“Critical thinking in higher education” is a phrase that means many things to many people. It is a broad church. Does it mean a propensity for finding fault? Does it refer to an analytical method? Does it mean an ethical attitude or a disposition? Does it mean all of the above? Educating to develop critical intellectuals and the Marxist concept of critical consciousness are very different from the logician’s toolkit of finding fallacies in passages of text, or the practice of (...) identifying and distinguishing valid from invalid syllogisms. Critical thinking in higher education can also encompass debates about critical pedagogy, i.e., political critiques of the role and function of education in society, critical feminist approaches to curriculum, issues related to what has become known as critical citizenship, or any other education-related topic that uses the appellation “critical”. Equally, it can, and usually does, refer to the importance and centrality of developing general skills in reasoning—skills that we hope all graduates possess. Yet, despite more than four decades of dedicated scholarly work “critical thinking” remains as elusive as ever. As a concept, it is, as Raymond Williams has noted, a ‘most difficult one’ (Williams, 1976, p. 74). (shrink)
In recent years, academics and educators have begun to use software mapping tools for a number of education-related purposes. Typically, the tools are used to help impart critical and analytical skills to students, to enable students to see relationships between concepts, and also as a method of assessment. The common feature of all these tools is the use of diagrammatic relationships of various kinds in preference to written or verbal descriptions. Pictures and structured diagrams are thought to be more comprehensible (...) than just words, and a clearer way to illustrate understanding of complex topics. Variants of these tools are available under different names: “concept mapping”, “mind mapping” and “argument mapping”. Sometimes these terms are used synonymously. However, as this paper will demonstrate, there are clear differences in each of these mapping tools. This paper offers an outline of the various types of tool available and their advantages and disadvantages. It argues that the choice of mapping tool largely depends on the purpose or aim for which the tool is used and that the tools may well be converging to offer educators as yet unrealised and potentially complementary functions. (shrink)
This is the English (and extended version) of an interview originally published in Estonian in October 2018. In the interview, Simpson summarizes a particular way of defending the practice of no-platforming. The varying appeal of different defences of the practice in different socio-historical contexts (i.e. the UK/US versus a post-Soviet country such as Estonia) is discussed also.
Despite the increased prevalence of bioethics research that seeks to use empirical data to answer normative research questions, there is no consensus as to what an appropriate methodology for this would be. This review aims to search the literature, present and critically discuss published Empirical Bioethics methodologies.
We provide a battery of examples of delusions against which theoretical accounts can be tested. Then, we identify neuropsychological anomalies that could produce the unusual experiences that may lead, in turn, to the delusions in our battery. However, we argue against Maher’s view that delusions are false beliefs that arise as normal responses to anomalous experiences. We propose, instead, that a second factor is required to account for the transition from unusual experience to delusional belief. The second factor in the (...) aetiology of delusions can be described superficially as a loss of the ability to reject a candidate for belief on the grounds of its implausibility and its inconsistency with everything else that the patient knows. But we point out some problems that confront any attempt to say more about the nature of this second factor. (shrink)
Collected and edited by Noah Levin -/- Table of Contents: -/- UNIT ONE: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ETHICS: TECHNOLOGY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND IMMIGRATION 1 The “Trolley Problem” and Self-Driving Cars: Your Car’s Moral Settings (Noah Levin) 2 What is Ethics and What Makes Something a Problem for Morality? (David Svolba) 3 Letter from the Birmingham City Jail (Martin Luther King, Jr) 4 A Defense of Affirmative Action (Noah Levin) 5 The Moral Issues of Immigration (B.M. Wooldridge) 6 The Ethics of our (...) Digital Selves (Noah Levin) -/- UNIT TWO: TORTURE, DEATH, AND THE “GREATER GOOD” 7 The Ethics of Torture (Martine Berenpas) 8 What Moral Obligations do we have (or not have) to Impoverished Peoples? (B.M. Wooldridge) 9 Euthanasia, or Mercy Killing (Nathan Nobis) 10 An Argument Against Capital Punishment (Noah Levin) 11 Common Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) 12 Better (Philosophical) Arguments about Abortion (Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob) -/- UNIT THREE: PERSONS, AUTONOMY, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND RIGHTS 13 Animal Rights (Eduardo Salazar) 14 John Rawls and the “Veil of Ignorance” (Ben Davies) 15 Environmental Ethics: Climate Change (Jonathan Spelman) 16 Rape, Date Rape, and the “Affirmative Consent” Law in California (Noah Levin) 17 The Ethics of Pornography: Deliberating on a Modern Harm (Eduardo Salazar) 18 The Social Contract (Thomas Hobbes) -/- UNIT FOUR: HAPPINESS 19 Is