Many scholars in the area of citizenship education take deliberative approaches to democracy, especially as put forward by John Rawls, as their point of departure. From there, they explore how students’ capacity for political and/or moral reasoning can be fostered. Recent work by political theorist Chantal Mouffe, however, questions some of the central tenets of deliberative conceptions of democracy. In the paper I first explain the central differences between Mouffe’s and Rawls’s conceptions of democracy and politics. To this end I (...) take Eamonn Callan’s Creating Citizens as an example of Rawlsian political education and focus on the role of conflict and disagreement in his account. I then address three areas in which political education would need to change if it were to accept Mouffe’s critiques of deliberative approaches to democracy and her proposal for an agonistic public sphere. The first area is the education of political emotions; the second is fostering an understanding of the difference between the moral and the political; the third is developing an awareness of the historical and contemporary political projects of the “left” and “right.” I propose that a radical democratic citizenship education would be an education of political adversaries. (shrink)
This timely and important book presents a compelling new theory of political education for liberal democracies. Amidst current concern over the need to encourage a morally sensitive and committed citizenry, Professor Callan's study provides a much-needed balanced discussion of the proper ends of education, as well as the moral rights of parents and children.
Any liberal democratic state must honour religious and cultural pluralism in its educational policies. To fail to honour them would betray ideals of freedom and toleration fundamental to liberal democracy. Yet if such ideals are to flourish from one generation to the next, allegiance to the distinctive values of liberal democracy is a necessary educational end, whose pursuit will constrain pluralism. The problem of political education is therefore to ensure the continuity across generations of the constitutive ideals of liberal democracy, (...) while remaining hospitable to a diversity of conduct and belief that sometimes threatens those very ideals. Creating Citizens addresses this crucial problem. In lucid and elegant prose, Professor Callan, one of the world's foremost philosophers of education, identifies both the principal ends of civic education, and the rights that limit their political pursuit. This timely new study sheds light on some of the most divisive educational controversies, such as state sponsorship and regulation of denominational schooling, as well as the role of non-denominational schools in the moral and political development of children. Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series will contain works of outstanding quality with no restriction as to approach or subject matter. The series editors are David Miller and Alan Ryan. (shrink)
The experience of agency refers to the feeling that we control our own actions, and through them the outside world. In many contexts, sense of agency has strong implications for moral responsibility. For example, a sense of agency may allow people to choose between right and wrong actions, either immediately, or on subsequent occasions through learning about the moral consequences of their actions. In this study we investigate the relation between the experience of operant action, and responsibility for action outcomes (...) using the intentional binding effect as an implicit, quantitative measure related to sense of agency. We studied the time at which people perceived simple manual actions and their effects, when these actions were embedded in scenarios where their actions had unpredictable consequences that could be either moral or merely economic. We found an enhanced binding of effects back towards the actions that caused them, implying an enhanced sense of agency, in moral compared to non-moral contexts. We also found stronger binding for effects with severely negative, compared to moderately negative, values. A tight temporal association between action and effect may be a low-level phenomenal marker of the sense of responsibility. (shrink)
This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity.
Autonomy is important to leading a good life but a common liberal instrumental construal of the way in which it contributes to the leading of a good life is defective. A one‐sided focus on the development of capacities for revision of conceptions of the good should be corrected by attention to the value of developing capacities permitting a rational adherence to a conception of the good. Exposing children to a diverse but shallow secular and consumer culture might not facilitate goodness‐enhancing (...) autonomy in a way that is superior to the more insular strategies of religious minorities whose child‐rearing practices are criticized by liberals. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that John Rawls’s account of political liberalism requires a conception of mutual respect that differs from the one advanced in A Theory of Justice. We formulate such a political liberal form of mutual respect, which we call ‘civic respect.’ We also maintain that core features of political liberalism – in particular, the ideas of ‘the burdens of judgment’ and ‘public reason’ – do not commit political liberalism to an ideal of personal autonomy, contrary to claims (...) made by various commentators. Furthermore, we maintain that teaching the idea of ‘public reason’ to students in civic education courses does not threaten their ‘ethical integrity.’ On the basis of these points, we maintain – against political and educational theorists like Eamonn Callan and Amy Gutmann – that political liberalism permits a wider range of educational policy options, including some ‘school choice’ policies, than most forms of comprehensive liberalism. We conclude the article by considering some such policies. (shrink)
Popular filmic and literary stereotypes of teachers from Brodie and Chips to Keating and Schneebly have not only reflected a public desire for radically innovative and perverse teaching practices, but also created those paradigms in ways that are not always readily identifiable or traceable. This article seeks to analyse tensions between traditional institutional protocols and contemporary populist opinion on the role of the effective teacher. In doing so, the article takes Peter Weir?s Dead Poets Society (1989) as a primary example (...) of those tensions and argues for a perverse ?foolosophical? view of pedagogical performance and a new appreciation for the necessity of ignorance in the classroom. Since ignorance and understanding are not taken as unambiguous antonyms, the article proposes that effective teaching and learning occur most effectively in the interstices between humility and hospitality. (shrink)
The paper discusses the role of solidarity in post-conventional society and shows how solidarity is intertwined with the concept of individual autonomy and its guarantee through fundamental rights. The starting point will be offered by two mental experiments introduced by Joel Feinberg and Eamonn Callann; further we shall consider the definition of solidarity given by Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth; finally some remarks on the concept of individual autonomy shall be discussed.
