Design research has been positioned as an important methodological contribution of the learning sciences. Despite the publication of a handbook on the subject, the practice of design research in education remains an eclectic collection of specific approaches implemented by different researchers and research groups. In this paper, I examine the learning sciences as a design science to identify its fundamental goals, methods, affiliations, and assumptions. I argue that inherent tensions arise when attempting to practice design research as an (...) analytic science. Drawing inspiration and insight from Chinese philosophy and the practice of Chinese medicine, I propose that the learning sciences may better attain its claims to science through greater reliance on inductive synthesis rather than linear causal analysis. In so doing, I reposition the endeavor of science making within the metaphysics of process philosophy instead of classical Western philosophy. I suggest that theory building will be strengthened empirically and pragmatically by more careful observation and systematic generalization of the stability patterns of design related phenomena. It also needs to be more situated in its orientation. (shrink)
I consider three aspects in which machine learning and philosophy of science can illuminate each other: methodology, inductive simplicity and theoretical terms. I examine the relations between the two subjects and conclude by claiming these relations to be very close.
Christopher Winch launches a vigorous Wittgensteinian attack on both the "romantic" Rousseauian and the "scientific" cognitivist traditions in learning theory. These two schools, he argues, are more closely related than is commonly realized.
Since educators are always looking for ways to improve their practice, and since empirical science is now accepted in our worldview as the final arbiter of truth, it is no surprise they have been lured toward cognitive neuroscience in hopes that discovering how the brain learns will provide a nutshell explanation for student learning in general. I argue that identifying the person with the brain is scientism (not science), that the brain is not the person, and that it is (...) the person who learns. In fact the brain only responds to the learning of embodied experience within the extra-neural network of intersubjective communications. Learning is a dynamic, cultural activity, not a neural program. Brain-based learning is unnecessary for educators and may be dangerous in that a culturally narrow ontology is taken for granted, thus restricting our creativity and imagination, and narrowing the human community. (shrink)
This paper addresses the unconscious dimension as articulated in Carl Jung's depth psychology and in Gilles Deleuze's philosophy. Jung's theory of the archetypes and Deleuze's pedagogy of the concept are two complementary resources that posit individuation as the goal of human development and self-education in practice. The paper asserts that educational theory should explore the role of the unconscious in learning, especially with regard to adult education in the process of learning from life-experiences. The integration of the (...) unconscious into consciousness becomes a constitutive part of subject-formation and self-knowledge, which in turn serves as a basis for experiential self-education. (shrink)
Understanding causal structure is a central task of human cognition. Causal learning underpins the development of our concepts and categories, our intuitive theories, and our capacities for planning, imagination and inference. During the last few years, there has been an interdisciplinary revolution in our understanding of learning and reasoning: Researchers in philosophy, psychology, and computation have discovered new mechanisms for learning the causal structure of the world. This new work provides a rigorous, formal basis for theory (...) theories of concepts and cognitive development, and moreover, the causal learning mechanisms it has uncovered go dramatically beyond the traditional mechanisms of both nativist theories, such as modularity theories, and empiricist ones, such as association or connectionism. (shrink)
Hellenistic philosophers and scholars laid the foundations upon which Western tradition developed analytical grammar, linguistics, philosophy of language and other disciplines. Building on the pioneering work of Plato, Aristotle and earlier thinkers, they developed a wide range of theories about the nature and origin of language. Ten essays explore the ancient theories, their philosophical adequacy, and their impact on later thinkers from Augustine through the Middle Ages.
In this paper, I explore different ways of picturing language learning in philosophy, all of them inspired by Wittgenstein and all of them concerned about scepticism of meaning. I start by outlining the two pictures of children and language learning that emerge from Kripke's famous reading of Wittgenstein. Next, I explore how social-pragmatic readings, represented by Meredith Williams, attempt to answer the sceptical anxieties. Finally, drawing somewhat on Stanley Cavell, I try to resolve these issues by investigating (...) what characteristically happens to our view of language learning when we do philosophy. The focus throughout is on the relation between the individual (the learning child) and the community (usually represented by the parents), and how that relation is deformed when we operate with a certain philosophical notion of ground. (shrink)
This paper places formal learning theory in a broader philosophical context and provides a glimpse of what the philosophy of induction looks like from a learning-theoretic point of view. Formal learning theory is compared with other standard approaches to the philosophy of induction. Thereafter, we present some results and examples indicating its unique character and philosophical interest, with special attention to its unified perspective on inductive uncertainty and uncomputability.