Pleasure all that Matters? Thoughts on the “Experience Machine” (Prabhpal Singh) 20 Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill) 21 Utilitarianism: Pros and Cons (B.M. Wooldridge) 22 Existentialism, Genetic Engineering, and the Meaning of Life: The Fifths (Noah Levin) 23 The Solitude of the Self (Elizabeth Cady Stanton) 24 Game Theory, the Nash Equilibrium, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Douglas E. Hill) -/- UNIT FIVE: RELIGION, LAW, AND ABSOLUTE MORALITY 25 The Myth of Gyges and The Crito (Plato) 26 God, Morality, and Religion (Kristin Seemuth Whaley) 27 The Categorical Imperative (Immanuel Kant) 28 The Virtues (Aristotle) 29 Beyond Good and Evil (Friedrich Nietzsche) 30 Other Moral Theories: Subjectivism, Relativism, Emotivism, Intuitionism, etc. (Jan F. Jacko). (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists argue that normal adult human beings possess a primitive or 'folk' psychological theory. Recently, however, this theory has come under challenge from the simulation alternative. This alternative view says that human bings are able to predict and explain each others' actions by using the resources of their own minds to simuate the psychological etiology of the actions of others. The thirteen essays in this volume present the foundations of theory of mind debate, and are accompanied by (...) an extensive introduction. (shrink)
Some people are multi-billionaires; others die because they are too poor to afford food or medications. In many countries, people are denied rights to free speech, to participate in political life, or to pursue a career, because of their gender, religion, race or other factors, while their fellow citizens enjoy these rights. In many societies, what best predicts your future income, or whether you will attend college, is your parents’ income. -/- To many, these facts seem unjust. Others disagree: even (...) if these facts are regrettable, they aren’t issues of justice. A successful theory of justice must explain why clear injustices are unjust and help us resolve current disputes. -/- John Rawls (1921-2002) was a Harvard philosopher best known for his A Theory of Justice (1971), which attempted to define a just society. Nearly every contemporary scholarly discussion of justice references A Theory of Justice. This essay reviews its main themes. (shrink)
Stephen Davies presents a fascinating exploration of the idea that art, and our aesthetic sensibilities more generally, should be understood as an element in human evolution. He asks: Do animals have aesthetics? Do our aesthetic preferences have prehistoric roots? Is art universal? What is the biological role of aesthetic and artistic behaviour?
This paper argues that general skills and the varieties of subject-specific discourse are both important for teaching, learning and practising critical thinking. The former is important because it outlines the principles of good reasoning simpliciter (what constitutes sound reasoning patterns, invalid inferences, and so on). The latter is important because it outlines how the general principles are used and deployed in the service of ‘academic tribes’. Because critical thinking skills are—in part, at least—general skills, they can be applied to all (...) disciplines and subject-matter indiscriminately. General skills can help us assess reasoning independently of the vagaries of the linguistic discourse we express arguments in. The paper looks at the debate between the ‘specifists’—those who stress the importance of critical thinking understood as a subject-specific discourse—and the ‘generalists’—those that stress the importance of critical thinking understood independently of disciplinary context. The paper suggests that the ‘debate’ between the specifists and the generalists amounts to a fallacy of the false alternative, and presents a combinatory-‘infusion’ approach to critical thinking. (shrink)
Article copyright 2002. We provide a battery of examples of delusions against which theoretical accounts can be tested. Then we identify neuropsychological anomalies that could produce the unusual experiences that may lead, in turn, to the delusions in our battery. However, we argue against Maher's view that delusions are false beliefs that arise as normal responses to anomalous experiences. We propose, instead, that a second factor is required to account for the transition from unusual experience to delusional belief. The second (...) factor in the etiology of delusions can be described superficially as a loss of the ability to reject a candidate for belief on the grounds of its implausibility and its inconsistency with everything else that the patient knows, but we point out some problems that confront any attempt to say more about the nature of this second factor. (shrink)
Synthetic biology is an increasingly high-profile area of research that can be understood as encompassing three broad approaches towards the synthesis of living systems: DNA-based device construction, genome-driven cell engineering and protocell creation. Each approach is characterized by different aims, methods and constructs, in addition to a range of positions on intellectual property and regulatory regimes. We identify subtle but important differences between the schools in relation to their treatments of genetic determinism, cellular context and complexity. These distinctions tie into (...) two broader issues that define synthetic biology: the relationships between biology and engineering, and between synthesis and analysis. These themes also illuminate synthetic biology's connections to genetic and other forms of biological engineering, as well as to systems biology. We suggest that all these knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology raise fundamental questions about the nature of biological investigation and its relationship to the construction of biological components and systems. (shrink)
