We address the question of the effectiveness of affirmative action agreements concluded by a regulatory body with employers in order to achieve greater equality in employment. We analyse the pattern of affirmative action agreements concluded by the Fair Employment Commission with employers in Northern Ireland between 1990 and 2000. We examine the association between these agreements and changes occurring in the religio-political composition of these employer's workforces during that period, based on a statistical analysis of monitoring data collected by the (...) Commission from employers, compared with employers that did not enter into such agreements. We find that firms reaching agreements with the Commission demonstrated significant evidence of change over the decade. We conclude that such agreements were likely to have been an integral part of the processes driving change in the Northern Ireland labour market in the 1990s. (shrink)
According to the doxastic compatibilist, compatibilist criteria with respect to the freedom of action rule-in our having free beliefs. In Booth (Philosophical Papers 38:1–12, 2009), I challenged the doxastic compatibilist to either come up with an account of how doxastic attitudes can be intentional in the face of it very much seeming to many of us that they cannot. Or else, in rejecting that doxastic attitudes need to be voluntary in order to be free, to come up with a (...) principled account of how her criteria of doxastic freedom are criteria of freedom. In two recent papers, Steup (Synthese 188:145–163, 2012; Dialectica 65(4):559–576, 2011) takes up the first disjunct of the challenge by proposing that even though beliefs cannot be practically intentional, they can be epistemically intentional. McHugh (McHugh forthcoming) instead takes up the second disjunct by proposing that the freedom of belief be modelled not on the freedom of action but on the freedom of intention. I argue that both Steup’s and McHugh’s strategies are problematic. (shrink)
To be a doxastic deontologist is to claim that there is such a thing as an ethics of belief (or of our doxastic attitudes in general). In other words, that we are subject to certain duties with respect to our doxastic attitudes, the non-compliance with which makes us blameworthy and that we should understand doxastic justification in terms of these duties. In this paper, I argue that these duties are our all things considered duties, and not our epistemic or moral (...) duties, for example. I show how this has the surprising result that, if deontologism is a thesis about doxastic justification, it entails that there is no such thing as epistemic or moral justification for a belief that p. I then suggest why this result, though controversial, may have some salutary consequences: primarily that it helps us make some sense of an otherwise puzzling situation regarding doxastic dilemmas. -/- . (shrink)
What, according to proponents of doxastic deontologism, is responsible belief? In this paper, we examine two proposals. Firstly, that responsible belief is blameless belief (a position we call DDB) and, secondly, that responsible belief is praiseworthy belief (a position we call DDP). We consider whether recent arguments in favor of DDP, mostly those recently offered by Brian Weatherson, stand up to scrutiny and argue that they do not. Given other considerations in favor of DDP, we conclude that the deontologist should (...) maintain that doxastic responsibility is a concept about freedom from appropriate blame. (shrink)
Proponents of semiotic arguments against the commodification of certain goods face the following challenge: formulate your argument such that it does not appeal to immoral consequences, nor is really an argument showing that we ought to reform the meaning we give to commodification. I here attempt to meet this challenge via appeal to the notion of what I call proto-on-a-par value. Under this construal, the semiotic argument yields that the commodification of certain goods necessarily signals value choice, where value choice (...) ought not to be signaled. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two claims; the first is the claim that state-given reasons for belief are of a radically different kind to object-given reasons for belief. The second is that, where this last claim is true, epistemic reasons are object-given reasons for belief (EOG). I argue that EOG has two implausible consequences: (i) that suspension of judgement can never be epistemically justified, and (ii) that the reason that epistemically justifies a belief that p can never be the reason (...) for which one believes that p. (shrink)
This paper provides a defence of the thesis that responsible belief is permissible rather than obliged belief. On the Uniqueness Thesis (UT), our evidence is always such that there is a unique doxastic attitude that we are obliged to have given that evidence, whereas the Permissibility Thesis (PT) denies this. After distinguishing several varieties of UT and PT, we argue that the main arguments that have been levied against PT fail. Next, two arguments in favour of PT are provided. Finally, (...) two motivations for PT are put forward by showing that PT is entailed by two views that are quite popular among theorists working on doxastic responsibility. If the arguments in this paper are successful, we not only have good reasons to prefer PT over UT, but also good reasons to think that the gap between the ways in which we are meant to normatively assess belief and action may not be as wide as has been thought. (shrink)
