This essay proposes a re-evaluation of Dewey's work with emphasis upon the ability of his philosophy to effect a realistic reformulation and development of America's tradition of humanistic liberalism. Dewey combines the tough-minded realism (or naturalism), congenial to the scientific orientation of American philosophy, with a firm conviction of the need of values and revaluation in community life. I draw on recent work of Hilary Putnam on Dewey and argue for the viability of Dewey's conception of value inquiry. The (...) value of Dewey's work to American liberalism extends beyond the version of liberalism, from the 1930's and the 1940's with which is name is most closely associated. (shrink)
We face severe global problems, many that we have inadvertently created ourselves. It is clear that there is an urgent need for more wisdom. One response is to improve knowledge about wisdom. This, I argue, is an inadequate response to the problems we face. Our global problems arise, in part, from a damagingly irrational kind of academic enterprise, devoted as it is to the pursuit of knowledge. We need to bring about a revolution in academic inquiry so that its (...) basic aim becomes to seek and promote wisdom. (shrink)
In order to create a good world, we need to learn how to do it - how to resolve our appalling problems and conflicts in more cooperative ways than at present. And in order to do this, we need traditions and institutions of learning rationally devoted to this end. When viewed from this standpoint, what we have at present - academic inquiry devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how - is an intellectual and human disaster. We urgently (...) need a new, more rigorous kind of inquiry that gives intellectual priority to the tasks of articulating our problems of living and proposing and critically assessing possible cooperative solutions. This new kind of inquiry would have as its basic aim to improve, not just knowledge, but also personal and global wisdom - wisdom being understood to be the capacity to realize what is of value in life. To develop this new kind of inquiry we will need to change almost every branch and aspect of the academic enterprise. (shrink)
The Confessions recounts Augustine's successful search for God. But Augustine worries that one cannot search for God if one does not already know God. That version of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> dominates and structures Confessions 1–10. I draw connections between the dramatic opening lines of book 1 and the climactic discussion in book 10.26–38 and argue that the latter discussion contains Augustine's resolution of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> as it applies to the special case of searching (...) for God. I claim that he develops a model, relying on the universal human experience of joy and truth, that identifies a starting point that (1) is common to all human beings, (2) is sufficient for guiding a successful search for God, and (3) avoids commitment to recollection of experiences prior to birth. The model is crucial to Augustine's rejection of traditional Platonist views about recollection. (shrink)
This book is Dewey's most fully developed treatment of logic as the theory of Inquiry. It is a later work which reflects, in part, Dewey's readings of C.S. Peirce during the 1930's. -/- Reprinted in Series: The collected works of John Dewey / ed. by Jo Ann Boydston, 3,12.; The later works, 1925 - 1953, Vol. 12.
A pervasive and influential argument appeals to trivial truths to demonstrate that the aim of inquiry is not the acquisition of truth. I argue that the argument fails, for it neglects to distinguish between the complexity of the sentence used to express a truth and the complexity of the truth expressed by a sentence.