This chapter critically examines the idea that some cinematic artworks “do philosophy”. It is argued that any interesting “film as philosophy” thesis must satisfy two conditions: (FP1) In any advance in philosophical understanding attributable to a cinematic artwork, the philosophical content through which such an advance is accomplished must be articulated in a manner that is distinctively cinematic, on a proper understanding of the latter; (FP2) The advance in philosophical understanding attributable to a cinematic artwork must occur in the course (...) of our experiential engagement with that work, rather than in some distinct philosophical activity to which that engagement provides an extractable input. These conditions, it is argued, are not satisfied by the kinds of examples of ‘film as philosophy’ – cinematic ‘thought experiments’ – most often cited by philosophers. While (FP2) might be satisfied given a particular model of learning from thought experiments, (FP1) remains problematic. A second more elusive possibility is that philosophical understanding is advanced through affective qualities of the experiences cinematically elicited in receivers of a narrative film. After examining how cinematic affect is generated and the kind of philosophical work that such affect might do, Robert Sinnerbrink’s notion of “cinematic thinking” is critically assessed and tested against some relevant examples. (shrink)
This volume introduces readers to emergence theory, outlines the major arguments in its defence, and summarizes the most powerful objections against it. It provides the clearest explication yet of this exciting new theory of science, which challenges the reductionist approach by proposing the continuous emergence of novel phenomena.
In this richly argued and provocative book, David Davies elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts that reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art, and between different artistic disciplines. Elaborates and defends a broad conceptual framework for thinking about the arts. Offers a provocative view about the kinds of things that artworks are and how they are to be understood. Reveals important continuities and discontinuities between traditional and modern art. Highlights core topics (...) in aesthetics and art theory, including traditional theories about the nature of art, aesthetic appreciation, artistic intentions, performance, and artistic meaning. (shrink)
He then argues that (1), (2) and (3) constitute an inconsistent triad as follows (1991, p. 15): Suppose (1) that Oscar knows a priori that he is thinking that water is wet. Then by (2), Oscar can simply deduce E, using premisses that are knowable a priori, including the premiss that he is thinking that water is wet. Since Oscar can deduce E from premisses that are knowable a priori, Oscar can know E itself a priori. But this contradicts (3), (...) the assumption that E cannot be known a priori. Hence (1), (2), and (3) are inconsistent. McKinsey’s conclusion is that ‘anti-individualism is inconsistent with privileged access’ (ibid.). (shrink)
Data from a longitudinal study into the key management success factors in the fair trade industry provide insights into the essential nature of inter-organizational alliances and networks in creating the profitable and growing fair trade market in the UK. Drawing on three case studies and extensive industry interviews, we provide an interpretive perspective on the organizational relationships and business networks and the way in which these have engendered success for UK fair trade companies. Three types of benefit are derived from (...) the networks: competitive developments through virtual integration in which the organizations remain flexible and small while projecting size to the market; intellectual developments through the sharing of intellectual capital with a diverse network of organizations in many fields; and ideological developments through an ideological network of like-minded individuals by which the companies can prevent the co-opting of the original purpose of fair trade. However, relative success at leveraging these benefits is influenced by three managerial factors: partner choice, partner use and partner management. (shrink)
Employee buy-in is a key factor in ensuring small- and medium-size enterprise (SME) engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this exploratory study, we use participant observation and semi-structured interviews to investigate the way in which three fair trade SMEs utilise human resource management (and selection and socialisation in particular) to create employee engagement in a strong triple bottomline philosophy, while simultaneously coping with resource and size constraints. The conclusions suggest that there is a strong desire for, but tradeoff within (...) these companies between selection of individuals who already identify with the triple bottomline philosophy and individuals with experience and capability to deal with mainstream brand management – two critical employee attributes that appear to be rarely found together. The more important the business experience to the organisation, the more effort the organisation must expend in formalising their socialisation programmes to ensure employee engagement. A key method in doing this is increasing employee knowledge of, and affection for, the target beneficiaries of the CSR programme (increased moral intensity). (shrink)