The last two decades have seen a resurgence of interest in the study of classical Chinese texts by means of the subsequent commentaries. New versions of works like the Analects and Mencius that include selected commentaries have begun to appear, making some view about the value of commentaries necessary simply for picking which edition of a text to read. In this paper, I consider the potential role of the 2000-year-old commentarial tradition in the teaching and learning of Chinese (...) class='Hi'>philosophy. Given the difficulty of the original works, does the addition of commentaries make things better or worse from a student’s perspective? How far should we go in emphasizing the role of commentary in interacting with the texts? (shrink)
Formal learning theory is an approach to the study of inductive inference that has been developed by computer scientists. In this paper, I discuss the relevance of formal learning theory to such standard topics in the philosophy of science as underdetermination, realism, scientific progress, methodology, bounded rationality, the problem of induction, the logic of discovery, the theory of knowledge, the philosophy of artificial intelligence, and the philosophy of psychology.
I advocate the use of small group learning in the philosophy classroom because it engages a broad cross-section of students and because it proves to be an effective way to teach critical thinking. In this article, I suggest small group activities that are useful for developing philosophical skills, and I propose methods for circumventing common logistical problems that can arise when implementing small group learning in the classroom. Ultimately, I show that small group learning is a (...) pedagogically powerful and logistically feasible supplement to traditional teaching methods. (shrink)
Central tenets of Freirean philosophy and pedagogy are explored and applied to the emerging field of older adults’ learning (educational gerontology), a sub-field of adult education. I argue that many of Freire’s concepts and principles have direct applicability to the tasks of adult educators working alongside marginalized older adults. In particular, Freire’s ideas fit comfortably within a critical educational gerontology approach as they challenge prevailing orthodoxies and provide a robust analytical framework from which radical adult educators can work (...) effectively in promoting social transformation. (shrink)
Francis Bacon, lawyer, statesman, and philosopher, remains one of the most effectual thinkers in European intellectual history. We can trace his influence from Kant in the 1700s to Darwin a century later. The Advancement of Learning , first published in 1605, contains an unprecedented and thorough systematization of the whole range of human knowledge. Bacon’s argument that the sciences should move away from divine philosophy and embrace empirical observation would forever change the way philosophers and natural scientists interpret (...) their world. (shrink)
Arguably, one of the most exciting recent advances in moral philosophy is the ongoing scientific naturalization of normative ethics and metaethics, in particular moral psychology. A relatively neglected area in these improvements that is centrally important for developing a scientifically based naturalistic metaethics concerns the nature and acquisition of successful moral agency. In this paper I lay out two examples of how empirically based findings help us to understand and explain some cases of successful moral agency. These are research (...) in moral internalization and aggression management. Using these examples, I sketch some lessons for investigating successful moral learning and moral action. My proposal reflects a common theme in scientifically based philosophy generally: the shift from the armchair methods of analyzing concepts and finding a priori foundations, the enterprise of first philosophy, to an effort to study the phenomena themselves, using empirical findings and theories to answer philosophical questions about these phenomena, an endeavor recently characterized as second philosophy. (shrink)
The achievement of intentional learning is a powerful paradigm for the objectives and methods of the teaching of philosophy. This paradigm sees the objectives and methods of such teaching as based not simply on the mastery of content, but as rooted in attempts to shape the various affective and cognitive factors that influence students’ learning efforts. The goal of such pedagogy is to foster an intentional learning orientation, one characterized by self-awareness, active monitoring of the (...) class='Hi'>learning process, and a desire for publicly certified expertise. I provide a number of examples of philosophy-specific teaching strategies that follow this paradigm. (shrink)
