The belief that science shows an accumulation of a body of objective knowledge has been widely challenged by philosophers and historians in the latter half of this century. In this treatise, Dr. Jardine defends this belief with a careful appreciation of the complexities involved, drawing on many controversial issues concerning truth in science, interpretation of past theories, and grounds of scientific method.
This book is about an ecological-interpretive image of "the basics" in teaching and learning. The authors offer a generous, rigorous, difficult, and pleasurable image of what this term might mean in the living work of teachers and learners. In this book, Jardine, Clifford, and Friesen: *sketch out some of the key ideas in the traditional, taken-for-granted meaning of "the basics"; *explain how the interpretive-hermeneutic version of "the basics" operates on different fundamental assumptions; *show how this difference leads, of necessity, (...) to very different concrete practices in our schools; *illustrate richly how it is necessary for interpretive work to show, again and again, how new examples enrich, transform, and correct what one thought was fully understood and meaningful; and *explore the challenges of an interpretive approach in relation to child development, mathematics education, science curriculum, teacher education, novel studies, new information technologies, writing practices in the classroom, and the nature of interpretive inquiry itself as a form of "educational research." This text will be valuable to practicing teachers and student-teachers in re-imagining what is basic to their work and the work of their students. Through its many classroom examples, it provides a way to question and open up to conversation the often literal-minded tasks teachers and students face. It also provides examples of interpretive inquiry that will be helpful to graduate students and scholars in the areas of curriculum, teaching, and learning who are pursuing this form of research and writing. (shrink)
Gerd Buchdahl's international reputation rests on his masterly writings on Kant. In them he showed how Kant transformed the philosophical problems of his predecessors and he minutely investigated the ways in which Kant related his critical philosophy to the contents and methods of natural science. Less well known, if only because in large part unpublished, are the writings in which Buchdahl elaborated his own views on the methods and status of the sciences. In this paper I examine the roles of (...) hermeneutics in Buchdahl's reconstruction of Kant's philosophical system and in his own 'transcendental methodological' approach to the philosophy of science. The first section looks at Buchdahl's views on the theory and practice of historical interpretation and at the Husserlian hermeneutic scheme of reduction and realisation that he used in his later accounts of the philosophies of science of Kant and himself. The second section concentrates on Buchdahl's treatment of the grounds of science in Kant; and the third on the hermeneutic strategies Buchdahl employed in articulating and justifying his own views. The paper closes with reflections on the impact and importance of Buchdahl's interpretation of Kant's critical philosophy in relation to the sciences and of his own hermeneutically based philosophy of science. (shrink)
In Higher Superstition, published early in 1994, biologist Paul R. Gross and mathematician Norman Levitt denounced an `Academic Left' at once militant and ill-informed in its criticisms of science. Gross and Levitt showed sharp eyes for the pretentious and absurd in the works of American postmodernists, feminists, multiculturalists, radical environmentalists and, alas, exponents of science studies -- that is, historians, philosophers and sociologists of science. In the Autumn of 94, physicist Alan Sokal, inspired by Gross and Levitt's book, submitted (...) a spoof article portentously entitled `Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity' to Social Text, a leading journal in the expanding field of cultural studies. As he later told Janny Scott of the New York Times : I structured the article around the silliest quotations about mathematics and physics from the most prominent academics, and I invented an argument praising them and linking them together. All this was very easy to carry off, because my article wasn't obliged to respect any standards of evidence or logic. The editors of Social Text were hoodwinked. By an unhappy coincidence, shortly after receiving Sokal's article they decided to produce a special `Science Wars' collection, including the unrefereed article together with responses to Higher Superstition. `Transgressing the Boundaries' duly appeared in the Spring/Summer 96 double issue, accompanied by articles from a number of those denounced by Gross and Levitt and lampooned by Sokal -- the perfect setting! (shrink)
Gadamer's Truth and Method emphasises the priority of engagement with questions in the process of interpretation; however, there are passages which appear dismissive of concerns with 'dead' scientific and philosophical questions. Here I argue that Gadamer's work is nevertheless an important resource for the historical study of the genesis and dissolution of questions. This type of study can overcome the divide between internal history of contents and external history of contexts. In both philosophy and the sciences, reflection on the genealogy (...) of questions is, I suggest, crucial for our critical awareness of current methods and agendas. (shrink)
This article proposes that a general theory of assessment of historical testimony should do justice to the long tradition of adjudication in accordance with maxims of reliability and competence. I argue that an explanatory genealogical theory (along lines first adumbrated by Charles Seignobos) satisfies this condition, and that it has further notable virtues: respect for the strengths of rival theories, regard for the links between adjudication of testimony and other basic procedures of historical inquiry, and the promise of profitable lines (...) of investigation. (shrink)