In this paper I hope to demonstrate two different ways of interpreting the tenets of evidentialism and show why it is important to distinguish between them. These two ways correspond to those proposed by Feldman and Adler. Feldman’s way of interpreting evidentialism makes evidentialism a principle about epistemic justification, about what we ought to believe. Adler’s, on the other hand, makes evidentialism a principle about how we come to believe, what it is, broadly speaking, rational for us to believe. Having (...) identified this difference, I consider two complaints levied against evidentialism, namely what I call the threshold problem and what I call the availability problem, and hope to show that: only an independent, bracketed justification principle of evidentialism can deal with those problems; the rationality principle of evidentialism is not in fact independent from the justification principle; the rationality principle is hard to motivate; and that in the final analysis the argument for the justification principle depends on the rationality principle. I thus conclude that although it may be convenient for evidentialists to treat these two principles as independent, such an independence cannot be maintained. (shrink)
The debate between “Normativists” and “Teleologists” about the normativity of belief has been taken to hinge on the question of which of the two views best explains why it is that we cannot believe at will. Of course, this presupposes that there is an explanation to be had. Here, I argue that this supposition is unwarranted, that Doxastic Involuntarism is merely contingently true. I argue that this is made apparent when we consider that suspended judgement must be involuntary if belief (...) is, that suspended judgment is not a belief, and that the aim or norm of suspended judgement cannot be constitutive if suspended judgement is not a belief. (shrink)
Matthias Steup (Steup 2008) has recently argued that our doxastic attitudes are free by (i) drawing an analogy with compatibilism about freedom of action and (ii) denying that it is a necessary condition for believing at will that S's having an intention to believe that p can cause S to believe that p . In this paper, however, I argue that the strategies espoused in (i) and (ii) are incompatible.
What kind of mental state is trust? It seems to have features that can lead one to think that it is a doxastic state but also features that can lead one to think that it is a non-doxastic state. This has even lead some philosophers to think that trust is a unique mental state that has both mind-to-world and world-to-mind direction of fit, or to give up on the idea that there is a univocal analysis of trust to be had. (...) Here, I propose that ‘trust’ is the name we give to mental states that we would think of as beliefs if belief was to be thought of in ‘pragmatist’ terms and belief resists ‘pragmatist’ treatment. Only such an account, I argue, can univocally account for all the diverse features of trust. As such, I also propose that the explanation of trust provides us with a case for understanding the limitations of a comprehensively ‘pragmatist’, or ‘Neo-Wittgensteinian’ conception of the mental. (shrink)
Stephen Hetherington has defended the tripartite analysis of knowledge (Hetherington in Philos Q 48:453–469, 1998; J Philos 96:565–587, 1999; J Philos Res 26:307–324, 2001a; Good knowledge, bad knowledge, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001b). His defence has recently come under attack (Madison in Australas J Philos 89(1):47–58, 2011; Turri in Synthese 183(3):247–259, 2012). I critically evaluate those attacks as well as Hetherington’s newest formulation of his defence (Hetherington in Philosophia 40(3):539–547, 2012b; How to know: A practicalist conception of knowledge, Wiley, Oxford, (...) 2011a; Ratio 24:176–191, 2011b; Synthese 188:217–230, 2012a). I argue that his newest formulation is vulnerable to a modified version of Madison’s and Turri’s objection. However, I argue that Hetherington’s considerations lend support to a different, though also radical, thesis which can meet the objection. This thesis is what I call the Divorce thesis: the theory of epistemic justification is importantly independent of the theory of knowledge. (shrink)
In this paper I consider whether there can be such things as epistemic reasons for action. I consider three arguments to the contrary and argue that none are successful, being either somewhat question-begging or too strong by ruling out what most epistemologists think is a necessary feature of epistemic justification, namely the epistemic basing relation. I end by suggesting a "non-cognitivist" model of epistemic reasons that makes room for there being epistemic reasons for action and suggest that this model may (...) support moral realism. (shrink)
I argue that the claim that epistemic ought is incommensurable is self-defeating. My argument, however, depends on the truth of the premise that there can be not only epistemic reasons for belief, but also non-epistemic reasons for belief. So I also provide some support for that claim.
