Much contemporary nanotoxicology, nanotherapeutic and nanoregulatory research has been characterised by a focus on investigating how delivery of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) to cells is dictated primarily by components of the ENP surface. An alternative model, some implications of which are discussed here, begins with fundamental physicochemical research into the interaction of a dynamic nanoparticle-protein corona (NPC) with biological systems. The proposed new model also requires, however, that any such fresh NPC physicochemical research approach should involve integration and targeted collaboration from (...) the earliest stages with nanotoxicology, nanotherapeutics and nanoregulatory expertise. The justification for this integrated approach, we argue, relates not just to efficiency and promotion of innovation, but to an acknowledgement that public-funded basic physicochemical research in particular should now be accepted to incorporate strong higher order public goods elements from its inception, not merely after product development at the technology transfer stage. Issues, in other words, such as university research co-operation, commercialization and intellectual property (IP) protection, safety and cost-effectiveness regulatory assessment, as well as technology transfer should not be viewed as second tier considerations even in a ‘blue sky’ NPC basic research agenda. (shrink)
The article is a critical discussion of the aims behind the teaching of philosophy in British primary schools. It begins by reviewing the recent Special Issue of the Journal of Philosophy of Education Vol 45 Issue 2 2011 on ‘Philosophy for Children in Transition’, so as to see what light this might throw on the topic just mentioned. The result is patchy; many, but not all, of the papers in the Special Issue deal with issues far removed from the classroom. (...) Insights from the more practical papers, especially those working within the legacy of Matthew Lipman, are woven into the ensuing discussion. This describes two overlapping strands of work in primary philosophy, one focusing more than the other on topics familiar in specialised philosophy courses for older people. The article then discusses two kinds of aim behind primary philosophy, one to do with induction into philosophy as a discipline, the other to do with the enhancement of reasoning abilities. It finds both of these problematic. While welcoming more attention to different kinds of reasoning, it does not see this as a reason for teaching philosophy in particular. The article concludes with an account of possible reasons why primary philosophy has become increasingly popular over the last two decades. (shrink)
The article consists of a general section looking at changes since the 1960s in the links between philosophy of education and policy-making, followed by a specific section engaging in topical policy critique. The historical argument claims that policy involvement was far more widespread in our subject before the mid-1980s than it has been since then, and discusses various reasons for this change. The second section is a close examination of the Expert Panel's December 2011 recommendations on the future of the (...) English National Curriculum. Embedded in this is a critique of Michael Young's influential notion of ‘powerful knowledge’. (shrink)
The problem of doctrinal development, first formulated by John Henry Newman, is usually assumed to be a distinctly modern theological issue, since itoriginates in modern scholarly history and its application to problems of doctrine. My thesis, in contrast, is that St. Bonaventure’s theology of history as presentedin his Hexaemeron is also a theory of doctrinal development—though it appears some six hundred years prior to Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. I begin by discussing the relationship between theology of (...) history and doctrinal development, from which I conclude Bonaventure’s theology of history is a theory of doctrinal development. Secondly, I discuss Bonaventure’s theory and how he uses it to justify the mendicant and Franciscan ways of life. Finally, I develop elements of Cardinal Newman’s theory as points for comparison and evaluation of Bonaventure’s theory. (shrink)
What is analytical philosophy of education (APE)? And what has been its place in the history of the subject over the last fifty years? In a recent essay in Ethics and Education (Vol 2, No 2 October 2007) on ‘Rival conceptions of the philosophy of education’, Paul Standish described a number of features of APE. Relying on both historical and philosophical argument, the present paper critically assesses these eight points, as well as another five points delineating APE in the Introduction (...) to The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education. (shrink)
Everyone will agree that education ought to prepare young people to lead a meaningful life, but there are different ways in which this notion can be understood. A religious interpretation has to be distinguished from the secular one on which this paper focuses. Meaningfulness in this non-religious sense is a necessary condition of a life of well-being, having to do with the nesting of one’s reasons for action within increasingly pervasive structures of activity and attachment. Sometimes a life can seem (...) meaningless when it is not so in fact. In more extreme cases it may in fact be to some extent meaningless. Equipping young people for a meaningful life is a worthwhile, but not all-important educational aim. Educators should help them not only to see their lives as meaningful but also to lead lives that <are> meaningful. This involves continuous engagement in the nesting of reasons mentioned above. Where autonomy is also an aim, temperamental attunement to possible options – rather than exposure to all possible options – and time to explore them are important considerations. Questions arise here both about social justice and about whether current school curriculum and timetabling arrangements help or hinder pupils in living a meaningful life. (shrink)
