In this essay Sarah Galloway considers emancipation as a purpose for education through examining the theories of Paulo Freire and Jacques Rancière. Both theorists are concerned with the prospect of distinguishing between education that might socialize people into what is taken to be an inherently oppressive society and education with emancipation as its purpose. Galloway reconstructs the theories in parallel, examining the assumptions made, the processes of oppression described, and the movements to emancipation depicted. In so doing, she (...) argues that that the two theorists hold a common model for theorizing oppression and emancipation as educational processes, distinguished by the differing assumptions they each make about humanity, but that their theories ultimately have opposing implications for educational practices. Galloway further maintains that Freire and Rancière raise similar educational problems and concerns, both theorizing that the character of the relations among teachers, students, and educational materials is crucial to an emancipatory education. Galloway's approach allows discussion of some of the criticisms that have been raised historically about Freire's theory and how these might be addressed to some degree by Rancière's work. Taking the two theories together, she argues that the possibility for an emancipatory education cannot be ignored if education is to be considered as more than merely a process of passing down the skills and knowledge necessary in order to socialize people into current society. (shrink)
Introduction : the computer as a mode of mediation -- The unworkable interface -- Software and ideology -- Are some things unrepresentable? -- Disingenuous informatics -- Postscript : we are the gold farmers.
In the preface to his book God the Problem , Gordon Kaufman writes ‘Although the notion of God as agent seems presupposed by most contemporary theologians … Austin Farrer has been almost alone in trying to specify carefully and consistently just what this might be understood to mean.’.
Jacques Rancière, in his essay ‘Are Some Things Unrepresentable?’, puts forth a challenge that is ever more pertinent to our times. What constitutes the unrepresentable today? Rancière frames his answer in a very specific way: the question of unrepresentability leads directly to the way in which political violence may or may not be put into an image. Offering an alternative to Rancière’s approach, the present article turns instead to the information society, asking if and how something might be unrepresentable in (...) a world saturated by data and information. Thus one approaches the issue of transparency and secrecy here from the perspective of the relative perspicuity of data visualization. Two theses structure the argument, first that ‘data have no necessary visual form’ and, second, that ‘only one visualization has ever been made of an information network’. The tension between these two theses leads to a disconcerting conclusion, that the triumph of information aesthetics precipitates a decline in informatic perspicuity. One is obligated therefore to call for a strong reinvigoration of poetics and hermeneutics within the digital universe, so that representation as such can take place, perhaps for the first time. (shrink)
William Hasker replies to my arguments against Social Trinitarianism, offers some criticism of my own view, and begins a sketch of another account of the Trinity. I reply with some defence of my own theory and some questions about his.
In teaching jurisprudence, I typically distinguish between two different families of theories of adjudication—theories of how judges do or should decide cases. “Formalist” theories claim that the law is “rationally” determinate, that is, the class of legitimate legal reasons available for a judge to offer in support of his or her decision justifies one and only one outcome either in all cases or in some significant and contested range of cases ; and adjudication is thus “autonomous” from other kinds of (...) reasoning, that is, the judge can reach the required decision without recourse to nonlegal normative considerations of morality or political philosophy. I also note that “formalism” is sometimes associated with the idea that judicial decision-making involves nothing more than mechanical deduction on the model of the syllogism—Beccaria, for example, expresses such a view. I call the latter “Vulgar Formalism” to emphasize that it is not a view to which anyone today cares to subscribe. (shrink)
In ‘The ethics of belief and Christian faith as commitment to assumptions’, Rik Peels attacks the views that I advanced in ‘Christianity and the ethics of belief’. Here, I rebut his criticisms of the claim that it is wrong to believe without sufficient evidence, of the contention that Christians are committed to that claim, and of the notion of that faith is not belief but commitment to assumptions in the hope of salvation. My original conclusions still stand.
Brian Skyrms offers a fascinating demonstration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses various scientific tools to investigate how meaning and communication develop. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life, transmitting and processing information. That is how humans and animals think and interact.