This book advocates a radical shift of concern in philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of the sciences, and explores the consequences of such a shift. The historically-oriented first part of the work deals with the ways in which ranges of questions become real and cease to be real for communities of inquirers. The more philosophically-oriented second part of the work introduces the notion of absolute reality of questions, and addresses doubt about the claims of the sciences to have accumulated absolutely (...) real questions. It is argued that recent studies in the sociology and social history of the science pose strong challenges to the sciences by revealing how appeals to authority, vested interests, and rhetorical and aesthetic sensibilities play substantial roles in the practices of the sciences. The final chapter defends the pragmatic stance of the work, and of its companion, The Fortunes of Inquiry, and draws morals about the roles of criticism and reflection in the philosophy of science and in the sciences themselves. (shrink)
An axiomatic treatment of the relation part of is shown to lead naturally to an account of the ways in which parts of things are matched. The determination of matchings by the properties of parts and by the relations between parts is discussed and shown to be relevant to certain classificatory problems in science. The connexions between matchings and symmetries of parts are explored, and a general account is given of the ways in which ambiguities in the matching of parts (...) may be resolved. (shrink)
The author responds to reviews of two of his works, eventually extending the analysis of both books to argue that Michael Polanyi and William H. Poteat have, in their epistemological and phenomenological theories, articulated what amounts to a conception of the Holy Spirit in non-theological terminology, but that this conception needs to be more explicitly theologically informed to be refined.
This paper is an exploration of the Cartesian paradigms of clarity and univocity and how these inform contemporary educational theory and practice. Phenomenology is discussed as a way of disrupting Descartes' visions of clarity and distinctness as paradigms of knowledge and as a return of inquiry to life as it is actually lived. Analogical discourse is examined as a way of giving a voice to this sort of inquiry. Heidegger's notions of inquiry as obedience and thanksgiving are discussed.
In Polanyian Meditations: In Search of a Post-Critical Logic, Poteat draws upon Polanyi to explicate what he calls an “oral/aural logic,” which he thinks informs Polanyi’s thought and which is different from the conventional “visual logic” of the Western philosophical tradition, and then argues that this oral/aural logic is implied in the Hebraic understanding of reality. This idea is a key to understanding the genesis of the modern worldview, which can be conceptualized as involving certain elements of the Hebraic worldview (...) distorted byan excessively visual orientation. (shrink)
This paper explores the relentless character of writing in elementary education. We begin with the reflections of a Grade Three teacher on incidents in her classroom regarding writing and the leaving of traces, followed with a consideration of the deep cultural investment we have in leaving such traces. A brief examination of the latest work by Lucy Calkins is followed by a discussion of the paradoxical relations between writing, remembering and forgetting and the forging of community as an “order of (...) memories.” The issue of writing as the rendering of experience into cultural capital is followed by concluding remarks on the pleasures of “walking around unwritten.”. (shrink)
This article highlights the complex interactions between anthropogenic ecological change and mosquito-borne disease patterns. Ancient Rome provides a historical case study of the possible interplay between deforestation and an increasing malarial disease burden, and examples drawn from across the globe suggest that the experience of Rome is being repeated today. The evidence calls for careful management of agricultural clearing and for a multidisciplinary perspective in policy development on the issue, particularly in regions where there are already indications of escalating disease (...) rates. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
When the New Organon appeared in 1620, part of a six-part programme of scientific inquiry entitled 'The Great Renewal of Learning', Francis Bacon was at the high point of his political career, and his ambitious work was groundbreaking in its attempt to give formal philosophical shape to a new and rapidly emerging experimentally-based science. Bacon combines theoretical scientific epistemology with examples from applied science, examining phenomena as various as magnetism, gravity, and the ebb and flow of the tides, and anticipating (...) later experimental work by Robert Boyle and others. His work challenges the entire edifice of the philosophy and learning of his time, and has left its mark on all subsequent philosophical discussions of scientific method. This volume presents a new translation of the text into modern English by Michael Silverthorne, and an introduction by LisaJardine that sets the work in the context of Bacon's scientific and philosophical activities. (shrink)
A valuable intervention in Kristevan scholarship and a significant and exciting contribution in its own right to post-structuralist discussions of ethical and political agency and practice. Contributors: Judith Butler, Tina Chanter, Marilyn Edelstein, Jean Graybeal, Suzanne Guerlac, Alice Jardine, Lisa Lowe, Noelle McAfee, Norma Claire Moruzzi, Kelly Oliver, Tilottma Rajan, Jacqueline Rose, Allison Weir, Mary Bittner Wiseman, Ewa Ziarek.
