousseau's views anticipate the contemporary debate between virtue-based and deontological ethics.The purpose of this paper is (i) to describe Rousseau's diagnosis of the problem of alienation as it arises in the various spheres of human life, paying special attention to the moral domain, and (ii) to assess the solutions he offers to the problem of alienation. These solutions are based on a conception of the good life which, I argue, is unacceptable. I also argue that this conception dissipates one form of alienation only at the expense of creating another.The paper begins by tracing the changes which the concept of alienation has undergone, and consequently I draw a distinction between two kinds of alienation — conscious and unconscious. I demonstrate that even if Rousseau is successful in offering a remedy for conscious alienation, this very remedy itself gives rise to unconscious alienation. (shrink)
In this essay Amy Shuffelton considers Jean-Jacques Rousseau's suspicion of imagination, which is, paradoxically, offered in the context of an imaginative construction of a child's upbringing. First, Shuffelton articulates Rousseau's reasons for opposing children's development of imagination and their engagement in the sort of imaginative play that is nowadays considered a hallmark of early and middle childhood. Second, she weighs the merits of Rousseau's opposition, which runs against the consensus of contemporary social science research on childhood imaginative play. Ultimately, Shuffelton (...) argues that Rousseau's work offers an important cautionary note to enthusiasts of children's imaginative play, due to the potentially disruptive influence of consumer capitalism, though she also notes that imagination may play a more redemptive role than Rousseau granted it. (shrink)
Abstract A condition for a flourishing liberal society, I believe, is a public education similar to that recommended by Durkheim. Its heterogeneous character, embracing critical thought and shared traditions, autonomy and community, human diversity and social unity, provides a powerful support for and challenge to liberal, democratic institutions. Durkheim mingled standard liberal and communitarian values??values supporting individual rights and critical thought, on one hand, and values supporting the common good and tradition on the other. On my reading, Durkheim forged a (...) middle way between liberalism and communitarianism, thereby rescuing us from the forced option that is often erected??defend ?the individual? or protect ?the community?. He championed various authoritative perspectives from society's shared understanding as a means to cultivate, in students, dispositions for social criticism. Tradition and critical thought go hand in hand, in Durkheim's view, because social critics, faced with changing circumstances, draw deeply from their social inheritance as they forge new paths and criticise some old ones. (shrink)
Within the purview of the sociology of knowledge Durkheim and Scheler appear among its important inaugurators theorizing the social foundations of knowledge, seemingly from mutually exclusive perspectives. Scheler’s phenomenology of values and community is often juxtaposed with Durkheim’s attempt to integrate values in reality, represented by the social configuration of organic solidarity. This essay argues that the affinity between Scheler and Durkheim deserves reexamination. Means employed for pursuing this aim include a reconsideration of how values mediate reality, but, above all, (...) an attempt to show that both thinkers converge on their principal normative goal. This is no other than a global community of solidarity which both Scheler and Durkheim, albeit through different trails, visualize as the culmination of value-ethics. While Durkheim pursues this goal through a systematic exposition of the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity, late Scheler’s view of ‘the age of adjustment’ discloses a normative approach on modernity at odds with the then prevalent Kulturkritik . This ideal helps to rehabilitate Scheler and to approach the notions of sociality, the sociology of knowledge and the configuration of the ‘encompassing person’ through Durkheimian lenses. The essay concludes with a brief appraisal of theoretical gains drawn from this newly lit affinity. (shrink)