In the first part of this paper, I will sketch the main features of traditional models of evidence, indicating idealizations in such models that I regard as doing more harm than good. I will then proceed to elaborate on an alternative model of evidence that is functionalist, complex, dynamic, and contextual, which I will call DYNAMIC EVIDENTIAL FUNCTIONALISM. I will demonstrate its application to an illuminating example of scientific inquiry, and defend it from some likely objections. In the second (...) part, I will use that alternative to solve a variety of classic and contemporary problems in the literature on scientific evidence having to do with the empirical basis of science and the use of evidence in public policy. (shrink)
The most exciting and important new philosophical idea of the past decade, in my view, is the discovery that we urgently need to bring about a revolution in science, and in academic inquiry more generally, so that the basic intellectual aim becomes to seek and promote wisdom. We urgently need to transform our schools and universities so that they become rationally devoted to helping humanity learn how to tackle our grave global problems, and thus make progress towards as good (...) a world as possible. (shrink)
This article commends Jaakko Hintikka's interrogative model of reasoning as an aid to historiography in relation to historical inquiry and explanation. After an initial discussion of David Hackett Fischer's appeal to the "logic of historical thought" in terms of his overlapping complementary emphases with Hintikka's interrogative model, a critical evaluation is given of Fischer's brief but strong comments regarding the role of why-questions in historical explanation. From there the main part of the article is given over to how (...) the interrogative model provides an account of the nature of explanation in general using Hintikka's recently published work on explanation theory. The theory of explanation that uses the interrogative model is applied to historical explanation and illustrated in the way the interrogative model serves a descriptively-valuable role in historiography by reference to historical inquiry and explanation in Herodotus. (shrink)
I. Levi has advocated a decision-theoretic account of belief revision. We argue that the game-theoretic framework of Interrogative Inquiry Games , proposed by J. Hintikka, can extend and clarify this account. We show that some strategic use of the game rules (or ‘policies’) generate Expansions , Contractions and Revisions , and we give representation results. We then extend the framework to represent explicitly (multiple) sources of answers , and apply it to discuss the Recovery Postulate. We conclude with (...) some remarks about the potential extensions of interrogative games, with respect to some issues in the theory of belief change. (shrink)
Biomedical Research and Beyond: Expanding the Ethics of Inquiry investigates the ethics of biomedical and scientific inquiry, including embryonic research, animal research, genetic enhancement, and fairness in research in the developing world. Core concerns of biomedical and scientific research ethics are then shown also to be key in humanistic areas of inquiry. Biomedical Research and Beyond concludes with a discussion of the virtues that all inquirers, scientific, medical, and humanistic, should possess.
The ‘community of inquiry’ as formulated by C. S. Peirce is grounded in the notion of communities of discipline-based inquiry engaged in the construction of knowledge. The phrase ‘transforming the classroom into a community of inquiry’ is commonly understood as a pedagogical activity with a philosophical focus to guide classroom discussion. But it has a broader application. Integral to the method of the community of inquiry is the ability of the classroom teacher to actively engage in (...) the theories and practices of discipline-based communities of inquiry so as to become informed by the norms of the disciplines, not only to aspire to competence within the disciplines, but also to develop habits of self-correction for reconstructing those same norms when faced with novel problems and solutions, including those in the classroom. This has implications for science education and the role of educational philosophy in developing students' ability to think scientifically. But it also has broader implications for thinking critically within all key learning areas. Here we concentrate on science education. We present the parallels between philosophical inquiry and scientific inquiry that need to be realised to promote and engage with scientific inquiry in the classroom. We also discuss the conflicts between philosophical inquiry and the way inquiry science in the classroom is portrayed in the education literature. Based on philosophical and historical perceptions of science as inquiry, a practical approach to implementation of scientific inquiry in the science classroom is presented. (shrink)
