In Excess of Epistemology: Siegel, Taylor, Heidegger and the Conditions of Thought

Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (1):142-160 (2015)
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Abstract

Harvey Siegel's epistemologically-informed conception of critical thinking is one of the most influential accounts of critical thinking around today. In this article, I seek to open up an account of critical thinking that goes beyond the one defended by Siegel. I do this by re-reading an opposing view, which Siegel himself rejects as leaving epistemology ‘pretty much as it is’. This is the view proposed by Charles Taylor in his paper ‘Overcoming Epistemology’. Crucially, my aim here is not to defend Taylor's challenge to epistemology per se, but rather to demonstrate how, through its appeal to certain key tropes within Heideggerian philosophy, Taylor's paper opens us towards a radically different conception of thinking and the human being who thinks. Indeed, as will be argued, it is through this that Taylor and Heidegger come to offer us the resources for re-thinking the nature of critical thinking—in a way that exceeds the epistemological, and does more justice to receptive and responsible conditions of human thought

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