The idea that films can be philosophical, or in some sense 'do' philosophy, has recently found a number of prominent proponents. What is at stake here is generally more than the tepid claim that some documentaries about philosophy and related topics convey philosophically relevant content. Instead, the contention is that cinematic fictions, including popular movies such as The Matrix , make significant contributions to philosophy. Various more specific claims are linked to this basic idea. One, relatively weak, (...) but pedagogically important observation is that some films can be used to provide philosophy students with vivid and thought-provoking illustrations of philosophical issues. Film screenings stimulate discussion and may motivate renewed engagement with difficult philosophical texts. A stronger contention, however, seeks to link innovative and philosophically valuable thinking to 'the film itself' or to the 'specificity of the cinematic medium'. Such claims raise interesting questions, including questions about the status of the increasingly prevalent philosophically motivated interpretations of particular movies. Who is actually doing the philosophizing in such cases? Is it the audio-visual display, the film-maker, or the philosopher who devises an interpretation of the work? What is the role of specifically cinematic devices in the philosophical points made in such interpretations? Is there any tension between the goal of appreciating a film as a work of art and the goal of arguing that a film has significant implications for a position on a problem in philosophy? A course in the general area of cinema as philosophy can focus on issues related to the locus and status of cinematic philosophizing. It can also delve into specific films and film-makers and philosophically oriented interpretations of specific philosophical topics, such as personal identity. Issues pertaining to interpretation, meaning, and authorship can be usefully investigated in this connection, as can topics in meta-philosophy related to the very nature of philosophical insight or knowledge. Author Recommends Carroll, Noël and Jinhee Choi, eds. 2008. The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology , Part VIII: Film and Knowledge. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 381–405. Inclues a brief introduction by Carroll followed by papers by Bruce Russell, Karen Hanson, and Lester H. Hunt. Kania, Andrew, ed. 2009. Memento . London: Routledge. A number of philosophers elucidate philosophical themes in Memento and discuss more general issues pertaining to cinema's philosophical significance. Livingston, Paisley. 2009. Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy . Oxford: Oxford University Press. Part 1 surveys arguments surrounding the cinema as philosophy theme, providing detailed criticisms of some of the bold theses in this area. Part 2 discusses issues related to cinematic authorship and the status of philosophically motivated interpretations of works of fiction, arguing for a partial intentionalist account of a work's meanings. Part 3 illustrates the intentionalist principles in a discussion of Ingmar Bergman's philosophical sources, providing insight into themes of motivated irrationality, inauthenticity, and self-knowledge in some of Bergman's works. Livingston, Paisley and Carl Plantinga, eds. 2009. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film , Part IV: Film as Philosophy. London: Routledge. 547–659. Offers a succinct survey by Wartenberg as well as entries on Ingmar Bergman, Terrence Malick, and Andrei Tarkovsky, discussions of film and specific philosophical topics (morality, skepticism, personal identity, and practical wisdom), and examples of philosophically motivated interpretations of three specific films: The Five Obstructions , Gattaca , and Memento . Smith, Murray and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 2006. Thinking Through Cinema: Film as Philosophy . Malden, MA: Blackwell. A collection of papers that combines essays devoted to general positions on the cinema as philosophy topic as well as specific interpretations of works in different genres. Turvey, Malcolm. 2008. Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition . Oxford: Oxford University Press. A probing critical investigation into the assumptions underlying influential philosophical claims about the epistemic value of cinema. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2008. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy . London: Routledge. Ably surveys and responds to arguments against the idea that films can 'do philosophy'. It defends a conditionalist form of intentionalism in response to the 'imposition objection' according to which it is only the commentator who reads philosophical themes 'into' the movie; illustrates the favored account of film as philosophy with interpretations of specific cinematic fictions. Online Materials Film-Philosophy http://www.film-philosophy.com/ > Founded in 1996, this peer-reviewed online journal is dedicated to philosophically oriented interpretations of films and cinema studies more generally. The e-mail salon encourages discussion of related topics. Includes essays, festival reports, calls for papers, conference and job information, and book reviews. The archive includes contributions from 1997 to the present. Wartenberg, Thomas E. 'Philosophy of Film.' The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ; http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/film/ > A brief survey of a range of issues in the philosophy of cinema including a few paragraphs on the film as philosophy topic. Philosophical Films http://www.philfilms.utm.edu/2/filmlist.htm > A briefly annotated list of philosophical films grouped in rubrics such as 'The Meaning of Life' and 'Environmental Ethics'. Sample Syllabus What follows is a 4-week 'start-up module' followed by samples of optional units that focus on particular topics and cinematic examples. Introductory Module Week I: Introduction & Overview Livingston, Paisley. 'Recent Work on Cinema as Philosophy.' Philosophy Compass 3 (2008): 1–14, 20 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2008.00158.x ). Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Ed. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 549–59. Russell, Bruce. 