Lisa Hill’s response to my critique of compulsory voting, like similar responses in print or in discussion, remind me how much a child of the ‘70s I am, and how far my beliefs and intuitions about politics have been shaped by the electoral conflicts, social movements and violence of that period. -/- But my perceptions of politics have also been profoundly shaped by my teachers, and fellow graduate students, at MIT. Theda Skocpol famously urged political scientists to ‘bring the (...) state back in’ to their analyses, and to recognise that political identities, interests and coalitions cannot be read off straightforwardly from people’s socio-economic position. In their different ways, this was the lesson that Suzanne Berger, Charles Sabel and Joshua Cohen tried to teach us, emphasising the ways that political participation and conflict, themselves, can change people’s identities, their sense of what it is desirable and possible, and their ability to recognise, or oppose, the freedom and equality of others. -/- I do not therefore take it as self-evident that the poor and seemingly powerless should be politically apathetic, unwilling to vote, or incapable of imagining a political solution to at least some of the problems confronting them. Nor do I suppose that non-voters are all-of-a-piece, and that their shared interests are, inevitably, more significant, morally or politically, than those which divide them. Such assumptions seem mistaken in the case of voters, and I see no reason why they should be true of non-voters. The people we find in these categories are not predestined to be in one rather than the other; they do not always stay where they start off; and at an individual level, the reasons why people fall into one group, rather than another, are likely to be complex and sometimes unpredictable. -/- Above all I see nothing in a commitment to democratic government, understood realistically or in more idealistic terms, that requires us to treat raising turnout at national elections (once every four years or so) as of such moral or political importance that we should make it legally mandatory. Realistically, it is an open question how far the ballot box is, for most people, the path to empowerment – important though it is that people should have an equal right to vote and to stand as candidates at national elections. On a more idealistic view of democratic politics it is hard to avoid the thought that the importance of national elections to self-government, posited by proponents of compulsory voting, reflects an alienated and alienating view of democracy, in which the choice of our leaders becomes more important than the development and exercise of our own capacities to lead; and in which our awe at the power our leaders might wield is matched only by our inability to imagine less intimidating, distant and centralised forms of politics. -/- But before saying a little more about these points, and their significance for compulsory voting, I would like to dispel some misunderstandings or misrepresentations of my views in Hill’s essay. I do not believe socio-economic disparities in turnout are not worrying for democratic politics, nor do I believe that abstention is generally synonymous with consent. I do not assume that people have a right not to vote, but try to explain why moral and legal rights to abstain are an important part of democratic politics, including electoral politics. (shrink)
Murray Jardine’s The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society further develops several of the author’s political and economic concerns articulated in his earlier Speech and Political Practice. It probes the impact and implications of both Christianity and modern technology for our understanding of, and ability to cope with, problems that have become endemic to Western and, specifically, American culture. Jardine’s major continuing themes include: the importance to a well-formed self and society to be concretely grounded in a sense (...) of place; the participation of the knower in the dynamic processes of creativity and discovery; how even a highly literate culture is nourished and equipped for its communal endeavors by the temporal and tensional vestiges of its oral beginnings; and how the crucial element of faith, understood as trust and commitment, gives to speech acts the power to shape self, society, and history. The major new focus of this book is suggested in the subtitle: How Christianity Can Save Modernity From Itself. More thoroughly than in Speech and Political Practice, Jardine elaborates how Christianity is important in shaping our understanding of the speech act as a creative force. He outlines how Christianity and the Greek tradition have been significant forces shaping modernity; he argues that Christianity offers potential for addressing the nihilism found in the consumer society of post-modernity. Jardine is critical of those who are unable to recognize the perversions of Jesus’ message in Western history, but he is also critical of those who attribute virtually all positive developments during the past two millennia to Christianity. Nevertheless, he emphasizes the positive difference that Christian values and doctrine have made in the course of the past two thousand years. As in his earlier work, Jardine draws from an impressive range of sources, in order to make an original contribution. He is especially indebted to William Poteat, Michael Polanyi, and Ludwig Wittgenstein; his teacher Poteat’s influence is pervasive. (shrink)