In this review essay, Mark Brenneman and Frank Margonis address three recent book-length contributions to the ongoing discussion around cosmopolitanism and educational thought: Mark Olssen's Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Social Democracy: Thin Communitarian Perspectives on Political Philosophy and Education, Sharon Todd's Toward an Imperfect Education: Facing Humanity, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism, and Ilan Gur-Ze’ev's Beyond the Modern-Postmodern Struggle in Education: Toward Counter-Education and Enduring Improvisation. Brenneman and Margonis argue that these contributions exhibit a marked disenchantment with Enlightenment conceptions of human possibilities as these (...) inform concrete recommendations in the field of the philosophy of education. All three books call for a rethinking of modernist categories in educational thought, a call that is supported by the authors' respective distrust and ultimate disenchantment with the residual presence of ideas of human perfectibility harbored in the philosophical categories that animate discussions in multicultural, liberal, neoliberal, and postmodern educational discussion. Brenneman and Margonis argue that each of these books theorizes from its own respective regionally specific circumstances, and they therefore prove valuable to philosophers of education who struggle toward their own local responses to human difference and the pedagogical possibilities of educational relations. (shrink)
Abstract The issue of producing and controlling the memories of the Holocaust is evaluated in this paper as a valid universal example of the struggle over self?identity and the recognition of ?the other? as a moral subject. The normal realisation of morality is presented as part of the denial of the other's identity, knowledge and value. The dialectics of the memories of the Holocaust and the possibility of a non?violent moral education is examined by questioning its treatment of the suffering (...) of ?others? in the Israeli arena. The author concedes that practising the Holocaust, denying the Holocaust and refusing to recognise the genocides/holocausts of other peoples do differ, but maintains that they are to be evaluated as moral stages of one and the same level. The Israeli refusal to acknowledge the genocides/holocausts of other peoples is analysed as a testcase for the possibility of a humanist?orientated moral education today. (shrink)
This paper characterizes a present institutionalizedunwillingness of both the Israeli and Palestinian educationalsystems to acknowledge each other's suffering because of the presenceof what the author terms `the otherness of the other.' This isdone largely through hegemonic control of memory of genocidesendured by both and through limiting constructions of the self.Coming to terms with `each other' paves the way for ahumanistic-oriented counter-education, one based in mutualacknowledgment and open dialogue.
This article sets forward a new concept of reflection, to be contrasted with more usual reading of the concept for which we use the term `reflectivity'. The contrast is related to a distinction between normalizing education and counter-education. We claim that within the framework of normalizing education there is no room for reflection, but only for reflectivity. In contrast to reflectivity, reflection manifests a struggle of the subject against the effects of power which govern the constitution of her conceptual apparatus, (...) her knowledge, her consciousness and her limitations and possibilities for successful functioning. Reflectivity re-presents the hegemonic realm of self-evidence and the productive violence of social and cultural order. Reflection, by contrast, aims to challenge the supposedly self-evident and the present order of things. Reflection aims at transcendence and represents a moral commitment in respect of the otherness of the Other, which power relations in every realm of self-evidence oblige us to neglect, to destroy or consume. Transcendence is a concrete utopia, and so is the subject in her nonrepressive communication with the Other: they are part and parcel of our present possibilities, sometimes in microscopic arenas, struggled for, and from time to time even realized. (shrink)
Emotions are fascinating phenomena which occupy a pivotal position in our lives. I have presented elsewhere (Ben-Ze'ev, 2000) a comprehensive framework for understanding emotions in our everyday life. The paper briefly describes the characterization of typical emotions, while indicating their relevance to online personal relationships. It discusses issues such as emotional complexity; the typical emotional cause, concern, and object; emotions and intelligence; and managing the emotions. The paper then goes on to examine whether the emotions elicited in online relationships are (...) similar to those in face-to-face relationships or whether we are witnessing the emergence of new types of emotions. (shrink)
The moral status of emotions has recently become the focus of various philosophical investigations. Certain emotions that have traditionally been considered as negative, such as envy, jealousy, pleasure-in-others'-misfortune, and pride, have been defended. Some traditionally "negative" emotions have even been declared to be moral emotions. In this brief paper, I suggest two basic criteria according to which an emotion might be considered moral, and I then examine whether envy, anger, and resentment are moral emotions.
This paper critically examines Ortony, Clore & Collins's book The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. The book is found to present a very valuable, comprehensive and systematic account of emotions. Despite its obvious value the book has various flaws; these are discussed and an alternative is suggested.