Richard Peters argued for a general education based largely on the study of truth-seeking subjects for its own sake. His arguments have long been acknowledged as problematic. There are also difficulties with Paul Hirst's arguments for a liberal education, which in part overlap with Peters'. Where justification fails, can historical explanation illuminate? Peters was influenced by the prevailing idea that a secondary education should be based on traditional, largely knowledge-orientated subjects, pursued for intrinsic as well as practical ends. Does history (...) reveal good reasons for this view? The view itself has roots going back to the 16th century and the educational tradition of radical Protestantism. Religious arguments to do with restoring the image of an omniscient God in man made good sense, within their own terms, of an encyclopaedic approach to education. As these faded in prominence after 1800, old curricular patterns persisted in the drive for ‘middle-class schools’, and new, less plausible justifications grew in salience. These were based first on faculty psychology and later on the psychology of individual differences. The essay relates the views of Peters and Hirst to these historical arguments, asking how far their writings show traces of the religious argument mentioned, and how their views on education and the development of mind relate to the psychological arguments. (shrink)
The following paper has two primary purposes. First it aims to articulate a theoretical proposition in general terms, namely, that every theory of doctrinal development presupposes a philosophy of history. The underlying significance of this proposition is that theories of doctrinal development are simultaneously narratives of the historical significance of the church’s pilgrimage through history, though that fact typically remains implicit in theories of doctrinal development. The second purpose is to illustrate the general proposition by analyzing a particularcase. I have (...) therefore outlined some of the salient features of John Henry Cardinal Newman’s theory of doctrinal development and, using ideas from Eric Voegelin’s philosophy, show how it implies a philosophy of history. (shrink)
Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences has had a huge influence on school education. But its credentials lack justification, as the first section of this paper shows via a detailed philosophical analysis of how the intelligences are identified. If we want to make sense of the theory, we need to turn from a philosophical to a historical perspective. This is provided in the second section, which explores how the theory came to take shape in the course of Gardner's intellectual development. (...) The third section looks at changes in the theory since its inception in 1983 and at problems with its applications to education. The paper concludes with a response to Gardner's critical comments on the argument to this point. (shrink)
This paper argues that structural elements of Bonaventure’s illumination theory significantly parallel Kantian transcendental philosophy. The question of whetherand what elements of transcendental thought can be found in Bonaventure’s philosophy is potentially instructive both for understanding medieval influences on transcendental philosophy and for raising the philosophical question of why substantially similar premises and thought-patterns result in substantially different solutions. After defining what I mean by “transcendental philosophy” and justifying that definition I turn to Bonaventure’s illumination theory and highlight thought patterns (...) parallel to Kantian transcendental philosophy that emerge in Bonaventure’s epistemology. Finally, I discuss how their differences help us to understand the variations in medieval and modern solutions to what is sometimes termed “the transcendental problem.”. (shrink)
The idea that education should equip people to lead flourishing lives and help others to do so is now becoming salient in policy-making circles. Philosophy of education can help here by clarifying what flourishing consists in. This essay examines one aspect of this. It rejects the view that well-being goods are derivable from human nature, as in the theories of Howard Gardner and Edmond Holmes. It locates them, rather, as cultural products, but not culturally-relative ones, drawing attention to the proliferating (...) forms they have taken over the past three or four centuries. It looks to aesthetics and art criticism as a guide to a philosophical treatment of well-being goods more generally. It also takes off from aesthetics and art criticism in seeking to identify reliable authorities on the flourishing life. On this, it rejects elitist conceptions in favour of a more democratic model, emphasising its importance in education for citizenship. (shrink)
In England and Wales we have had a National Curriculum since 1988. How can it have survived so long without aims to guide it? This IMPACT pamphlet argues that curriculum planning should begin not with a boxed set of academic subjects of a familiar sort, but with wider considerations of what schools should be for. We first work out a defensible set of wider aims backed by a well-argued rationale. From these we develop sub-aims constituting an aims-based curriculum. Further detail (...) is provided here on one of the most central educational aims, to do with equipping each child to live a flourishing personal and civic life. [A later, more detailed account of an aims-based curriculum is available in Reiss, M and White J <An Aims-based Curriculum: the significance of human flourishing for schools> Institute of Education Press 2013]. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate what I call “ecological value cognition,” a term designating a cognitive process by which one understands: (1) a value or set of values which pertain to the environment, (2) that such values are morally relevant, and (3) that these values may invite or even require virtues, attitudes or actions with respect to them and the entities which bear them. I seek, in this paper, to elucidate the nature of ecological value cognition and suggest specific challenges (...) that the American capitalist ethos poses for understanding these values and therefore for developing a sound environmental ethics and policy. (shrink)