Knowledge translation has been widely taken up as an innovative process to facilitate the uptake of research-derived knowledge into health care services. Drawing on a recent research project, we engage in a philosophic examination of how knowledge translation might serve as vehicle for the transfer of critically oriented knowledge regarding social justice, health inequities, and cultural safety into clinical practice. Through an explication of what might be considered disparate traditions (those of critical inquiry and knowledge translation), we identify (...) compatibilities and discrepancies both within the critical tradition, and between critical inquiry and knowledge translation. The ontological and epistemological origins of the knowledge to be translated carry implications for the synthesis and translation phases of knowledge translation. In our case, the studies we synthesized were informed by various critical perspectives and hence we needed to reconcile differences that exist within the critical tradition. A review of the history of critical inquiry served to articulate the nature of these differences while identifying common purposes around which to strategically coalesce. Other challenges arise when knowledge translation and critical inquiry are brought together. Critique is one of the hallmark methods of critical inquiry and, yet, the engagement required for knowledge translation between researchers and health care administrators, practitioners, and other stakeholders makes an antagonistic stance of critique problematic. While knowledge translation offers expanded views of evidence and the complex processes of knowledge exchange, we have been alerted to the continual pull toward epistemologies and methods reminiscent of the positivist paradigm by their instrumental views of knowledge and assumptions of objectivity and political neutrality. These types of tensions have been productive for us as a research team in prompting a critical reconceptualization of knowledge translation. (shrink)
C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, argued that truth is what we would agree upon, were inquiry to be pursued as far as it could fruitfully go. In this book, Misak argues for and elucidates the pragmatic account of truth, paying attention both to Peirce's texts and to the requirements of a suitable account of truth. An important argument of the book is that we must be sensitive to the difference between offering a definition of truth and engaging in (...) a distinctively pragmatic project. The pragmatic project spells out the relationship between truth and inquiry; it articulates the consequences of a statement's being true. The existence of a distinct pragmatic enterprise has implications for the status of the pragmatic account of truth and for the way in which philosophy should be conducted. (shrink)
This is the first of two papers addressing Browning’s “Designation, Characterization, and Theory in Dewey’s Logic” (2002) where he distinguishes a series of pre-theoretical and theoretical stages for developing a theory of logic. The second of these two papers will recommend a modified version of this scheme of stages of inquiry into inquiry. The present paper recounts Browning’s original version of these stages and the ramifications of not clearly distinguishing them. I respond to Browning’s claim that in Burke (...) 1994 I made two such mistakes of not properly distinguishing theoretical and pre-theoretical stages of inquiry into inquiry. (shrink)
The notion of a community of inquiry has been treated by many of its proponents as being an exemplar of democracy in action. We argue that the assumptions underlying this view present some practical and theoretical difficulties, particularly in relation to distribution of power among the members of a community of inquiry. We identify two presuppositions in relation to distribution of power that require attention in developing an educational model that is committed to deliberative democracy: (1) openness to (...)inquiry and readiness to reason, and (2) mutual respect of students and teachers towards one another. Our contention is that these presuppositions, presented as preconditions necessary to the creation of a community of inquiry, are not without ideological commitments and dependent upon the ability of participants to share power. Using group dynamic theories and the ideas of Hannah Arendt, we argue that behaviours commonly interpreted as obstacles to dialogue or reflective inquiry could provide opportunities for growth. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the relevance of considering context for critical thinking. We argue that critical thinking is best viewed in terms of ‘critical inquiry’ in which argumentation is seen as a way of arriving at reasoned judgments on complex issues. This is a dialectical process involving the comparative weighing of a variety of contending positions and arguments. Using the model which we have developed for teaching critical thinking as critical inquiry, we demonstrate the role played by (...) the following aspects of context: (1) knowledge of the dialectical context (the debate around an issue, both current and historical); (2) an understanding of the current state of practice and belief surrounding an issue; (3) an understanding of the intellectual, political, historical and social contexts in which an issue is embedded; (4) knowledge of the relevant disciplinary context; (5) information about the sources of an argument; (6) awareness of one’s own beliefs and biases. (shrink)