The current study explored high school student cheating in communities of advantage, gathering survey data from 4,316 high school students in upper middle class communities and qualitative data from a smaller group of students, school leaders, teachers, and parents. Results indicated pervasive cheating among students (93% reported cheating at least once and 26% of upperclassmen indicated cheating in 7 or more of 13 ways listed on the survey). Students described schools as lacking clarity or consequences regarding cheating and expressed feeling (...) forced to cheat in a school culture that promotes getting ahead over learning. The discussion focuses on why advantaged contexts are ripe for student cheating and proposes strategies for change. (shrink)
Brian Skyrms, author of the successful Evolution of the Social Contract has written a sequel. The book is a study of ideas of cooperation and collective action. The point of departure is a prototypical story found in Rousseau's A Discourse on Inequality. Rousseau contrasts the pay-off of hunting hare where the risk of non-cooperation is small but the reward is equally small, against the pay-off of hunting the stag where maximum cooperation is required but where the reward is so (...) much greater. Thus, rational agents are pulled in one direction by considerations of risk and in another by considerations of mutual benefit. Written with Skyrms's characteristic clarity and verve, this intriguing book will be eagerly sought out by students and professionals in philosophy, political science, economics, sociology and evolutionary biology. (shrink)
In this pithy and highly readable book, Brian Skyrms, a recognised authority on game and decision theory, investigates traditional problems of the social contract in terms of evolutionary dynamics. Game theory is skilfully employed to offer new interpretations of a wide variety of social phenomena, including justice, mutual aid, commitment, convention and meaning. The author eschews any grand, unified theory. Rather, he presents the reader with tools drawn from evolutionary game theory for the purpose of analysing and coming to (...) understand the social contract. The book is not technical and requires no special background knowledge. As such, it could be enjoyed by students and professionals in a wide range of disciplines: political science, philosophy, decision theory, economics and biology. (shrink)
As the author of Justice as Impartiality, I am not ashamed to admit that I was delighted by the liveliness of the discussion generated by it at the meeting on which this symposium is based. I am likewise grateful to the six authors for finding the book worthy of the careful attention that they have bestowed on it. Between them, the symposiasts take up many more points than I can cover in this response. I shall therefore focus on some themes (...) that cluster round the contractual device that I associate with the notion of justice as impartiality. Is it necessary? If it is not necessary is it nevertheless useful? Within an overall contractual framework is the form of contract that I propose uniquely justifiable? And does the form of contract that I defend generate the implications that I claim for it? (shrink)
This paper considers well known results of psychological researchinto the fallibility of human reason, and philosophical conclusionsthat some have drawn from these results. Close attention to theexact content of the results casts doubt on the reasoning that leadsto those conclusions.
This article discusses Charles Parsons’ conception of mathematical intuition. Intuition, for Parsons, involves seeing-as: in seeing the sequences I I I and I I I as the same type, one intuits the type. The type is abstract, but intuiting the type is supposed to be epistemically analogous to ordinary perception of physical objects. And some non-trivial mathematical knowledge is supposed to be intuitable in this way, again in a way analogous to ordinary perceptual knowledge. In particular, the successor axioms are (...) supposed to be knowable intuitively.This conception has the resources to respond to some familiar objections to mathematical intuition. But the analogy to ordinary perception is weaker than it looks, and the warrant provided for non-trivial mathematical beliefs by intuition of this sort is weak too weak, perhaps, to yield any mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Scholars have long recognized that riddles were part of literary and intellectual culture in late-medieval England, and considerable effort has been expended to ponder a prominent handful of late-fourteenth-century writings in Latin and English that use them, including John Ergome's commentary on the Vaticinium of “John of Bridlington,” the seditious vernacular letters circulated during the Rising of 1381, and most famously Piers Plowman, all notorious for the use of peculiar and difficult riddles that flaunt their interpretative challenges and the social (...) power of their hermeneutical barriers. Comparatively vast gaps, however, remain in our knowledge of the range, distinctive modes, and customary contexts of riddles in this period, so that the isolated uses of them that have been studied seem, in May McKisack's words about Piers Plowman, to speak “to us from a forgotten world, drowned, mysterious, irrecoverable.”. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to offer, in straight forward terms, some practical insight into distributed data surveillance. I will use the software project Carnivore as a case study. Carnivore is a public domain riff on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s software “Carnivore,” which was developed to perform electronic wiretaps of email. As founder of the Radical Software Group (RSG), and lead developer on the Carnivore project, I will describe the technological, philosophical, and political reasons for launching the (...) project. I will also offer an account of the development cycle of the core engine, identify trends in “client” interface designs, and present a series of design challenges that still remain. (shrink)