Richard Foley has suggested that the search for a good theory of epistemic justification and the analysis of knowledge should be conceived of as two distinct projects. However, he has not offered much support for this claim, beyond highlighting certain salutary consequences it might have. In this paper, I offer some further support for Foley’s claim by offering an argument and a way to conceive the claim in a way that makes it as plausible as its denial, and thus levelling (...) the playing field. The burden of proof then lies with those who seek to deny Foley’s radical suggestion. (shrink)
Shah, N. The Philosophical Quarterly, 56, 481–498 (2006) has defended evidentialism on the premise that only it (and not pragmatism) is consistent with both (a) the deliberative constraint on reasons and (b) the transparency feature of belief. I show, however, that the deliberative constraint on reasons is also problematic for evidentialism. I also suggest a way for pragmatism to be construed so as to make it consistent with both (a) and (b) and argue that a similar move is not available (...) to the evidentialist. Thus, far from settling the debate in favour of evidentialism, considerations concerning the deliberative constraint on reasons support pragmatism. (shrink)
This paper comprises a defence of Infallibilism about knowledge. In it, I articulate two arguments in favour of Infallibilism, and for each argument show that Infallibilism about knowledge does not lead to an unpalatable Scepticism if justified belief is neither necessary nor sufficient for knowledge, and if Fallibilism about justified belief is true.
Abstract: In this article, I consider some of the similarities and differences between deontologism in ethics and epistemology. In particular, I highlight two salient differences between them. I aim to show that by highlighting these differences we can see that epistemic deontologism does not imply epistemic internalism and that it is not a thesis primarily about epistemic permissibility . These differences are: (1) deontologism in epistemology has a quasi -teleological feature (not shared with moral deontologism) in that it does not (...) require that one abide by epistemic duties for the sake of (and not merely in accordance with) those very duties; and (2) in ethics, the relevant options we speak of are whether someone acts or does not act; in epistemology, we have an analogous further option: we can speak of whether someone believes that p , fails to believe that p , or withholds judgment about that p. (shrink)
Rowbottom (2008) has recently challenged my definition of epistemic reasons for action and has offered an alternative account. In this paper, I argue that less than giving an 'alternative' definition, Rowbottom has offered an additional condition to my original account. I argue, further, that such an extra condition is unnecessary, i.e. that the arguments designed to motivate it do not go through.
This book is an introduction to Islamic Philosophy, beginning with its Medieval inception, right through to its more contemporary incarnations. Using the language and conceptual apparatus of contemporary Anglo-American ‘Analytic’ philosophy, this book represents a novel and creative attempt to rejuvenate Islamic Philosophy for a modern audience. It adopts a ‘rational reconstructive’ approach to the history of philosophy by affording maximum hermeneutical priority to the strongest possible interpretation of a philosopher’s arguments while also paying attention to the historical context in (...) which they worked. The central canonical figures of Medieval Islamic Philosophy – al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Avicenna, al-Ghazali, Averroes – are presented chronologically along with an introduction to the central themes of Islamic theology and the Greek philosophical tradition they inherited. The book then briefly introduces what the author collectively refers to as the ‘Pre-Modern’ figures including Suhrawardi, Mulla Sadra, and Ibn Taymiyyah, and presents all of these thinkers, along with their Medieval predecessors, as forerunners to the more modern incarnation of Islamic Philosophy: Political Islam. (shrink)
In this book the author argues that the Falasifa, the Philosophers of the Islamic Golden Age, are usefully interpreted through the prism of the contemporary, western ethics of belief. He contends that their position amounts to what he calls ‘Moderate Evidentialism’ – that only for the epistemic elite what one ought to believe is determined by one’s evidence. The author makes the case that the Falasifa’s position is well argued, ingeniously circumvents issues in the epistemology of testimony, and is well (...) worth taking seriously in the contemporary debate. He reasons that this is especially the case since the position has salutary consequences for how to respond to the sceptic, and for how we are to conceive of extremist belief. (shrink)
The inaugural collection in an exciting new exchange between philosophers and geographers, this volume provides interdisciplinary approaches to the environment as space, place, and idea. Never before have philosophers and geographers approached each other's subjects in such a strong spirit of mutual understanding. The result is a concrete exploration of the human-nature relationship that embraces strong normative approaches to environmental problems.