Pity is an emotion which is intimately connected with virtue. If I were impervious to anger I could still be a paragon of rectitude. My emotional peculiarity might even be explained by moral saintliness. If I had a pitiless heart my entire life would surely be an abject moral failure. The imputation of an inability to pity strikes us as a damning moral criticism; it is one we are likely to make, for example, against those who commit acts of extreme (...) cruelty. Yet pity is hardly ever welcomed by its recipients, and for that reason it differs in a puzzling way from other emotions which are closely associated with virtue, such as gratitude or compassion. The prospect of becoming an object of pity is alarming, and not merely because we fear the misfortune that would evoke pity in others; it is alarming in part because we suspect that being on the receiving end of that emotion could seriously aggravate our plight. We also regard an aversion to being pitied as commendable, perhaps even morally commendable. There is something shameful in wanting to be pitied, just as there is in the indulgence of self-pity. The aged and the physically disabled do not want our pity, as a rule, and we think better of them for not wanting it. Finally, we know that those who give pity are frequently guilty of serious wrongdoing. A pitiless heart may be a terrible thing, but a fondness for dispensing pity is scarcely any better. (shrink)
Suppose your friends had to ascribe a single vice to you in large measure, along with any virtues that could be coherently combined with that salient vice. Suppose further that the vice had to be either cowardice or impatience. Which would you choose? I believe almost everyone would choose impatience without hesitation. There are sound moral as well as purely self-regarding reasons for despising cowardice, and to that extent our preference would be reasonable. If we say that a man who (...) is a coward is also compassionate, we know that his compassion cannot be relied upon in any circumstances where it must contend with fear, and if he has a sense of justice, that will be useless if oppression has to be resisted. We cannot even expect him to pursue his own good whenever he perceives that to be hazardous, and so even the self-regarding virtues are corrupted by his dominating vice. On the other hand, a pronounced impatience may seem to be compossible with abundant virtue. Those who are just but cannot patiently endure tyranny are perhaps the most formidable threat to tyranny, and people who boldly go out to seize their own good often fare rather better than those who patiently await its arrival. (shrink)
Heisenberg’s explanation of how two coupled oscillators exchange energy represented a dramatic success for his new matrix mechanics. As matrix mechanics transmuted into wave mechanics, resulting in what Heisenberg himself described as …an extraordinary broadening and enrichment of the formalism of the quantum theory , the term resonance also experienced a corresponding evolution. Heitler and London’s seminal application of wave mechanics to explain the quantum origins of the covalent bond, combined with Pauling’s characterization of the effect, introduced resonance into the (...) chemical lexicon. As the Valence Bond approach gave way to a soon-to-be dominant Molecular Orbital method, our understanding of the term resonance, as it might apply to our understanding the chemical bond, has also changed. (shrink)
This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity. The article offers a preliminary understanding of nationalism and patriotism before setting out the terms of the debate. It then critically evaluates the central idea of Callan that one might be under an obligation morally to improve one''s own patriotic inheritance, pointing (...) to the ineliminable tension between the valuation of one''s own patria by its own terms and a detached critical reason. It concludes by suggesting that we are, in advance of our education, members of a particular patria and that any education must be particularistic. Finally, the danger is noted of presuming that, in each case, there is a single, determinate national tradition. (shrink)