This paper explores early Australasian philosophy in some detail. Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, but it also reflected the revival of interest in Hegel through the work of ‘absolute idealists’ such as T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Henry Jones. A number of the early New Zealand philosophers were also educated in the idealist tradition (...) and were influential in their communities, but produced relatively little. In Australia, materialism gained prominence through the work of John Anderson, who arrived in Australia in 1927, and continues to be influential. John Anderson had been a student of Henry Jones, who might therefore be said to have influenced both main strands of Australian philosophical thought. (shrink)
This paper investigates the difficulties of creating economic, social, and environmental values when operating as a hybrid venture. Drawing on hybrid organizing and sustainable business model research, it explores the implications of alternative forms of business model experimented with by farmer owned, fairtrade social enterprise Cafédirect. Responding to changes and challenges in the market and societal environment, Cafédirect has tried multiple business model innovations to deliver on all three forms of value capture, with differing levels of success. This longitudinal case (...) study, therefore, provides a contribution to our understanding of how business models enact hybrid mission, providing a platform for triple-bottom-line value capture. In doing so, we are able to expand on the normative understandings of integrating hybrid objectives, and the complications of multiple types of value capture. (shrink)
This paper addresses a problem about epistemic warrant. The problem is posed by philosophical arguments for externalism about the contents of thoughts, and similarly by philosophical arguments for architecturalism about thinking, when these arguments are put together with a thesis of first person authority. In each case, first personal knowledge about our thoughts plus the kind of knowledge that is provided by a philosophical argument seem, together, to open an unacceptably ‘non-empirical’ route to knowledge of empirical facts. Furthermore, this unwelcome (...) prospect of transferring a ‘non-empirical’ warrant from premises about our own mental states and about philosophical theory to a conclusion about external environment or internal architecture seems to depend upon little more than the possibility of knowledge by inference. (The use of the scare-quoted term ‘non-empirical’ is explained a couple of paragraphs further on.). (shrink)
[I]f you could know a priori that you are in a given mental state, and your being in that state conceptually or logically implies the existence of external objects, then you could know a priori that the external world exists. Since you obviously _can.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a series of attempts were made to put into U.S. law a civil rights ordinance that would make it possible to sue the makers and distributors of pornography for doing so (under certain conditions). One defence of such legislation has come to be called "the free speech argument against pornography." Philosophers Rae Langton, Jennifer Hornsby and Caroline West have supposed that this defence of the legislation can function as a liberal defence of the legislation: in (...) particular, a defence of the legislation based on the value of women's liberty. This would be somewhat unexpected given MacKinnon's own antipathy toward liberalism. In this paper, I argue that the free speech argument against pornography cannot be used as a liberal defence of the ordinances. The legislation is, to some extent, self-defeating insofar as it understood in terms acceptable to a fairly standard kind of liberal. This becomes apparent when we consider the value pornography can have for women, which we can see if we consider what female makers, distributors and consumers of pornography have to say about why they make, distribute and consume it. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the relationship between subjective experience and attentional lapses during sustained attention. These experiments employed two measures of subjective experience to examine how differences in awareness correspond to variations in both task performance and psycho-physiological measures . This series of experiments examine these phenomena during the Sustained Attention to Response Task . The results suggest we can dissociate between two components of subjective experience during sustained attention: task unrelated thought which corresponds to an absent minded disengagement from the (...) task and a pre-occupation with one's task performance that seems to be best conceptualised as a strategic attempt to deploy attentional resources in response to a perception of environmental demands which exceed ones ability to perform the task. The implications of these findings for our understanding of how awareness is maintained on task relevant material during periods of sustained attention are discussed. (shrink)
who are unrecognizable because they are in disguise. ¼ The person I see in the mirror is not really me. ¼ A person I knew who died is nevertheless in the hospital ward today. ¼ This arm [the speaker’s left arm] is not mine it is yours; you have..