Rolls's book, The brain and emotion is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of the brain mechanisms that underlie emotional processes. Its explanatory value is less obvious when it comes to psychological and philosophical issues concerning the nature of emotions.
Intriguing, and occasionally unsettling, In Defense of Sin is a refreshingly frank exploration of some real facts of life. Portmann gathers an on-target collection of great writers on transgressions large and small. Read about defenses for promiscuity, greed, deceit, gossip, lust, breaking the golden rule, and more--and use this unusual guide to decide for yourself if sin has a place in our contemporary, and virtually unshockable, society. Provocative and illuminating, this book may change how you think about sin, morality, and (...) what's right. Contributors include Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, Anthony Ellis, Jane English, Ludwig Feuerbach, Sigmund Freud, Bernard Mandeville, Jerome Neu, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Novitz, Joyce Carol Oates, David A.J. Richards, Seneca, Jonathan Swift, Richard Wasserstrom, and Oscar Wilde. (shrink)
The story of the Aquedah represents one of the most moving stories of the Bible. Most modern discussions on it take their point of departure from Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. I shall do so too in this essay, which focuses on the relations between ethics and religious belief and tries to show that Kierkegaard misinterpreted the story. The inquiry analyzes philosophical responses to the Aquedah from Philo and Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers until the present. It underscores its paradoxical implications, (...) including a structuralist analysis and comparison of the Aquedah with the biblical story of Yephta's daughter. The final conclusion asserts that what Kierkegaard extolled, Judaism condemns as sacrilege. (shrink)
Many testimonies, as well as fictional works, describe situations in which people find themselves hating the person that they love. This might initially appear to be contradiction, as how can one love and hate the same person at the same time? A discussion of this problem requires making a distinction between logical consistency and psychologically compatibility. Hating the one you love may be a consistent experience, but it raises difficulties concerning its psychological compatibility.
Today appraisal theories are the foremost approach to emotions in philosophy and psychology. The general assumption underlying these theories is that evaluations (appraisals) are the most crucial factor in emotions. This assumption may imply that: (a) evaluative pattems distinguish one emotion from another; (b) evaluative pattems distinguish emotions from nonemotions; (e) emotional evaluations of the eliciting event determine emotional intensity. These claims are not necessarily related. Accepting one of them does not necessarily imply acceptance of the others. I believe that (...) whereas (b) is false, (a) and (c) are basically true. (shrink)
In his philosophical texts Levinas privileges le dire (“the saying”), which always presupposes the relation to the other, over le dit (“the said”), which transforms the other into an objective entity. Likewise in his analysis of thinking, he does not limit himself to the thought itself but aspires to reach what he characterizes by the word “transcendence.” This is a cardinal concept of his philosophy; it is not restricted to the religious meaning that God and God’s essence are beyond human (...) comprehension, but expresses the true sense of beyond myself. Such is the vocation of ethics, but it can be conceived and understood only through the secularization of “the sacred” (or more exactly, “the sanctified”). The literal meaning of “transcendence” is “beyond” (trans) and “ascend” (scando). In Levinas’s work, this word designates the change of place that is conceived as the ethical passage of the I to the other, or the substitution of myself for the other. (shrink)
We yearn to experience the idealized love depicted in so many novels, movies, poems, and popular songs. Ironically, it is the idealization of love that arms it with its destructive power. Popular media consistently remind us that love is all we need, but statistics concerning the rate of depression and suicides after divorce or romantic break up remind us what might happened if "all that we need" is taken away. This book is about our ideals of love, our experiences, of (...) love, the actual disparity between the two, and the manners of coping with this disparity. A major study case of the book concerns men who have murdered their wives or partners allegedly 'out of love'. It is estimated that over 30% of all female murder victims in the United States die at the hands of a former or present spouse or boyfriend. How can murdering a loved one be associated with the assumed moral and altruistic love? Not only is love intrinsically ambivalent, but it can also give rise to dangerous consequences. Some of the worst evils have been committed in the name of love (as in the name of God). A unique collaboration between a leading philosopher in the field of emotions and a social scientist, In the Name of Love presents fascinating insights into romantic love and its future in modern society. (shrink)