What I am calling for is not as radically new as it may sound to ears that are still tuned to positivist frequencies. A very large part of what we value as our cultural monuments can be thought of as metaphoric criticism of metaphor and the characters who make them. The point is perhaps most easily made about the major philosophies. Stephen Pepper has argued, in World Hypotheses,1 that the great philosophies all depend on one of the four "root metaphors," (...) formism, mechanism, organicism, and contextualism, and they are great precisely because they have so far survived the criticism of rival metaphors. Each view of the totality of things claims supremacy, but none has been able to annihilate the others. They all thus survive as still plausible, pending further criticism through further philosophical inquiry. In this view, even the great would-be literalists like Hobbes and Locke are finally metaphorists—simply committed to another kind of metaphor, one that to them seems literal. Without grossly oversimplifying we could say that the whole work of each philosopher amounts to an elaborate critique of the inadequacy of all other philosophers' metaphors. What is more, the very existence of a tradition of a small group of great philosophies is a sign that hundreds of lesser metaphors for the life of mankind have been tested in the great philosophical—that is, critical—wars and found wanting. · 1. World Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence . In Concept and Quality: A World Hypothesis , Pepper suggests that "the purposive act" is a fifth root metaphor. Wayne C. Booth's is the author of, among other works, Critical Understanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism. His contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" , "Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , "M. H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist" , "'Preserving the Exemplar': Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "Notes and Exchanges" , with Wright Morris: "The Writing of Organic Fiction: A Conversation" , and with Robert E. Streeter, W. J. T. Mitchell: "Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
When M. H. Abrams published a defense, in 1972, of "theorizing about the arts,"1 some of his critics accused him, of falling into subjectivism. He had made his case so forcefully against "the confrontation model of aesthetic criticism," and so effectively argued against "simplified" and "invariable" models of the art work and of "the function of criticism," that some readers thought he had thrown overboard the very possibility of a rational criticism tested by objective criteria. In his recent reply to (...) these critics,2 Abrams concentrates almost entirely on whether his critical pluralism is finally a skeptical relativism. He does not even mention his great historical works, The Mirror and the Lamp and Natural Supernaturalism, and he has nothing to say about how his pluralistic theories would be applied to the writing of history. But then, surprising as it seems once we think about it, neither of the two histories has much about his method either. What is the true achievement of these aggressive raids into our past, and how does Abrams see them in relation to other possible histories of the same subjects? Knowing in advance that he has agreed to reply to my nudging, I should like both to propose that everyone has—with Abrams' own encouragement—understated the importance of what he has done and to ask: What kind of pluralist is he? · 1. "What's the Use of Theorizing about the Arts," In Search of Literary Theory, ed. Morton Bloomfield , pp. 3-54. · 2. "A Note on Wittgenstein and Literary Criticism," ELH 41 : 541-54. Wayne C. Booth's other contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" , "Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , >"Preserving the Exemplar: Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" ,"Ten Literal 'Theses" , with Wright Morris: "The Writing of Organic Fiction: A Conversation" , and with Robert E. Streeter, W.J.T. Mitchell: “Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979”. (shrink)
Kenneth Burke is, at long last, beginning to get the attention he de- serves. Among anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and rhetori- cians his "dramatism" is increasingly recognized as something that must at least appear in one's index, whether one has troubled to understand him or not. Even literary critics are beginning to see him as not just one more "new critic" but as someone who tried to lead a revolt against "narrow formalism" long before the currently fashionable explosion into the "extrinsic" (...) had been dreamed of. I have recently heard him called a structuralist-before-his-time-and what could be higher praise than that! But in almost everything said about his literary criticism, there is an air of condescension that is puzzling. The tone seems usually to echo that of Rene Wellek , who, as Burke himself laments , "almost overwhelms me with praise," referring to "men of great gifts, nimble powers of combination and association, and fertile imagination," but then deplores