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)
John Haught has awarded the debates between religion (Christianity in particular) and science a central place in his ongoing corpus of work. Seeking to encourage and enhance the conversation, Haught both critiques current positions and offers his own perspective as a potential ground for continuing the discussion in a fruitful manner. This essay considers Haught's primary criticisms of the voices on both sides of the debate which his work connotes as polarizing or conflating the debate. It also extrudes from Haught's (...) work themes that provide alternative visions. The essay concludes with two questions for further consideration. (shrink)
Gabriel Marcel is not typically read as a political theorist and social commentator. He never wrote a treatise devoted specifically to a systematic treatmentof politics. His writings, nevertheless, abound in political theorizing and social analysis. This study articulates Marcel’s socio-political thought, explicating itscoherence with his overall concrete philosophy and with his personal engagement in political events of his time. It develops through three themes. The first details Marcel’s particular approach to sociopolitical thought as a “watchman.” The second shows why Marcel (...) offers a “hopeful communitarianism” which overcomes the problems of collectivism and individualism. The third delineates Marcel’s views on the concrete, socio-political, and ethical issues of peace and population control. A brief closing section explains the importance of politics in Marcelian scholarship and the “prophetic” quality of his thought. (shrink)
Alfred Schutz formulated his phenomenology with the aim of circumventing what he perceived to be the idealistic character of Husserl’s theory of meaning constitution. Schutz contended that constitution for Husserl was idealistically creationistic in the sense that the meanings and very being of phenomena were merely the created products of the constitutive acts of consciousness itself. This article argues, however, that Schutz’s theory of constitution is not without an idealistic character in that the meanings which consciousness constitutes and predicates to (...) phenomena are simply created by consciousness itself. This argument is articulated through 1) a delineation of the basic principles of Schutz’s phenomenology, 2) an explication of his theory of constitution, and finally, 3) an exposition of its idealistic character with, by way of contrast, a brief account of how and why Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s existential phenomenology expunged all features of idealistic constitution. (shrink)
In "epistemology naturalized," quine claimed that epistemology is to be conceived as a branch of natural science, Cognate with psychology. The paper outlines quine's related interpretation of hume. It assesses the relevance of the account and considers in what measure it allows us to understand the novelty of hume's philosophy since hume also advocated a nonfoundationalist conception of philosophy.