Espen Hammer’s exceptionally fine book explores modern temporality, its problems and prospects. Hammer claims that how people experience time is a cultural/historical phenomenon, and that there is a peculiarly modern way of experiencing time as a series of present moments each indefinitely leading to the next in an ordered way. Time as measured by the clock is the paradigmatic instance of this sense of time. In this perspective time is quantifiable and forward-looking, and the present is dominated by the future. (...) Hammer argues that this manner of experiencing time provides a way of living that brings with it not only the basis for great successes in technology, but also great costs—specifically, what he calls the problems of transience and of meaning. Hammer goes about his task by considering the ways some of the great modern philosophers have characterized present-day temporality and have responded to the problems he has identified. Specifically, he considers what Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Bloch, and Adorno provide in response to our peculiarly modern predicaments. The book is remarkable for its clarity and perceptiveness, but in the process in crucial places it simplifies the matters at hand or fails to push its insights as far as it ought, and in the end promises more than it can deliver. In this it betrays a rationalist confidence in the power of reason that founders on what in many ways remains a mystery. (shrink)
In this wide-ranging conversation, Berry and Galloway explore the implications of undertaking media theoretical work for critiquing the digital in a time when networks proliferate and, as Galloway claims, we need to ‘forget Deleuze’. Through the lens of Galloway’s new book, Laruelle: Against the Digital, the potential of a ‘non-philosophy’ for media is probed. From the import of the allegorical method from excommunication to the question of networks, they discuss Galloway’s recent work and reflect on the (...) implications of computation for media theory, thinking about media objects, and critical theory. (shrink)
This article discusses Charles Parsons' conception of mathematical intuition. Intuition, for Parsons, involves seeing-as: in seeing the sequences III and III as the same type, one intuits the type. The type is abstract, but intuiting the type is supposed to be epistemically analogous to ordinary perception of physical objects. And some non-trivial mathematical knowledge is supposed to be intuitable in this way, again in a way analogous to ordinary perceptual knowledge. In particular, the successor axioms are supposed to be knowable (...) intuitively. This conception has the resources to respond to some familiar objections to mathematical intuition. But the analogy to ordinary perception is weaker than it looks, and the warrant provided for non-trivial mathematical beliefs by intuition of this sort is weak-too weak, perhaps, to yield any mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefs that are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude that knowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason to trust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide range of cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have a greater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliable intuitions. Whats distinctive about the faulty intuitions, I argue, is that respecting them would mean abandoning a (...) simple, systematic and largely successful theory in favour of a complicated, disjunctive and idiosyncratic theory. So maybe respecting the Gettier intuitions was the wrong reaction, we should instead have been explaining why we are all so easily misled by these kinds of cases. (shrink)
I defend normative externalism from the objection that it cannot account for the wrongfulness of moral recklessness. The defence is fairly simple—there is no wrong of moral recklessness. There is an intuitive argument by analogy that there should be a wrong of moral recklessness, and the bulk of the paper consists of a response to this analogy. A central part of my response is that if people were motivated to avoid moral recklessness, they would have to have an unpleasant sort (...) of motivation, what Michael Smith calls “moral fetishism”. (shrink)
Brian Hedden defends a radical view about the relationship between rationality, personal identity, and time. On the standard view, personal identity over time plays a central role in thinking about rationality, because there are rational norms for how a person's attitudes and actions at one time should fit with her attitudes and actions at other times. But these norms are problematic. They make what you rationally ought to believe or do depend on facts about your past that aren't part (...) of your current perspective on the world, and they make rationality depend on controversial, murky metaphysical facts about what binds different instantaneous snapshots into a single person extended in time. Hedden takes a different approach, treating the relationship between different time-slices of the same person as no different from the relationship between different people. On his account, the locus of rationality is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This impersonal, time-slice-centric approach to rationality yields a unified approach to the rationality of beliefs, preferences, and actions where what rationality demands of you is solely determined by your evidence, with no special weight given to your past beliefs or actions. (shrink)
"Brian Orend's The Morality of War promises to become the single most comprehensive and important book on just war for this generation. It moves far beyond the review of the standard just war categories to deal comprehensively with the new challenges of the conflict with terrorism. It thoughtfully reviews every major military conflict of the past few decades, mining them for implications of the evolving tradition of just war thinking. It concludes with a critical engagement with the major alternatives (...) to just war thinking: pacifism and 'realism.' It is, in short, the most comprehensive and thoughtful assessment of all aspects of just war since Michael Walzer's classic Just and Unjust Wars." - Martin L. Cook, United States Air Force Academy. (shrink)