Love as a Guide to Morals is an entry-level introduction to the ethical importance of love. Written in conversational format this book looks uniquely at the complexity of love in human relationships and how love can guide ethical decision-making. The book suggests that love in all its intricacy—erotic/erosic love, friendship, affection, and agapic love—is the great good of human life. The book argues that love has a unifying power for morality, and is more suited to ethical thinking and practice than (...) any other idea. Love as a Guide to Morals uses a modified Aristotelian argument and suggests “loving relationships” rather than happiness as the goal of human life. (shrink)
Positive Peace is a scholarly and creative compilation of articles on peace education, nonviolence and social change. Arun Gandhi sets the scene in his introduction with the challenge that positive peace is both a resisting of the physical violence of war and the passive violence of the psychological structures that lead to conflict. Peace education rises to meet that challenge. In twelve chapters, philosophers and educators look at a variety of topics from Gandhian nonviolence, to pragmatic conflict solving; hope and (...) the ethics of belief, to the way we use violent language; mothering and peace activism, to multiculturalism and peace. Recurring themes are: pragmatic nonviolence, the ethics of care as an antidote to violence, and hope in a violent world. Chapters on the use of film in peace education, song and nonviolent activism, and teaching art history and peace, demonstrate pragmatic possibilities for would-be peace educators. Arun Gandhi in his introduction asks, “For generations human beings have strived to attain peace, but with little or no success. … Why is peace so illusive? Is it unattainable? Are humans incapable of living in peace?” This book suggests that peace education has a large part to play. It is an important attempt to begin to meet the challenge. (shrink)
AndrewFitz-Gibbon in Pragmatic Nonviolence: Working Toward a Better World argues that a principled form of pragmatism—pragmatism shaped by the theory of nonviolence—is the best hope for our world. He defines nonviolence as “a practice that, whenever possible seeks the well-being of the Other, by refusing to use violence to solve problems, and by having an intentional commitment to lovingkindness.” In the first part of the book, Fitz-Gibbon asks what a better world would look like. (...) In the second part, he covers what is the greatest obstacle to that better world: violence. In the third part, he examines philosophical theories of nonviolence. The fourth part examines pragmatism as a philosophy of “what works” through the lens of the principle of maximizing well-being through nonviolent practice. In response to Fitz-Gibbon’s work, critic Danielle Poe asks what a nonviolence response looks like to the Other whom we have wronged and wonders how nonviolence responds to systemic violence. Sanjay Lal asks whether pragmatism and nonviolence can be synthesized given the popular conception that the pragmatic possible seems at odds with the ideal of absolute nonviolence. William C. Gay affirms much of the text and suggests its uses in teaching. Mechthild Nagel wonders if Fitz-Gibbon’s pragmatic nonviolence is too anthropocentric and questions the absence of a consideration of systemic violence in the criminal justice system. Fitz-Gibbon then responds to the critics. (shrink)
_Love as a Guide to Morals_ is an entry-level introduction to the ethical importance of love. Written in conversational format this book looks uniquely at the complexity of love in human relationships and how love can guide ethical decision-making. The book suggests that love in all its intricacy—erotic/erosic love, friendship, affection, and agapic love—is the great good of human life. The book argues that love has a unifying power for morality, and is more suited to ethical thinking and practice than (...) any other idea. _Love as a Guide to Morals_ uses a modified Aristotelian argument and suggests “loving relationships” rather than happiness as the goal of human life. (shrink)
_Positive Peace _is a scholarly and creative compilation of articles on peace education, nonviolence and social change. Arun Gandhi sets the scene in his introduction with the challenge that positive peace is both a resisting of the physical violence of war and the passive violence of the psychological structures that lead to conflict. Peace education rises to meet that challenge. In twelve chapters, philosophers and educators look at a variety of topics from Gandhian nonviolence, to pragmatic conflict solving; hope and (...) the ethics of belief, to the way we use violent language; mothering and peace activism, to multiculturalism and peace. Recurring themes are: pragmatic nonviolence, the ethics of care as an antidote to violence, and hope in a violent world. Chapters on the use of film in peace education, song and nonviolent activism, and teaching art history and peace, demonstrate pragmatic possibilities for would-be peace educators. Arun Gandhi in his introduction asks, “For generations human beings have strived to attain peace, but with little or no success. … Why is peace so illusive? Is it unattainable? Are humans incapable of living in peace?” This book suggests that peace education has a large part to play. It is an important attempt to begin to meet the challenge. (shrink)
Drawing on the philosophy of nonviolence, the American pragmatist tradition, and recent empirical research, _Pragmatic Nonviolence_ demonstrates that, rather than being merely theoretical, nonviolence is a truly practical approach toward personal and community well-being.