This contribution raises two questions about Talisse’s strategy of grounding democratic norms in a perfectionist account of epistemic agency: first, whether a perfectionist account of epistemic agency is plausible in itself, and second, whether Talisse is right to posit such a close relationship between communities of inquiry and democratic community? Epistemic perfectionism is rejected in favour of a more pluralist view of epistemic agency which starts from an account of the agent’s particular responsibilities. Next it is argued that communities (...) of inquiry are neither democratic, nor is democratic government a condition of their flourishing. Against the grounding strategy, it is argued that those epistemic responsibilities pertinent to the practice of democratic politics can only be determined once we are in possession of a prior account of our civic responsibilities. (shrink)
In the past decade well-designed research studies have shown that the practice of collaborative philosophical inquiry in schools can have marked cognitive and social benefits. Student academic performance improves, and so too does the social dimension of schooling. These findings are timely, as many countries in Asia and the Pacific are now contemplating introducing Philosophy into their curricula. This paper gives a brief history of collaborative philosophical inquiry before surveying the evidence as to its effectiveness. The evidence is (...) canvassed under two categories: schooling and thinking skills; and schooling, socialisation and values. In both categories there is clear evidence that even short-term teaching of collaborative philosophical inquiry has marked positive effects on students. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research and a final claim that the presently-available research evidence is strong enough to warrant implementing collaborative philosophical inquiry as part of a long-term policy. (shrink)
Qualitative inquiry is increasingly used to foster change in health policy and practice. Research ethics committees often misunderstand qualitative inquiry, assuming its design can be judged by criteria of quantitative science. Traditional health research uses scientific realist standards as a means-to-an-end, answering the question “So what?” to support the advancement of practice and policy. In contrast, qualitative inquiry often draws on constructivist paradigms, generating knowledge either as an end-in-itself or as a means to foster (...) change. When reviewers inappropriately judge qualitative inquiry, it restricts the ways health phenomena can be understood. Qualitative inquiry is necessary because it enables an understanding not possible within scientific explanation. When such research illuminates, it can also shed light onto the “So what?” In order to ensure an appraisal of qualitative inquiry congruent with its paradigmatic premises, we suggest the “Illumination Test,” met when findings foster rich understanding of phenomena, resulting in a reflective “aha!”. (shrink)
Argumentation is a form of communication, rather than an application of(formal) logic, and is used in communicative activity as a means forinquiry, although it is more typically thought of as bringing inquiry toclosure. Thus interpretation is an intrinsic and crucial aspect ofconversational (interactive) argumentation. In order to further thisunderstanding of argumentative activity, I propose a procedure forinterpretation that draws upon hermeneutic phenomenology. In response tocriticisms by argumentation theorists (and others) who understand thistradition as oriented to psychological, perceptual, or textual (...) objects, Iargue that hermeneutic phenomenology supports methods for analysis ofpublic communicative activity. The resulting conception of âthick argumentationâ responds to contemporary (postmodern) claims that argumentation valorizes univocity, stasis, and certainty at the expense ofthe pluralism, fluctuation, and range of epistemic results thatcharacterize discourse in the public sphere. (shrink)
A Deweyan inquiry begins with an indeterminate situation and terminates, when successful, with a determinate situation, both of which Dewey holds to be unique and therefore ineffable. This ineffability requirement has the disastrous consequences that Dewey's beloved collective inquiry is impossible and that there are no objective criteria for the success of inquiry. It is found that Dewey's ineffability requirement results from his misbegotten attempt to aestheticize inquiry so that it is an act of artistic creation. (...) It is suggested that things would go better if he dropped the ineffability requirement. (shrink)
Corrigibilism without solidarity -- Inquiry, deliberation, and method -- Pragmatism and change of view -- Beware of syllogism : statistical reasoning and conjecturing according to Peirce -- Dewey's logic of inquiry -- Wayward naturalism : saving Dewey from himself -- Seeking truth -- The logic of consistency and the logic of truth -- Belief, doubt, and evidentialism -- Induction, abduction, and oracles -- Knowledge as true full belief.