2008. 'The Philosophical Limits of Film.' The Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology . Ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 387–390. Week II: The Bold Thesis on Film as Philosophy Reading: Livingston, Paisley, 'Theses on Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter One. 11–38. Screening: October (dir. Sergei Eisenstein 1928). Week III: Debating the Bold Thesis: The Case of October Carroll, Noël. 1998. 'For God and Country.' Interpreting the Moving Image . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 80–91. Smuts, Aaron. 2009. 'Film as Philosophy: In Defense of a Bold Thesis.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism , 67:4: 409–20. Week IV: Cinema as Philosophy: Objections and Replies Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Arguing over Cinema as Philosophy.' Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman, Chapter Two. 39–59. Additional Optional Units Depending on the instructor's areas of interest and expertise, any of the following units could be added (and in some cases, easily expanded into longer segments). The Case of Ingmar Bergman Livingston, Paisley. 2009. 'Ingmar Bergman.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 560–568. Screening(s): Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or The Seventh Seal (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1957), or Persona (dir. Ingmar Bergman 1966). Skepticism Fumerton, Richard. 2009. 'Skepticism.' In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 601–10. Screening: The Matrix (dir. Andy and Larry Wachowski 1999) or Total Recall (dir. Paul Verhoeven 1990). Ethics Kupfer, Joseph. 1999. Visions of Virtue in Popular Film . Boulder, CO: Westview. 35–60. Falzon, Chris. 2009. 'Why be Moral?' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 591–599. Screening: Groundhog Day (dir. <span class='Hi'>Harold</span> Ramis 1993), or Crimes and Misdemeanors (dir. Woody Allen 1989), or Hollow Man (dir. Paul Verhoeven 2000). Personal Identity Knight, Deborah. 2009. 'Personal Identity.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 611–619. Hanley, Richard. 2009. ' Memento and Personal Identity: Are We Getting it Backwards?' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 107–126. Martin, Raymond. 2009. 'The Value of Memory: Reflections on Memento. ' Memento . Ed. Andrew Kania. London: Routledge. 87–106. Screening: Memento (dir. Christopher Nolan 2000). Freedom and (Genetic) Determinism Sesardic, Neven. 2009. 'Gattaca.' The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film . Eds. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga. London: Routledge. 641–649. Screening: Gattaca (dir. Andrew Niccol 1997). Focus Questions • Is there anything special about the experience of fiction films that is especially well suited to the stimulation of worthwhile philosophical reflection? • Have any novel and philosophically significant ideas found their first expression in a cinematic work? • Under what circumstances can the film medium be used as an expression of a cinematic author's views? • What sort of background knowledge has to be in place for a film to be interpreted as articulating reasonably precise philosophical theses and arguments? • Does the goal of spelling out a film's philosophical meaning sometimes conflict with the goal of appreciating its value as a work of art? (shrink)
This article discusses the use of a pragmatic approach as the philosophical foundation of pedagogy in Finnish universities of applied sciences. It is presented that the mission of the universities of applied sciences falls into the interpretive paradigm of social sciences. This view is used as a starting point for a discussion about pragmatism in higher education. The Learning by Developing (LbD) action model is introduced, analyzed and compared to pragmatism. The paper concludes that, at least in practice-oriented academic (...) subjects, a pragmatic approach to pedagogy, as well as the LbD action model, is effective and could be considered in several universities as the basis of philosophy of pedagogy. (shrink)
In this chapter I discuss connections between machine learning and the philosophy of science. First I consider the relationship between the two disciplines. There is a clear analogy between hypothesis choice in science and model selection in machine learning. While this analogy has been invoked to argue that the two disciplines are essentially doing the same thing and should merge, I maintain that the disciplines are distinct but related and that there is a dynamic interaction operating between (...) the two: a series of mutually beneficial interactions that changes over time. I will introduce some particularly fruitful interactions, in particular the consequences of automated scientific discovery for the debate on inductivism versus falsificationism in the philosophy of science, and the importance of philosophical work on Bayesian epistemology and causality for contemporary machine learning. I will close by suggesting the locus of a possible future interaction: evidence integration. (shrink)
The relationship between machine learning and the philosophy of science can be classed as a dynamic interaction: a mutually beneficial connection between two autonomous fields that changes direction over time. I discuss the nature of this interaction and give a case study highlighting interactions between research on Bayesian networks in machine learning and research on causality and probability in the philosophy of science.