In this paper I suggest that an ambivalence toward—sometimes hatred of—bodies has contributed to violence against bodies. I take my cue from the work of Richard Shusterman who coined the word “somaesthetics” and who has called for a new philosophical discipline of the same name. Shusterman’s work provides the beginning of a new matrix for a positive body consciousness. I also glance briefly at the work of Mark Johnson and other pragmatists who have urged a new conceptualization of bodies and (...) minds in the light of cognitive science. I suggest that this positive body consciousness is an essential element in the philosophy of nonviolence and the quest for less violence against bodies. I then consider helpful traditions from the east, particularly Daoism, that already have a developed system of body-mind-spirit practices that aid body consciousness. Such traditions, adapted and modified to our context in the west, may provide the practice for an authentic nonviolent existence where bodies matter more than they have in the past. (shrink)
This paper is a reflection on a personal journey toward nonviolence, and looks particularly at the nonviolent care of children who have been victims of emotional, sexual and physical violence. It analyzes the philosophical threads of praxis, nonviolence and how moral sense is shaped through a triad of affective, reflective and elective experience. It concludes with a MacIntyrean perspective relating to the conjoining of theory and practice in the formation of a robust nonviolent praxis.
Legal judgment writing mobilises a process of story-telling, drawing on existing judicial discourses, precedents and practices to create a narrative relevant to the specific case that is articulated by the presiding judge. In the Feminist Judgments projects feminist scholars and activists have sought to challenge and reinterpret legal judgments that have disadvantaged, discriminated against or denied women’s experiences. This paper reflects on the process of writing as a feminist judge in the Australian Project, in an intimate homicide case, R v (...) Middendorp. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler on intelligibility, iterability and the communality of violence and vulnerability, this article argues that feminist judgments necessarily require some uncomfortable compromises with unjust gendered institutions. While ‘donning the robes’ may be an uncomfortable process, a feminist re-articulation of the law’s carceral power serves to unsettle and challenge some aspects of gendered oppression, even though it cannot unsettle the operation of the institution. The article concludes that effective feminist interventions by members of the judiciary may require donning robes that are not entirely comfortable in order to persuade and advocate for change. (shrink)
Legal responses to battered women who kill have long animated scholarly debate and law reform activity. In September 2012 after 47 years of alleged abuse, Frenchwoman Jacqueline Sauvage fatally shot her abusive husband three times in the back. The subsequent contested trial, conviction for murder, unsuccessful appeal and later presidential pardon of Sauvage thrust the French law of self-defence into the spotlight. The Sauvage case raises important questions surrounding the adequacy of the French criminal law in this area, the ongoing (...) proliferation of gendered stereotypes in law and the need for reform. In the wake of the Sauvage case, this article provides a timely analysis of the gendered law of self-defence in France. Drawing from an in-depth analysis of the judgments imposed in the Sauvage case, this article examines the adequacy of French legal responses to battered women who kill and ignites an argument for further law reform. (shrink)
This article explores the story of ‘the other Mersault’ whose narrative is published in the posthumous and arguably incomplete work A happy death. That this work is incomplete and that it appears to be a precursor to The outsider, has arguably limited scholarly analysis of its character and plot. However, the themes that are explored in A happy death are significant in their distinction to those themes that are experienced by the other, younger, Meursault. In A happy death the world (...) must be conquered by the will of a young man to find his happiness. He is not an outsider, and he is not content with his lot. Given an opportunity to address this latter concern, he acts upon his life in a search for happiness and in so doing engages in an ultimately frustrating, yet in some way enlightening, quest. In this article Mersault’s search for happiness is plotted in relation to his thinking about time, childhood, happiness and death. His journey is considered in relation to other stories of the search for some greater human condition. It is argued that his will to be happy reveals the absurdity of searching or not searching. This absurdity is considered in relation to the nature and purpose of school in the sense that such a relation to the search for knowledge might free school from its disciplinary tasks … and frees the learner, the child, the teacher, from the violence of having to want to know. (shrink)