In an environment characterized by the emergence of new and diverse (and often opposed) philosophical efforts, there is a need for a conception of philosophy that will promote the exchange and critical consideration of divergent insights. Depending upon the operative conception, philosophical efforts can be viewed as significant, insightful and instructive, or unimportant, misguided and not real philosophy. This paper develops John Dewey's conception of philosophy as a mode of inquiry in contrast with Bertrand Russell's conception of philosophy as (...) a mode of analysis. I argue that while Russell's analytic conception of philosophy justifies the dismissal of non-analytic philosophies, Dewey's conception of philosophy provides a theoretical framework for the comparison, evaluation and interaction of alternatives. (shrink)
Amongst the many aims of education, surely the pursuit of global peace must be one of the most significant. The mandate of UNESCO is to pursue world peace through education by primarily promoting collaboration. The sort of collaboration that UNESCO endorses involves democratic dialogue, where various persons from differing backgrounds can come together, listen, negotiate and discuss possible ways in which peace might be pursued. While this sort of democratic dialogue with its associated free intellectual inquiry is more readily (...) acceptable for issues dealing with problems in the realm of physical nature, it is not so easily tolerated in the realm of ethics and values. Indeed inquiry into the realm of ethics by Kierkegaard has been described by Levinas to be a form of violence. Similarly John Dewey's work has been included in a list of the ten most harmful books by some conservatives in the United States because he promoted inquiry into morals and religion. Dewey argued against the assumption that there are two-realms—one physical and one moral. He and Kierkegaard both encouraged democratic inquiry into ethics, which is the sort of collaboration recognised by UNESCO as being necessary if we are to pursue world peace. Yet such investigations can be considered by some to be violent and harmful. It is argued here that pursuing inquiries into ethics and aims of education, while appearing to challenge the status quo, should not be construed as being violent but rather should be understood as democratic and educative. (shrink)
This essay challenges the view that John Rawls's recently published undergraduate thesis A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith provides little help in understanding his mature work. Two crucial strands of Rawls's Theory of Justice are its critique of teleology and its claims about our moral nature and its expression. These strands are brought together in a set of arguments late in Theory which are important but have attracted little sustained attention. I argue that the target (...) of Rawls's undergraduate thesis is a form of Christianity which rests on assumptions Rawls later came to think were fundamental to teleological views, and that the thesis defends an alternative form of religiosity that anticipates what Rawls says in Theory about the expression of our nature. Those sections of Theory also provide resources Rawls could have used to respond to a number of prominent and recurrent criticisms of his account of moral motivation. Seeing the continuities between Brief Inquiry and Theory of Justice shows how long Rawls wrestled with problems he took up in the neglected sections of Theory and thereby shows their importance to Rawls's thought. (shrink)
This essay argues that to understand Dewey's vision of democracy as “epistemic” requires consideration of how experiential and communal aspects of inquiry together produce what is named here “pragmatic objectivity.” Such pragmatic objectivity provides an alternative to absolutism and self-interested relativism by appealing to certain norms of empirical experimentation. Pragmatic objectivity, it is then argued, can be justified by appeal to Dewey's conception of primary experience. This justification, however, is not without its own complications, which are highlighted with objections (...) regarding “radical pluralism” in political life, and some logical problems that arise due to the supposedly “ineffable” nature of primary experience. The essay concludes by admitting that while Dewey's theory of democracy based on experience cannot answer all of the objections argumentatively, it nevertheless provides potent suggestions for how consensus building can proceed without such philosophical arguments. (shrink)
Fuller's program of social epistemology engages a rhetoric of inquiry that can be usefully compared and contrasted with other discursive theories of knowledge, such as that of Richard Rorty. Resisting the model of “conversation,” Fuller strikes an activist posture and lays the groundwork for normative “knowledge policy,” in which persuasion and credibility play key roles. The image of investigation is one that overtly rejects the “storehouse” conception of knowledge and invokes the metaphors of distributive economics. Productive questions arise as (...) to how notions of creation and distribution might guide this rhetoric. (shrink)
The burgeoning interest in arts-informed research and the increasing variety of visual possibilities as a result of new technologies have paved the way for researchers to explore and use visual forms of inquiry. This article investigates how collage making and concept mapping are useful visual approaches that can inform qualitative research. They are experiential ways of doing/knowing that help to get at tacit aspects of both understanding and process and to make these more explicit to the researcher and more (...) accessible to audiences. It outlines specific ways that each approach can be used with examples to illustrate how the approach informs the researcher's experience and that of the audience. The two approaches are compared and contrasted and issues that can arise in the work are discussed. (shrink)