O estruturalismo alcançou seu zênite de influência no pensamento francês nos anos 60 e 70 do século XX, quando Lévinas escreveu os seus livros mais importantes. Gostaria, portanto, de examinar sua concepção das implicações filosóficas desta corrente teorético-metodológica, cujo impacto nas sciences humaines quase não deixou nenhum pensador francês indiferente na época. Lévinas acusou o estruturalismo de não passar de uma ilusão, na medida em que sua espontaneidade subjetiva faz com que impulsos e instintos sejam descritos como valores da razão (...) prática. Todavia, apesar da divergência entre Lévinas, para quem a ciência deve estar ao serviço da ética, e Lévi-Strauss, que concebia a ética no melhor dos casos como resultado da pesquisa científica e não como seu fim, ambos pensadores embasaram sua ética na mesma premissa: respeitar a alteridade do Outro, de cada pessoa, cada sociedade e cada cultura. A crítica de Lévinas não visava a refutação do estruturalismo mas suas premissas teóricas. Se elas pudessem ser ratificadas, alguém poderia justificar a metodologia estruturalista. Portanto, a palavra-chave aqui é “se”. Sua crítica não é nenhuma negação absoluta. Sua principal crítica foi a de que o estruturalismo era uma teoria científica que não deixava nenhum lugar para a ética; portanto, Lévinas também considerava o estruturalismo uma ameaça ao judaísmo, onde a ética ocupa um importante lugar. No início do século XX, Rosenzweig – assim como Lévinas no seu fim – buscou propor uma saída da concepção de totalidade porque não deixava lugar adequado para o estatuto do ser humano como sujeito. Para Rosenzweig, tratava-se antes de mais nada de uma revolta contra a filosofia idealista de Hegel, enquanto que para Lévinas compreendia uma crítica do estruturalismo que dava primazia a estruturas inconscientes sobre a subjetividade humana. Apenas esta pode servir de base para uma ética que fosse o propósito maior de sua filosofia PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Estruturalismo. Filosofia Francesa. Lévinas. Lévi-Strauss. Rosenzweig. ABSTRACT Structuralism reached the peak of its influence in French thought in the sixties and seventies of the 20th century when Lévinas wrote his most important books. Therefore I want to examine his contention with the philosophical implications of this theoreticalmethodological current to whose impact on “les sciences humaines” almost no French thinker remained indifferent at the time. Lévinas accused structuralism that according to it subjective spontaneity is no more than an illusion by which impulses and instincts are described as values of practical reason. However, notwithstanding the divergence between Lévinas, according to whom science must serve ethics, and Lévi-Strauss, according to whom ethics is at most a result of scientific research and not its end, both established their ethics on the same assumption: to respect the otherness of the other, of every person, every society, every culture. Lévinas’ criticism did not aim at refuting structuralism but at wrestling with its theoretical assumptions. If they were possible of ratification, one might justify structuralist methodology. So the keyword is “if”. His critique is no absolute denial. His main critique was that structuralism was a scientific theory that left no place for ethics; therefore he also considered structuralism to be a danger to Judaism where ethics occupies an important place. Rosenzweig in the beginning of the 20th century as well as Lévinas at its end endeavored to propose an outlet frm the conception of totality because it did not leave any adequate place for man’s status as a subject. For Rosenzweig that had been first of all a revolt against Hegel’s idealistic philosophy, while for Lévinas it comprised a critique of structuralism that awarded priority to unconscious structures over human subjectivity. Only the latter can serve as a basis for ethics which was the chief goal of his philosophy. KEY WORDS – Structuralism. French Philosophy. Lévinas. Lévi-Strauss. Rosenzweig. (shrink)
The relations between philosophy, science and religion preoccupied S.H. Bergman for many years. He wanted to corroborate, by belief, a personal God to whom, and not only about whom, one can speak. This should follow from authentic religious experience, making it independent from philosophy. Furthermore, according to Bergman, religion can do what philosophical reasoning is incapable of doing since he considers belief to be stronger than knowledge. A criticalscrutiny of these assumptions involves some interesting implications concerning toleration, freedom-of-thought and dogmatism. (...) The final conclusion consists in that belief cannot refute philosophical knowledge but can reject it while philosophy can refute belief but cannot reject it. (shrink)
Byrne & Hilbert defend color realism, which assumes that: (a) colors are properties of objects; (b) these objects are physical; hence, (c) colors are physical properties. I accept (a), agree that in a certain sense (b) can be defended, but reject (c). Colors are properties of perceptual objects – which also have underlying physical properties – but they are not physical properties.