Burke's irresponsibility, repudiates his critical judgments, condemns his general method without bothering to look closely at it, and in general makes him look like some sort of idiot savant-a buffoon with a high IQ.Wayne C. Booth received the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award in 1962 for his book The Rhetoric of Fiction. His most recent works, A Rhetoric of Irony and Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent, appeared this year. His contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , "M.H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist" , "THE LIMITS OF PLURALISM: 'Preserving the Exemplar': Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "CRITICAL RESPONSE: Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" ,"Ten Literal 'Theses" , with Wright Morris: "The Writing of Organic Fiction: A Conversation" , and with Robert E. Streeter and W.J.T. Mitchell: "EDITORS' NOTE: Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
MORRIS: But come back to that other kind of fiction, in which the author himself is involved with his works, not merely in writing something for other people but in writing what seems to be necessary to his conscious existence, to his sense of well-being. For such a writer, when he finished with something he finishes with it; he is not left with continuations that he can go on knitting until he runs out of yarn. This conceit reflects my own (...) experience as a writer, relying on the sap that keeps rising, the force that drives the flower, as Dylan Thomas put it. It is plantlike. We put it in the sun and when it doesn't grow, we take it and put it in another room. I don't think of repotting the plant. The plant must make its own way. BOOTH: I like the organic metaphor, but I keep wanting to come back to particular cases to see how you actually work, in literal detail. Even the organic novelist obviously still has the matter of collecting notes, starting a novel, having it fail to go. Let me put a simple question, and move out from there. How many actual novels, whether they ever reach fruition or not, do you have "growing" at a given time? MORRIS: You don't mean simultaneously? BOOTH: I mean actual notes that exist in some kind of manuscript form, starts on a novel, something you are actually working on. MORRIS: It is so unusual for me to have more than one or two things in mind at once that I don't find this a fruitful question. Wright Morris's work as a novelist, essayist, and photographer is examined by prominent critics in Conversations with Wright Morris; the collection, edited by Robert E. Knoll, was published in the spring of 1977 by the University of Nebraska Press. "The Writing of Organic Fiction" is a chapter in that book. Wayne C. Booth's other contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" ,"Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , "M.H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist" , “'Preserving the Exemplar': Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" ,"Ten Literal 'Theses" , and, with Robert E. Streeter, W.J.T. Mitchell: "Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
Mad about it they still were, in 1926, when Hemingway's splendid spoofing appeared in The Sun Also Rises. But it was not everybody who had been responsible. It was mainly Anatole France, abetted by his almost unanimously enthusiastic critics. And of all his works, the one that must have seemed to fit the formula best was Thaïs, already a quarter of a century old when Jake Barnes learned of irony and pity. It is not a bad formula for the effect (...) of Thaïs, as formulas go. It is at least as useful—and at least as misleading—as "pity and fear" for tragedy. There is, however, a surprising difference. If I tell you the story of any classical tragedy, even in very brief form, you will know at once why someone might talk about that story using the terms "pity" and "fear." But if I tell you of the priest who lost his soul converting the prostitute, you will not be able to predict any determinate reaction—except perhaps that the story will have for everyone a slight bit of ironic wonder at the grand reversal. In other words, a teller will be able to turn such material almost any direction he chooses, making it into a tragedy, a comedy, a farce, a celebration of God's wonder and mystery—or a tale playing with pity and irony. Wayne C. Booth's most recent books are A Rhetoric of Irony and Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent. He is now completing a book on critical warfare and critical pluralism . A version of one chapter from that book, "M.H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist," will appear in the Spring issue of Critical Inquiry. Other contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" , "'Preserving the Exemplar': Or, How Not to Dig our Own Graves" , "Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" , "Ten Literal ‘Theses’" , with Wright Morris: "The Writing of Organic Fiction: A Conversation" , and with Robert E. Streeter, W.J.T. Mitchell: "Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