It is a feature of scientific inquiry that it proceeds alongside a multitude of non-scientific interests. This statement is as true of the scientific inquiries of previous centuries, many of which brought scientists into conflict with institutionalised religious thinking, as it is true of the scientific inquiries of today, which are conducted increasingly within commercial and political contexts. However, while the fact of the coexistence of scientific and non-scientific interests has changed little over time, what has changed with time (...) is the effect of this coexistence on scientific inquiry itself. While scientists may no longer construct their theories with various religious dictates in mind, growing commercial and political interests in science have served to distort the interpretation of science. Using the U.K.’s recent crisis with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) as my context, I examine two ways in which this distortion has occurred – the interpretation of the science of BSE by politicians and by commercial parties for the purposes of justifying policy decisions and informing the public of risk, respectively. Fallacious reasoning, I contend, is the manifestation of this distortion in these contexts. In demonstration of this claim, I examine how politicians and commercial parties alike have employed two fallacies in their assessments of the science of BSE. These fallacies extend in novel ways the set of so-called traditional informal fallacies. The interpretation of science, I conclude, is a rich context in which to conduct a study of fallacious reasoning; moreover, such a study can contribute in significant ways, I argue, to the public understanding of science. (shrink)
lt is now commonplace in fallacy inquiry for many of the traditional informal fallacies to be viewed as reasonable or nonfallacious modes of argument. Central to this evaluative shift has been the attempt to examine traditional fallacies within their wider contexts of use. However, this pragmatic turn in fallacy evaluation is still in its infancy. The true potential of a contextual approach in the evaluation of the fallacies is yet to be explored. I examine how, in the context of (...) scientific inquiry, certain traditional fallacies function by conferring epistemic gains upon inquiry. Specifically, I argue that these fallacies facilitate the progression of inquiry, particularly in the initial stages ofinquiry when the epistemic context is one of uncertainty. The conception of these fallacies that emerges is that of heuristics of reasoning in contexts of epistemic uncertainty. (shrink)
The paper explores how several commissions of inquiry established in Quebec, Canada, have, over time, contributed in redefining the meaning of quality in health-care and its management. Adopting an interpretive analysis of commissions’ reports, the paper examines the particular ‘conceptual boxes’ used by their members to tackle quality and the embedded nature of their work. It is shown that although quality was always considered, this was generally done by bringing into focus specific quality domains and issues, some new, others (...) not so new. In addition, the various management approaches to quality featured in the reports were informed by evolving templates; although this evolution was not as straight and unwavering as some retrospective studies of quality in health-care seem to indicate. A common thread to all commissions is the fact that, beyond the definition of general principles, responsibility for quality oversight was not clearly assigned and criteria on whether quality initiatives should be voluntary or compulsory were often left unspecified. Further, quality was never regarded by the commissions as a strategic aspect of health-care. It is speculated that these failings on the part of commissions may partly explain the unassertive course of action taken by the provincial government in the area. (shrink)
This essay juxtaposes concepts created by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari with worlds imagined by Ursula Le Guin in a performance of ‘rhizosemiotic play’ that explores some possible ways of generating and sustaining what William Pinar calls ‘complicated conversation’ within the regime of signs that constitutes an increasingly internationalized curriculum field. Deleuze and Guattari analyze thinking as flows or movements across space. They argue, for example, that every mode of intellectual inquiry needs to account for the plane of immanence (...) upon which it operates—the preconceptual field presupposed by the concepts that inquiry creates. Curriculum inquiry currently operates on numerous nationally distinctive planes of immanence. I argue that the internationalization of curriculum studies should not presume a singular transnational plane of immanence but, rather, envisage a process performed by curriculum scholars with the capacities and competencies to change planes—to move between one plane of immanence and another and/or to transform their own planes. My essay is a ‘narrative experiment’ that takes seriously Deleuze’s argument that a work of philosophy should be, in part, a kind of science fiction, and also takes inspiration from Le Guin’s science fictional stories of ‘changing planes’ to generate productive and disruptive transnational agendas in curriculum inquiry. (shrink)
The origins and development of community of philosophical inquiry -- The theoretical landscape -- Philosophising with five year olds -- Creating a community of philosophical inquiry (CoPI) with all ages -- Different methods of group philosophical discussion -- What you need to know to chair a CoPI with six to sixteen year olds -- Implementing CoPI in primary and secondary schools -- CoPI, citizenship, moral virtue, and academic performance with primary and secondary children.