The infamous story of a young office clerk called Meursault has long entertained literary critics, scholars, musicians, artists and school teachers for the light and shadow that it reveals around and on the human condition. His character has been lauded as existential hero and rebuked as lacking agency. In this article, his story, in Camus’ The outsider, is explored as an educational challenge to a society to reflect on the territory it occupies, and the ways in which the sociopolitical machinery (...) deals with perceived anomalies. The article explores notions of normalcy and ordinariness in relation to Meursault’s thinking and experience in order to consider the idea of what lies outside, or beyond, thinking about education. The argument here is that Meursault’s failure to intervene in his own life challenges both the ways in which we are ordinarily educated and the ways in which we ordinarily resist our education. (shrink)
The plague narrates the stories of a group of men whose lives interconnect around the experience of exile during the event of a plague. This article selects and summarizes themes from each of their stories. The purpose of these selections is to present an interpretation of Camus’ narratives that can be juxtaposed to an analysis, overleaf, of the educational nature of narratives, and in particular of the event of the tragedy. This article then maps out the narrative of the town (...) and of seven men. It may be read alone as a reading of Camus’ novel with rich, yet unmapped, contributions to thinking about education, or it may be read concurrently with its analytical partner through which the meaning of Camus’ work is traced onto a contemporary tragedy and a city’s educational responses. (shrink)
This is the second of two articles that are connected in a reading of The plague by Albert Camus. The other article is a determined narration of the events of a tragedy that befalls a city on the coast of Algeria. That article resists analysis beyond the decisions that are made regarding text to use, and of course interpretations to make. This article is juxtaposed to the first, with the intention of taking key themes of education and narration and considering (...) them within the context of another tragedy and another kind of narration. In this article the narratives of government education policy are considered in relation to the event of a tragic earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. The government narratives are then replaced by the narratives of Oran to consider alternative ways of thinking about tragedy and education and in particular to think about the ways in which the narrative relates to the tragedy and to any learning that might happen as a result of, and during, a tragedy. (shrink)
In this article the questions of what counts as play and philosophy are considered in relation to the question of early education for young children. The child subject characterised by the themes of playfulness, emotion, and irrationality is compared to the playful philosopher emanating from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Michel Foucault. This analysis contributes to the exploration of themes of truth and difference, the search for challenges to styles of philosophy in education, and to the role (...) of the educator in knowing and producing a particular creative child subject. Relationships between child and adult, player and philosopher are explored in order to question what counts as style, play and philosophy for both the child who is required to contribute as a creative player, and for the educator who is required to facilitate the development of such a child. The contemporary valorisation of children as active and constructive philosophers is, then, critically examined in terms of what counts as a philosopher and/or a child, and who gets to ‘do’ creative and playful philosophy. This article draws upon the New Zealand curriculum framework for early childhood education, Te Whāriki, and the work of Paulo Ghiraldelli, in exploring the contributions of both child and adult to the experience of education and philosophy. (shrink)