Statistical Learning Theory (e.g., Hastie et al. 2001; Vapnik 1998, 2000, 2006; Devroye, Györfi, Lugosi 1996) is the basic theory behind contemporary machine learning and pattern recognition. We suggest that the theory provides an excellent framework for the philosophy of induction (see also Harman and Kulkarni 2007).
In this paper I present my thesis stated numerous times at APA and NACAP meetings, that the current shortage of online programs in philosophy presents adanger to the profession. I also show how this danger could be averted. I give a snapshot of what teaching philosophy online, and doing it well, looks like. I am a very partial spectator in this debate since the example I am referring to is the program at UIS which I designed and, with (...) my colleagues, led to successful implementation. Finally, I draw a broad brush picture of what an inter-campus, international online program in philosophy may look like (as well as some implications for online learning in Poland). (shrink)
Questions about learning and discovery have fascinated philosophers from Plato onwards. Does the mind bring innate resources of its own to the process of learning or does it rely wholly upon experience? Plato was the first philosopher to give an innatist response to this question and in doing so was to provoke the other major philosophers of ancient Greece to give their own rival explanations of learning. This book is the first to examine these theories of (...) class='Hi'>learning in relation to each other. It presents an entirely new interpretation of the theory of recollection which also changes the way we understand the development of ancient philosophy after Plato. The final section of the book compares ancient theories of learning with the seventeenth-century debate about innate ideas, and finds that the relation between the two periods is far more interesting and complete than is usually supposed. (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report that highlights and explores five questions which arose from the workshop on perceptual learning and perceptual recognition at the University of Toronto, Mississauga on May 10th and 11th, 2012. This excerpt explores the question: How can philosophers and psychologists most fruitfully collaborate?
Abstract What is the significance of the wicked problems framework for environmental philosophy? In response to wicked problems, environmental scientists are starting to welcome the participation of social scientists, humanists, and the creative arts. We argue that the need for interdisciplinary approaches to wicked problems opens up a number of tasks that environmental philosophers have every right to undertake. The first task is for philosophers to explore new and promising ways of initiating philosophical research through conducting collaborative learning (...) processes on environmental issues. The second task is for philosophers to recognize the value of philosophical skills in their engagements with members of other disciplines and walks of life in addressing wicked problems. The wicked problems framework should be seen as an important guide for facilitating philosophical research that is of relevance to problems like climate change and sustainable agriculture. Content Type Journal Article Category Articles Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9344-0 Authors Paul B. Thompson, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Kyle Powys Whyte, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, 503 S. Kedzie Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863. (shrink)
In an attempt to bridge the vast divide between classical Asian thought and contemporary Western philosophy, Joel J. Kupperman finds that the two traditions do not, by and large, supply different answers to the same questions. Rather, each tradition is searching for answers to their own set of questions--mapping out distinct philosophical investigations. In this groundbreaking book, Kupperman argues that the foundational Indian and Chinese texts include lines of thought that can enrich current philosophical practice, and in some cases (...) provide uniquely sophisticated insights. Special attention is given to the ethical issues of formation and fluidity of self, the nature and possibilities of choice, the compartmentalization of life implicit in some ethical systems, the variations of ethical demands from person to person, and the nature of philosophy itself as a communicative activity. This study will provide a wealth of information for philosophers seeking a closer knowledge of Asian philosophy and general readers with an interest in Eastern thought. (shrink)
A filosofia com crianças, em todas as suas guisas, visa engendrar o pensamento filosófico e o raciocínio nas crianças. Muito é escrito sobre o que a participação na filosofia poderia fazer para a criança academicamente e emocionalmente. O que propomos aqui é que permitindo às crianças participar de diálogos filosóficos elas aprenderão uma abordagem que poderia dar suporte a sua participação na sociedade e que poderia envolvê-las na consideração e no arejamento de suas vistas, tomando decisões em suas interações e (...) relacionamentos com os outros. É inevitável que, vivendo com os outros, se encontrem os valores dos outros. É essencial, portanto, que as crianças aprendam como lidar com os valores dos outros mas também que elas aprendam como desenvolver os seus próprios pelo questionamento e a reflexão. Melhor que ensinar às crianças sobre os valores