At first thought, our question of the day seems to be "about the text itself." Is there, in all texts, or at least in some texts, what Abrams calls "a core of determinate meanings," "the central core of what they [the authors] undertook to communicate"? Miller has seemed to find in the texts of Nietzsche a claim that there is not, that "the same text authorizes innumerable interpretations: There is no 'correct' interpretation. . . . reading is never the objective (...) identifying of a sense but the importation of meaning into a text which has no meaning 'in itself.'" Abrams claims that Miller cannot report on Nietzsche's deconstructionist claims without violating them: Miller seems to claim that he has found something that Nietzsche's text really says, not something that Miller himself merely brought to it. Is this objection a quibble or a clincher?1 · 1. See my "M.H. Abrams: Historian as Critic, Critic as Pluralist," Critical Inquiry 2 : 411-45, and Abrams' reply, "Rationality and Imagination in Cultural History," pp. 447-64, esp. 456-58. Wayne C. Booth's other contributions to Critical Inquiry include "Kenneth Burke's Way of Knowing" , "Irony and Pity Once Again: Thais Revisited" , "Notes and Exchanges" , "Metaphor as Rhetoric: The Problem of Evaluation" ,"Ten Literal 'Theses" , with Wright Morris: "The Writing of Organic Fiction: A Conversation" , and with Robert E. Streeter, W.J.T. Mitchell: "Sheldon Sacks 1930-1979". (shrink)
Do the rich descriptions and narrative shapings of literature provide a valuable resource for readers, writers, philosophers, and everyday people to imagine and confront the ultimate questions of life? Do the human activities of storytelling and complex moral decision-making have a deep connection? What are the moral responsibilities of the artist, critic, and reader? What can religious perspectives—from Catholic to Protestant to Mormon—contribute to literary criticism? Thirty well known contributors reflect on these questions, including iterary theorists Marshall Gregory, James Phelan, (...) and Wayne Booth; philosophers Martha Nussbaum, Richard Hart, and Nina Rosenstand; and authors John Updike, Charles Johnson, Flannery O'Connor, and Bernard Malamud. Divided into four sections, with introductory matter and questions for discussion, this accessible anthology represents the most crucial work today exploring the interdisciplinary connections between literature, religion and philosophy. (shrink)
Can we understand epistemic justification in terms of epistemic rights? In this paper, we consider two arguments for the claim that we cannot and in doing so, we provide two arguments for the claim that we can. First, if, as many think, William James is right that the epistemic aim is to believe all true propositions and not to believe any false propositions, then there are likely to be situations in which believing a proposition serves one of these goals, whereas (...) suspending judgement serves the other, equally important goal. Second, it is in principle always possible to have different epistemic standards for evaluating the evidence for the proposition in question, so that one can have a right to believe that proposition and a right to suspend judgement on it. Whereas the first consideration counts in favour of the idea that believing justifiedly is at least sometimes a matter of having an epistemic right, the latter consideration favours the view that believing justifiedly is always a matter of having an epistemic right. (shrink)
The development of a framework for coding argumentations schemes in the transcripts of classroom dialogical deliberations on controversial, socioscientific topics is described. Arriving at a coding framework involved resolving a number of complex issues and challenges that are discussed in order to create practical remedies. The description of the development process is based on audio recordings and written exchanges between the authors as they attempted to resolve differences in the interpretation and application of argumentation schemes . These deliberations address theoretical (...) and practical concerns for adapting notions of argumentation schemes to the practical context of analyzing authentic classroom interactions. The framework was developed to accommodate research and curriculum development in school science education. A practical framework for analyzing argumentation in authentic classroom contexts is proposed and implications for science education and argumentation theory are raised. (shrink)
In this article, I demonstrate fundamental weaknesses in the ability of critical understandings of race to produce reliable knowledge of how social actors use social comparisons as a way to align self with ingroup. I trace these weaknesses to two sources: The first is relying on social status as an explanation for race-based assessments, ingroup motivations, and social constructions of otherness. This is opposed to leaning on assessments grounded in social psychological research that links properties of human cognition to the (...) development and maintenance of social identities. The second weakness is an open support for activist research that is often situated in radical multiculturalism. Because critical race scholars openly side with racial minorities’ interests, they tend to establish incomplete assessments of social behaviors and social constructs linked to racial identities in order to maintain their stated political allegiances. To demonstrate these and other weaknesses, I draw upon the theoretical insights of social identity theory which is used to reassess Bell and Hartmann's (2007) critical race analysis of diversity dialogue in American society. (shrink)