In the World Library of Educationalists series, international experts themselves compile career- long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces-extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, major theoretical and/practical contributions-so the world can read them in a single manageable volume. Readers will be able to follow the themes and strands of their work and see their contribution to the development of a field. Emeritus Professor John White has spent the last 35 years researching, thinking and writing (...) about some of the key and enduring issues in education. In this book, he brings together 16 key writings in one place. Starting with a specially written Introduction, which gives an overview of John's career and conceptualizes his selection within the development of the field, the chapters cover: · Mind · State and Curriculum · Well-being · Politics · Curriculum subjects. This book not only shows how John's thinking developed during his long and distinguished career; it also gives an insight into the development of the fields to which he contributed. (shrink)
For Max Scheler, St. Francis represented perhaps the highest ideal of the moral life, an ideal he felt compelled to articulate throughout his philosophical work. In this paper, I examine the significance of the person of St. Francis for Scheler’s philosophy. I begin by developing Scheler’s notion of “exemplary person,” the idea that persons act as influences on moral life and thought. I then hypothesize that St. Francis functioned as an exemplary person for Scheler. Finally, I attempt to justify that (...) hypothesis by examining Scheler’s discussion of Francis in Sympathy and by comparing Scheler’s philosophy to elements of the thought of Bonaventure and of Scotus. I conclude with a discussion of the significance of using exemplary persons for understanding the history of philosophy. (shrink)
A central aim of education has to do with the promotion of the pupil's and other people's well-being. Recent work by John O'Neill locates the strongest justification of the market in an individualistic preference-satisfaction notion of well-being. His own preference for an objective theory of well-being allows us to make a clear separation of educational values from those of the market. Problems in O'Neill's account suggest a third notion of well-being which better supports the separation mentioned.
This book gives a comprehensive account of methods in philosophy of education, it also examines their application in the 'real world' of education. It will therefore be of interest to philosophers and educators alike.
A central but somewhat obscure concept in Scheler’s philosophy is that of person. I suggest that one aid to understanding Scheler’s notion of person is interpreting it in terms of what I call a tripartite anthropology. This term is meant to suggest that the human being can be conceived as comprising three distinct though characteristically cooperating sources of conscious activity. Once we understand Scheler’s anthropology in these terms, his concept of person becomes clearer. In this paper, I develop the notion (...) of a tripartite anthropology, including some discussion of its roots in the tradition. Second, I offer an overview of Scheler’s own anthropology, offering some account of the three-fold sources of activity in the human being and how they function together. Finally, I discuss Scheler’s anthropology in comparison to a section of Aquinas’s On Spiritual Creatures. I show that Scheler is not as far from Aquinas as it might seem and can actually help us to understand Aquinas’s intentions. (shrink)
The paper explores relationships between work and education. It begins with the meaning of 'work' and critically examines the claim in Richard Norman and Sean Sayers that work is a basic human need. After a section on the place of autonomous and heteronomous work in personal well-being, the paper finishes with comments on education and the future of work.
The paper argues that nationality and national sentiment have been, until fairly recently, neglected topics in liberal, as distinct from conservative, political and educational philosophy. It claims that the promotion of national sentiment as an educational aim is not incompatible with liberalism, and may indeed be desirable for reasons of personal and cultural identity as well as for redistributive reasons. It then explores a remodelled conception of British nationality in particular; and finally looks at curricular implications.
Yael Tamir's (1993) book Liberal Nationalism seeks to show that liberalism and nationalism are not incompatible political philosophies. Nationalism need not take the closed, authoritarian form it has so often taken; and liberalism is premised on certain national ideas, including national self-determination. This critical discussion of her account is broadly sympathetic to the compatibility thesis, but takes issue both with her notion of nationalism, with her account of a nation as a self-conscious cultural community, and with the sharp line she (...) draws between civic and cultural concerns. Although her book does not deal with education, this paper concludes with remarks about what the role of nationality should be in education, in both a Tamirian and a non-Tamirian framework. The latter is applied to education in Britain. (shrink)
The ‘humanisation’ of education is one of the three leitmotifs in a recent Soviet planning document A Conception of General Education. It is suggested that Western education systems also need to be humanised, although not so radically as the Soviet, by the removal of obstacles to educating pupils as members of a liberal democratic society. A future joint research agenda between East and West should concentrate on (a) improving mutual understanding of this goal, (b) clarifying conceptual obstacles, and (c) reflecting (...) on means of realising it. Specific proposals are put forward under all three headings. (shrink)