ou ensinar-lhes os valores que elas deveriam ter, este artigo sugere que às crianças deveriam ser proporcionadas oportunidades de explorar uma variedade de perspectivas e que elas precisam aprender a fazer isto. Além disso, no entanto, a fim de viver harmoniosamente com os outros, existem considerações sobre ética a serem encontradas. As crianças precisam aprender como lidar com política, arte, ciência, literatura e a maior variedade de problemas que a vida em sociedade inclui. De fato, as crianças precisam aprender o que é requerido para ser um cidadão. Aqui o aprendizado da criança é contextualizado no Currículo de Excelência da Escócia, no qual se espera das crianças que elas sejam capazes de “fazer escolhas e tomar decisões informadas” e de “desenvolver pontos de vista informados e éticos de problemas complexos” (Scottish Executive, 2004, p.12) como parte de sua educação para a cidadania. Se ser um cidadão envolve esses elementos, então existe um desafio para os professores no que concerne a como as crianças vão alcançar os resultados desejados. O objetivo de tal currículo é que a criança ‘aprenda para a vida’ adquirindo as competências para a vida de forma que a sociedade se beneficie. É colocado, neste artigo, que participando dos diálogos filosóficos uma pessoa é suscetível de favorecer uma apreciação dos outros e de suas perspectivas, de compreender que os valores e opiniões de alguém evoluem, que essa visão filosófica pode, de fato, funcionar para a melhora da sociedade. Contudo, o que é sugerido é que fazendo filosofia aprende-se como viver bem. (shrink)
The job of philosophy -- Truth: a very deceptive subject -- Epistemology: how do you know? -- Philosophy of religion: does God exist? -- Metaphysics: what is real? -- Moral and ethical theory: between right and wrong -- Social and political theory: freedom, politics, and society.
Learning is a changing phenomenon, depending on the advances in theory and research. This book presents a relatively new approach to learning, based on meaningful human activities in cultural practices and in collaboration with others. It draws extensively from the ideas of Lev Vygotsky and his recent followers. The book presents ideas that elaborate this learning theory and also gives recent developments and applications of this approach in a variety of educational situations in and outside of school. (...) A core issue in the research presented in this book consists of the way people learn to make sense of and give meaning to cultural instruments and practices in collaboration with others. (shrink)
Demonstrative noun phrases (e.g. this; that guy over there ) are intimately connected to the context of use in that their reference is determined by demonstrations and/or the speaker's intentions. The semantics of demonstratives therefore has important implications not only for theories of reference, but for questions about how information from the context interacts with formal semantics. First treated by Kaplan as directly referential , demonstratives have recently been analyzed as quantifiers by King, and the choice between these two approaches (...) is a matter of ongoing controversy. Meanwhile, linguists and psychologists working from a variety of perspectives have gathered a wealth of data on the form, meaning, and use of demonstratives in many languages. Demonstratives thus provide a fruitful topic for graduate study for two reasons. On the one hand, they serve as an entry point to foundational issues in reference and the semantics–pragmatics interface. On the other hand, they are an especially promising starting point for interdisciplinary research, which brings the results of linguistics and related fields to bear on the philosophy of language. Author Recommends Kaplan, David. 'Demonstratives.' 1977. Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 481–563. The seminal work on the semantics of demonstratives and indexicals, such as I, here , and now . Kaplan introduces a distinction between content (which maps from possible circumstances to extensions) and character (which maps from possible contexts to contents). He argues that demonstratives and indexicals are directly referential : given a possible context, their character fixes their extension. Kaplan, David. 'Afterthoughts.' Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 565–614. An elaboration on the theory developed in 'Demonstratives.' Kaplan considers the connection between direct reference and rigid designation; raises the issue of whether demonstratives depend on demonstrations or speaker intentions; and discusses implications of the analysis for formal semantics and for epistemology. King, Jeffrey C. Complex Demonstratives . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. In perhaps the most influential challenge to date to the direct reference theory of demonstratives, King argues that complex demonstratives (i.e. demonstrative determiners with nominal complements) are best analyzed as quantifiers. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. This recent Kaplanian analysis of complex demonstratives shows the 'state of the art' of direct reference approaches and responds to some of the objections to such approaches raised by King. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–466. The most recent analysis of demonstratives as individual concepts, contrasting with both the direct reference and quantificational approaches. Fillmore, Charles. Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. In this collection of lectures, originally delivered in 1971, Fillmore considers demonstratives and indexical expressions in many languages to describe the types of information about the context (e.g. locations in space, time, and discourse) that are encoded in natural language. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Perhaps the most detailed pragmatic alternative to formal semantic theories of demonstratives and other referring expressions. The authors argue that demonstratives are best described as imposing a condition of use in which the referent of the demonstrative has a certain level of salience for the interlocutors. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ Indexicals (David Braun) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reference/ Reference (Marga Reimer) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid designators (Joseph LaPorte) http://philpapers.org/browse/indexicals-and-demonstratives/ Online bibliography of papers on indexicals and demonstratives Sample Syllabus The following syllabus can be used in entirety for a survey course on demonstratives; in addition, each of the three units is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1: Demonstratives and Indexicality Week 1: Indexicals 1. Kaplan, Demonstratives 2. Kaplan, Afterthoughts Week 2: Issues for Indexical Reference 1. Reimer, Marga. 'Do Demonstrations Have Semantic Significance?' Analysis 51 (1991): 177–83. 2. Bach, Kent. 'Intentions and Demonstrations.' Analysis 52 (1992): 140–46. 3. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 'Indexicality and Deixis.' Linguistics and Philosophy 16.1 (1993): 1–43. Week 3: Optional detour: Monsters 1. Schlenker, Philippe. 'A Plea for Monsters.' Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (2003): 29-120. Week 4: Demonstratives as Quantifiers 1. King. Complex Demonstratives , chapters 1–3. Week 5: Indexical and Non-Indexical Demonstratives 1. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. Optional additional reading 2. Roberts, Craige. 'Demonstratives as Definites.' Information Sharing . Ed. Kees van Deemter and Roger Kibble. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press, 2002. 3. Wolter, Lynsey. 'That's That: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2006, chapters 2–3. 4. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–66. Unit 2: Demonstratives, Proximity, Salience Week 6: Demonstratives and Proximity 1. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis I.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 59–76. 2. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis II.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 103–26. Optional additional reading 3. Prince, Ellen. 'On the Inferencing of Indefinite- this NPs.' Elements of Discourse Understanding . Ed. Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Weber, and Ivan A. Sag. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 231–50. Week 7: Demonstratives and Salience 1. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Optional additional reading 2. Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Donna K. Byron, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 'Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns.' Journal of Memory and Language 53 (2005): 292–313. Note: readers new to psycholinguistics should concentrate on the Introduction. Unit 3: Demonstratives and Copular Sentences Week 8: Background on the Typology of Copular Sentences 1. Higgins, F. Roger. 'The Pseudo-Cleft Construction in English.' Diss. MIT, 1973, chapter 5. Week 9: Demonstratives in Copular Sentences 1. Mikkelsen, Line. 'Specifying Who: On the Structure, Meaning, and Use of Specificational Copular Clauses.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004, chapter 8.2 (Truncated Clefts). 2. Heller, Daphna and Lynsey Wolter. ' That is Rosa : Identificational Sentences as Intensional Predication.' Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 . Ed. Atle Grønn. Oslo: Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, 2008. Week 10: Demonstratives, Copular Sentences, Modals 1. Birner, Betty J., Jeffrey P. Kaplan, and Gregory Ward. 'Functional Compositionality and the Interaction of Discourse Constraints.' Language 83 (2007): 317–43. Focus Questions 1. Which of the following expressions are indexicals? Which are demonstratives? Why? (a) a pencil (b) the pencil (c) this pencil (d) Mary Smith (e) Mary's pencil (f ) my pencil (g) we (h) you (i) here (j) there (k) now (l) then 2. Do demonstratives ever interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings? If so, under what circumstances? 3. (a) If demonstratives (sometimes or always) interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a direct reference theory of demonstratives be maintained? (b) If demonstratives never interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a quantificational theory of demonstratives be maintained? 4. What kind of thing is a demonstration? Is it a pointing gesture? An indication of the speaker's focus of attention? Something more abstract? 5. What information do English demonstratives convey about proximity? What is 'proximity'– physical closeness to the speaker, or something more abstract? What is the status of this information: is it entailed, presupposed, or something else? 6. Do demonstratives that are accompanied by a physical gesture of demonstration have the same semantic value as anaphoric demonstratives, such as that in (a)? Why or why not? (a) John made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it quickly. Next he took an apple from the fridge. He ate that more slowly. (shrink)