In recent years many eco-phenomenological philosophers have argued that a more positive analysis of one’s relationship with more-than-human nature can be achieved through taking up Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the flesh. Taking such an ontology seriously seems to facilitate even the possibility of our being able to express “what the world means to say.” I argue, however, that we should be cautious about both taking up such an ontology and making such ontological claims because in doing so we fail to (...) take sufficiently seriously the impact of sedimentation in both perception and reflection and thus violate the remit of radical reflection that is essential to Merleau-Ponty’s characterization of philosophy. (shrink)
It is strange to write for the pages of this journal a statement which will not come under the eye of its founding editor, Sheldon Sacks. For nearly five years everything that appeared in Critical Inquiry—articles, critical responses, editorial comments—was a matter of painstaking and passionate concern to Shelly Sacks. With a flow of questions and suggestions and a talent for unabashed cajolery, he generated articles and rejoinders to those articles. He worked tirelessly in editorial consultation and correspondence with contributors, (...) especially young writers, helping them to discover the best way of giving form to their ideas. Among the essays submitted to this journal he searched eagerly, even anxiously, for those which seemed, in his words, "right for C.I." What was right for C. I. was never, for Shelly Sacks, a cut-and-dried choice. In his own intellectual life, in his teaching and writing, he delighted in arguing important general questions: theories of representation in the arts, points of possible intersection between linguistic science and literary criticism, the interplay of social forces and cultural expressions. Not surprisingly, in reconnoitering for Critical Inquiry, he found special satisfaction in identifying writers who shared his passion for reexamining fundamental topics in the intellectual disciplines. If such writers made their case forcefully, so much the better: in choosing an essay for publication he assessed its capacity to stimulate interesting counterargument. At no time, however, did Shelly Sacks confuse his own beliefs with the nature of intellectual discourse. As an editor he was hospitable to writers whose premises he questioned and whose conclusions he deplored. Nor did Shelly attempt to achieve a spurious catholicity by following a quiet quota system designed to give each major line of interpretation—deconstructionist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, what have you—an occasional airing in Critical Inquiry. For Shelly each article stood on its own ground: if its author dealt responsibly and freshly with an interesting problem, that was enough. And, along with his commitment to theoretical inquiry, he responded warmly to the personal, the offbeat, the idiosyncratic. He regarded the feature Artists on Art, for example, as a central element in our design. As an editor Sheldon Sacks was above all a shaper. He labored to find and suggest connections in the phenomena of intellectual life. Even the construction of a table of contents for a typical Critical Inquiry issue became for him an opportunity to influence the reader's experience of what we offered. The eminence of an author or the allure of a title were put to one side as Shelly sought to orchestrate, through placement, a kind of intellectual counterpoint from one essay to another. Unheard melodies, doubtless, for many of us, but for Shelly real and sustaining. In this valedictory note we have spoken of Sheldon Sacks' editorial accomplishment—in our friendly view, a very distinguished one—rather than of the personal qualities which made working alongside him an exhilarating experience. We should report, however, that for more than half the life of this journal Shelly was ill and knew that the time available to him was likely to be relatively brief. Faced with this diminishing perspective, he did not—indeed it is more accurate to say he could not—moderate his involvement with the life of this journal. At his death, as at the launching of this enterprise, he held to the high ambition that Critical Inquiry encourage comeliness, vigor, and continuity in the discourse of our time. The appropriate "critical response" to this great loss is that Sheldon Sacks’ editorial colleagues, and our publisher, the University of Chicago Press, pledge whatever talents and energies we possess to the continuing life of the journal he imagined and brought into being. (shrink)