Experiential knowledge is not often associated with research and organized inquiry, and even less often with the rigour of debating and honing research methods and methodology. However, many researchers in art and design and related fields perceive experiential knowledge or tacit knowledge as an integral part of their practice. The editorial article for the special issue on "Research Practice in Art and Design: Experiential Knowledge and Organised Inquiry" explores how research can recognise the relationship between creative practice, experience, (...) and knowledge generation in art and design in order to develop relevant approaches to organised inquiry. This discussion provides the backdrop against which the different articles of this special issue are introduced. The first section, "Experiential Knowledge and Organised Inquiry" addresses issues of integration and communication of experiential and tacit knowledge within the context of organised inquiry. The second section, "Experiential Knowledge in Doctoral Research" examines research practice options within doctoral research in art and design. (shrink)
In his recent work exploring the role of science in democratic societies Kitcher (Science in a democratic society. Prometheus Books, New York, 2011) claims that scientists ought to have a prominent role in setting the agenda for and limits to research. Against the backdrop of the claim that the proper limits of scientific inquiry is John Stuart Mill’s Harm Principle (Kitcher in Science, truth, and democracy. Oxford University Press, New York, 2001), he identifies the limits of inquiry as (...) the point where the outcomes of research could cause harm to already vulnerable populations. Nonetheless, Kitcher argues against explicit limitations on unscrupulous research on the grounds that restrictions would exacerbate underlying social problems. I show that Kitcher’s argument in favor of dissuading inquiry through conventional standards is problematic and falls prey to the same critique he offers in opposition to official bans. I expand the conversation of limiting scientific research by recognizing that the actions that count as ‘science’ are located in the space between ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’. In this space, we often attempt to balance freedom of research, as scientific speech, against the disparate impact citizens might experience in light of such research. I end by exploring if such disparate impact justifies limiting research, within the context of the United States, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or under international human rights standards more generally. (shrink)
C. S. Peirce once defined pragmatism as the opinion that metaphysics is to be largely cleared up by the application of the following maxim for attaining clearness of apprehension: ‘Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.’ (Peirce 1982a: 48) More succinctly, Richard Rorty has described the position in this way.
This paper reconsiders certain of Kierkegaard's criticisms of Hegel's theoretical philosophy in the light of recent interpretations of the latter. The paper seeks to show how these criticisms, far from being merely parochial or rhetorical, turn on central issues concerning the nature of thought and what it is to think. I begin by introducing Hegel's conception of "pure thought" as this is distinguished by his commitment to certain general requirements on a properly philosophical form of inquiry. I then (...) outline Hegel's strategy for resolving a crucial problem he takes himself to face. For his account of the nature of thought depends upon the idea of a form of inquiry in which nothing whatsoever is presupposed; but this idea appears basically paradoxical inasmuch as the mere act of beginning to inquire in a certain way embodies an assumption about how it is appropriate to begin. Turning to Kierkegaard, I consider a key objection to the effect that Hegel's strategy for resolving this paradox depends on the incoherent idea of a purely reflexive act of thinking. Finally, I draw out some central features of the alternative account of "situated" thought and inquiry which Kierkegaard presents as distinctively Socratic. (shrink)
Neuroethics is a relatively novel field of investigation. Applied to mental health practice and research, neuroethics would seem to enlighten many traditional ethical connundra. This editorial introduces this symposium on neuroethics in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.