The theory of fast and frugal heuristics, developed in a new book called Simple Heuristics that make Us Smart (Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group, in press), includes two requirements for rational decision making. One is that decision rules are bounded in their rationality –- that rules are frugal in what they take into account, and therefore fast in their operation. The second is that the rules are ecologically adapted to the environment, which means that they `fit to reality.' (...) The main purpose of this article is to apply these ideas to learning rules–-methods for constructing, selecting, or evaluating competing hypotheses in science, and to the methodology of machine learning, of which connectionist learning is a special case. The bad news is that ecological validity is particularly difficult to implement and difficult to understand. The good news is that it builds an important bridge from normative psychology and machine learning to recent work in the philosophy of science, which considers predictive accuracy to be a primary goal of science. (shrink)
Both ‘philosophy’ and ‘the child’ are notions that seem to have an everlasting presence in our daily vocabulary. What is less common and perhaps lacking is any reflection on the relation between them, which is rarely a focus of the researcher's attention. We believe that it is precisely this relation that is at stake in increasingly popular notions such as ‘philosophy for/with children’, or even in philosophy of education as such. In this article we will expand upon (...) this claim by exploring the meeting place(s) of both notions. An extensive elaboration of this relation would need not only more space than the average journal article offers, but also much more extensive research. Both ‘philosophy’ and ‘the child’—if we were to do justice to the wealth these terms offer—should each form separately the object of further research, in order to be able to pick the fruits of their shared household. We will bypass a labyrinthine study of this sort, however, and instead offer some thoughts on the cross-section of both these terms, seeking as it were what could be philosophical about the child, and where philosophy becomes childish. We hope that the reader would be so kind as to step into this brief, and somewhat associative, reasoning and find something of value in this wordplay, knowing that the more extensive treatise that the interconnection of these two realities demands is to be found elsewhere. The authors, for their part, are writing in the conviction that less can sometimes be more. (shrink)
The time has come to challenge many of the age-old assumptions about schools and school learning. In this timely book, leading thinkers from around the world offer a different vision of what schools are for. They suggest new ways of thinking about citizenship, lifelong learning, and the role of schools in democratic societies. They question many of the tenets of school effectiveness studies which have been so influential in shaping policy, but are essentially backward looking and premised on (...) school structures as we have known them. Each chapter confronts some of the myths of schooling we have cherished for too long and asks us to think again and to do schools differently. (shrink)
Advocacy on behalf of students with learning disabilities in schools that do and do not acknowledge learning disabilities reveals a dynamic that can be active in both settings. This dynamic is one of student marginalisation in favour of institutional empowerment. Affording voice to students and responding to students' voice is requisite of education that is moral. Schools that practise student marginalisation abrogate moral responsibility incumbent upon them. Illustrations of marginalisation using material derived from advocacy activity on behalf of (...) two learning-disabled students voicing opposing needs and attending schools with diametrically different philosophies toward learning disability will be presented. Descriptive material provided will also be used to illustrate a structure of institutional responsiveness revealed by advocacy activities. The structure of institutional responsiveness consists of four levels of responsiveness to children with learning disabilities. This structure of responsiveness can be used to evaluate and describe the responsiveness of institutions to special needs students and guide change processes undertaken to achieve greater institutional responsiveness. (shrink)
In this article I describe my experience teaching a moral problems course to first-year students within a Learning Community model. I begin with the learning goals and the mechanics of both my Learning Community and my moral problems course. I then focus on the experiential learning requirement of my Learning Community which is based on a field trip model instead of a service learning model. I describe how two field trips in particular—one to an (...) Arab American community in Brooklyn, New York, and the other to a Black American community in West Harlem, New York—primed my students to more effectively engage in philosophical discussions about terrorism, war, and affirmative action. I conclude that experiential learning on a field trip model helped my students to have more sophisticated conversations about complex and emotionally charged moral issues. (shrink)