Some healthcare systems are said to be grounded in solidarity because healthcare is funded as a form of mutual support. This article argues that health care systems that are grounded in solidarity have the right to penalise some users who are responsible for their poor health. This derives from the fact that solidary systems involve both rights and obligations and, in some cases, those who avoidably incur health burdens violate obligations of solidarity. Penalties warranted include direct patient contribution to costs, (...) and lower priority treatment, but not typically full exclusion from the healthcare system. We also note two important restrictions on this argument. First, failures of solidary obligations can only be assumed under conditions that are conducive to sufficiently autonomous choice, which occur when patients are given ‘Golden Opportunities’ to improve their health. Second, because poor health does not occur in a social vacuum, an insistence on solidarity as part of healthcare is legitimate only if all members of society are held to similar standards of solidarity. We cannot insist upon, and penalise failures of, solidarity only for those who are unwell, and who cannot afford to evade the terms of public health. (shrink)
Psychiatry widely assumes an internalist biomedical model of mental illness. I argue that many of psychiatry’s diagnostic categories involve an implicit commitment to constitutive externalism about mental illness. Some of these categories are socially externalist in nature.
This paper argues that Moore's specifist defence of critical thinking as ‘diverse modes of thought in the disciplines’, which appeared in Higher Education Research & Development, 30(3), 2011, is flawed as it entrenches relativist attitudes toward the important skill of critical thinking. The paper outlines the critical thinking debate, distinguishes between ‘top-down’, ‘bottom-up’ and ‘relativist’ approaches and locates Moore's account therein. It uses examples from one discipline-specific area, namely, the discipline of Literature, to show that the generalist approach to critical (...) thinking does not ‘leave something out’ and outlines why teaching ‘generic’ critical thinking skills is central to tertiary education, teaching and learning, and employment opportunities for students. The paper also defends the assessment of critical thinking skills. (shrink)
What are musical works? Are they discovered or created? Can recordings substitute faithfully for live performances? This book considers these and other intriguing questions. It first outlines the nature of musical works, their relation to performances, and their notational specification; it then considers authenticity in performance, musical traditions, and recordings. Comprehensive and original, the volume discusses many kinds of music, applying its conclusions to issues as diverse as the authentic performance movement, the cultural integrity of ethnic music, and the implications (...) of the dominance of recorded over live music. (shrink)
Перевод статьи: Davies T., Chandler R. Online deliberation design: Choices, criteria, and evidence // Democracy in motion: Evaluating the practice and impact of deliberative civic engagement / Nabatchi T., Weiksner M., Gastil J., Leighninger M. (eds.). -- Oxford: Oxford univ. press, 2013. -- P. 103-131. А. Кулик. -/- Вниманию читателей предлагается обзор эмпирических исследований в области дизайна онлайн-форумов, предназначенных для вовлечения граждан в делиберацию. Размерности дизайна определены для различных характеристик делиберации: назначения, целевой аудитории, разобщенности участников в пространстве и во времени, (...) среды коммуникации и организации делиберативного процесса. После краткого обзора критериев оценки вариантов дизайна рассматриваются эмпирические данные, соотносящиеся с каждым из вариантов. Эффективность онлайн-делиберации зависит от того, насколько условия коммуникации соотносятся с заданиями делиберации. Компромиссы, как, например, между анонимным или идентифицируемым участием, предполагают различные дизайны в зависимости от цели делиберации и состава участников. Выводы исследования получены на материале существующих технологий и могут измениться по мере коэволюции технологий и пользователей. (shrink)
A recent panel at the annual meetings of the American Society for Aesthetics had the title “Can films philosophize?” The answer is, obviously, no, if we take this question literally. But books can’t philosophize either, in this sense. People philosophize, and they generally use natural language as the medium in which they carry out this activity. So our question is, can film serve as a philosophical medium in the ways, or in some of the ways, that language does? To answer (...) this question, we must first ask in what ways language functions as a philosophical medium. At a very general level, the answer to this question is fairly straightforward, if uninteresting. Language functions as a philosophical medium in that we use language to identify, articulate, clarify, and inter-relate what are viewed as philosophical issues, and to deepen our understanding of these issues and of the things that others say about them. What we take to be the significant philosophical issues, however, and what we take to be a contribution to deepening our understanding of these issues, may differ according to the philosophical tradition in which we work. If, for example, we think that the most fundamental philosophical issue is asking the question of Being, then our judgment as to when the linguistic medium is being used to ‘do philosophy’ is likely to differ substantially from the judgment we would make if we think that philosophers are best occupied analyzing everyday discourse or tending the separate gardens of the sciences. (shrink)
Argument mapping is a way of diagramming the logical structure of an argument to explicitly and concisely represent reasoning. The use of argument mapping in critical thinking instruction has increased dramatically in recent decades. This paper overviews the innovation and provides a procedural approach for new teaches wanting to use argument mapping in the classroom. A brief history of argument mapping is provided at the end of this paper.