We examine the notion of inquiry and argue that philosophic inquiry is a transcendental activity. Activities, viewed as conforming to intelligible canons, applying to appropriate contexts, and directed to specifiable ends, are contrasted with their empirical descriptions. Inquiry, characterized as an internalized, continuous activity directed to an intrinsic end, and fundamentally presupposed by other activities, is considered at the levels of (1) science, (2) philosophy and (3) transcendental philosophy. We argue that (2) is a transcendental activity which (...) determines non?empirical concepts and is presupposed by (1). Alternative philosophic frameworks are grounded on hypothetical canons conceived by intelligence itself, which imply interpretations of objectivity and universality claiming validity for the community of inquirers, but they can always be rejected. We consider the possibility of categorical canons operating as second?order rules necessarily presupposed for the formulation of alternative philosophic frameworks, and (3) would be the activity of identifying, justifying and applying such transcendental canons of inquiry in general. Finally, we suggest that the only possible ?justification? of such categorical canons would be a kind of ontological proof. Thus, a given philosophic approach reflects the transcendental activity of determining non?empirical concepts through the implementation of its fundamental regulative norms; but transcendental philosophy would determine the concept of philosophy itself through implementation of the categorical canons of inquiry in the construction of philosophic systems. (shrink)
This paper pursues a thorough-going instrumentalist, or means-ends, approach to the theory of inductive inference. I consider three epistemic aims: convergence to a correct theory, fast convergence to a correct theory and steady convergence to a correct theory (avoiding retractions). For each of these, two questions arise: (1) What is the structure of inductive problems in which these aims are feasible? (2) When feasible, what are the inference methods that attain them? Formal learning theory provides the tools for a complete (...) set of answers to these questions. As an illustration of the results, I apply means-ends analysis to various versions of Goodman's Riddle of Induction. (shrink)
In early 1997, participants on the p4c-list, an email discussion list, reacted to an anecdote about Wittgenstein’s lectures at Cambridge by engaging in a three month long exchange on the nature of a Community of Inquiry. This article is a lightly edited transcript of that discussion and, as such, not only addresses many aspects of the substantive issue, but also provides an exemplar of at least one type of Community of Inquiry.
This is a brief guide to the ideal of open-minded inquiry by way of a survey of related notions. Making special reference to the educational context, the aim is to offer teachers an insight into what it wouldmean for their work to be influenced by this ideal, and to lead students to a deeper appredation of open-minded inquiry. From assumptions to zealotry, the glossary provides an account of a wide rangeof concepts in this family of ideas, reflecting a (...) concern and a connection throughout with the central concept of open-mindedness itself. An intricate network of relationships is uncovered that reveals therichness of this ideal; and many confusions and misunderstandings that runder a proper appreciation of open-mindedness are identified. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This introductory paper raises, partly as a preparation for the other papers in this issue, questions about how philosophy ought to proceed in the light of knowledge we have in surrounding disciplines, with a focus on the case of addiction. It also raises issues about how addiction research might be enlightened by philosophical work. In the background for the paper are two competing approaches to the evidential grounding of philosophical insight. According to a widespread view, philosophical knowledge rests on (...) a set of intuitions. According to another, philosophy has no special evidential grounding. This paper resists the attractions of the first picture, and argues against the separateness of philosophy that it lends support. I try to make plausible that such a picture is harmful both for philosophy and for empirical science. We should replace it with a mild form of unity of science or unity of inquiry, in the spirit of the founder of this journal. (shrink)
This paper discusses the use of collaborative inquiry approaches to promote critical thinking and ‘deep’ learning across different subject domains and at different educational stages. The content of this paper follows on from a four-year evaluation of the Thinking through Philosophy project that took place in a number of schools in Scotland. Although the original research focused on developing thinking in young students (aged 10 to 12 years), the project subsequently widened the targeted age range both down to younger (...) pre-school students (aged 4 years) and upward to pre-Higher Education students (aged 16 years). The author argues that interactive thinking and learning processes, as exemplified by ‘collaborative inquiry,’ appear equally relevant to students of different ages andstages including those studying higher education courses. The paper starts with an overview of the Clackmannanshire research before considering the application of inquiry-based approaches across a wide range of subject disciplines and educational stages, including higher education. (shrink)
This article contains a brief discussion of some of the key concepts of John Dewey's theory of inquiry. Dewey presented his theory of inquiry differently to different audiences, such as fellow philosophers, teachers, and the public. Nevertheless, his many accounts exhibit a common pattern: inquiry arises out of unsettled situations, proceeds by the formulation and testing of hypotheses, and contains an affective dimension. Proposed solutions must be tested in the domain of existential affairs. Even when they are (...) accepted, their warrant is only provisional. (shrink)