This paper critically engages with the theme of ‘process over product’—a theme that is argued to be increasingly problematised as an influential narrative in the construction and transmission of a philosophy of early education. The importance of producing children of ‘competence’ through appropriate educational processes is associated with assumptions regarding what counts as an appropriate educational journey for children before they reach school age. Drawing upon the work of Michel Foucault, and Jean‐François Lyotard, this paper considers the purpose and tensions (...) of articulating process as more important than product in early childhood. It is argued that the articulation of the child as a particular kind of process‐oriented player leads to an uncritical acceptance of technologies of governing the child. Furthermore, discourse asserting the importance of processes of play reveals a crisis in understanding what it means to be a player, and what the purpose of the process of play might be. Process contributes to a narrow understanding of a performative purpose of play as a processing of information. A role of the educator, this paper argues, is then to critically engage with the transmission of the theme of process. (shrink)
Recent government attention to the coherence between early childhood and compulsory school curricula in Aotearoa/new Zealand has led to debates regarding the educational aims of different education sectors Concerns regarding a ‘push-down’ of compulsory school aims are highlighted in this article, with reference to Nel Noddings’s Happiness and Education and the problem of an increased ‘measuring’ of early childhood education aims and outcomes. It is argued that removal of seams between early childhood and primary education may lead to unhappiness in (...) early childhood education characterised by increasing standardisation and regulation and decreasing engagement with the aims of education—with, in Noddings’s words, ‘aims-talk’. (shrink)
This article is concerned with developing a philosophical approach to a number of significant changes to academic publishing, and specifically the global journal knowledge system wrought by a range of new digital technologies that herald the third age of the journal as an electronic, interactive and mixed-media form of scientific communication. The paper emerges from an Editors' Collective, a small New Zealand-based organisation comprised of editors and reviewers of academic journals mostly in the fields of education and philosophy. The paper (...) is the result of a collective writing process. (shrink)
To AndrewFitz-Gibbon the history of Northern Ireland provides much useful insight by which progress can be made in the on-going (and seemingly never ending) vicious conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians that our world has not been able to break free of. In the first three chapters of “Talking to Terrorists” the Northern Ireland conflicts are placed within a very accessible and surprisingly thorough (given the book’s brevity) context. In his final chapter “Toward a Peaceful Future” (...) class='Hi'>Fitz-Gibbon identifies and elaborates upon seven specific areas “where the Northern Ireland Peace Process might inform the situation between Israel and Gaza.". (shrink)
This is a collective writing project that is part of the larger design of Infantologies, Infanticides and Infantilizations; a quartet that explores the philosophy of infants from thematic perspectives, that puts infants at the centre of our reflections, and that encourages a different academic style of thinking.
Paul Smeyers’ keynote address to the PESA 2007 Conference, ‘The Entrepreneurial Self and Informal Education: On government intervention and the discourse of experts’ provides a timely call for questioning the governing of the family. This paper draws upon Smeyers’ key concerns to explore both historical and contemporary trends in clustering government agencies, under the guidance of child development experts. The guidance of two expert groups is problematised, with particular attention to an absence of commitment to Māori perspectives of education and (...) child‐rearing. Such an absence reflects, in New Zealand, a dangerous undermining of the historic treaty between the British and Māori. The paper then challenges, with brief reference to Jacques Derrida's discussions on autobiography and Freud's Legacy, the identity of expert groups advocating early intervention in the lives of families measured as a burden on economic and social progress. The paper posits that perhaps it is the developmental expert that requires some form of early intervention. (shrink)
Video ethics in educational research involving children is a recent topic that has arisen since the increase in the use of visual mediums in research especially with the development of new and ubiquitous internet technologies and social media. This paper emerged as an expressed concerned by a group of scholars associated with the new Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy that was established in 2016. The paper is the result of a collective writing process over a period of a few (...) months that discusses visual studies in education and visual ethics in relation to qualitative research in education, and as it applies to children. The article also uses the newly established convention of open review, publishing the results with the paper. (shrink)