This article explores the co-existence of, and relationship between, alternative education in the form of home education and mainstream schooling. Home education is conceptually subordinate to schooling, relying on schooling for its status as alternative, but also being tied to schooling through the dominant discourse that forms our understandings of education. Practitioners and other defenders frequently justify home education by running an implicit or explicit comparison with school; a comparison which expresses the desire to do ‘better’ than school whilst simultaneously (...) encompassing the desire to do things differently. These twin aims, however, are not easy to reconcile, meaning that the challenge to schooling and the submission to norms and beliefs that underlie schooling are frequently inseparable. This article explores the trajectories of ‘better than’ and ‘different from’ school as representing ideas of utopia and heterotopia respectively. In particular I consider Foucault's notion of the heterotopia as a means of approaching the relationship between school and other forms of education. Whilst it will be argued that, according to Derrida's ideas of discursive deconstruction, alternative education has to be expressed through the dominant educational discourse, it will also be suggested that employing the idea of the heterotopia is a strategy which can help us explore the alternative in education. (shrink)
Informal home education occurs without much that is generally considered essential for formal education—including curriculum, learning plans, assessments, age related targets or planned and deliberate teaching. Our research into families conducting this kind of education enables us to consider learning away from such imposed structures and to explore how children go about learning for themselves within the context of their own socio-cultural setting. In this paper we consider what and how children learn when no educational agenda is arranged for them (...) and we link this manner of learning to the Deweyan ideas of learning as transactional and learning-in-context. We also use our empirical evidence to explore the notion of ZPD with regard to informal learning and to consider how children, without specific guidance, go about charting a course of learning through the ZPD. We consider the quality of informal learning particularly with regard to the educational aim of developing reflective and critical thinking, showing how these are integral to informal learning. We suggest that a much wider conception of what learning is and how it happens is needed, away from the confines of formal educational structures. (shrink)
This reflection item provides an edited account of human rights lawyer Harriet Wistrich’s conversation with Manvir Grewal, Visiting Lecturer and Ph.D. student, and Harriet Samuels, Reader in Law at the University of Westminster. It summarises the exchange which focused on Harriet Wistrich’s career trajectory and the many public interest law cases that she has brought on behalf her clients, mainly women, in both domestic and international forums. It also includes a condensed version of the question and answer (...) session with the audience. Questions included the broader issues around domestic violence, rape, coercive control, sex work and the nature of feminism. (shrink)
Although the ideas of Soren Kierkegaard played a pivotal role in the shaping of mainstream German philosophy and the history of French existentialism, the question of how philosophers should read Kierkegaard is a difficult one to settle. His intransigent religiosity has led some philosophers to view him as essentially a religious thinker of a singularly anti-philosophical attitude who should be left to the theologians. In this major new survey of Kierkegaard's thought, George Pattison addresses this question head on and (...) shows that although it would be difficult to claim a "philosophy of Kierkegaard" as one could a philosophy of Kant, or of Hegel, there are nevertheless significant points of common interest between Kierkegaard's central thinking and the questions that concern philosophers today. The challenge of self-knowledge in an age of moral and intellectual uncertainty that lies at the heart of Kierkegaard's writings remains as important today as it did in the culture of post-Enlightenment modernity. (shrink)
George Pattison provides a bold and innovative reassessment of Kierkegaard's neglected Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses and reading of his work as a whole. The first full length assessment of the discourses in English, this volume will be essential reading for philosophers and theologians, and anyone interested in Kierkegaard and the history of philosophy.
When we compare a thinker as complex and many–sided as Søren Kierkegaard with a cultural phenomenon as significant as Zen Buddhism it is unlikely that we will be able to come up with any simple formula by which to summarize the results of the comparison. But the value of such comparative studies need not in any case lie in the conclusions we reach but in the intrinsic interest and importance of the material itself, in the questions and insights raised by (...) both similarities and dissimilarities. All this is still true if we confine the field of comparison to a very specific area, as here, where we are concerned with the relationship between art and religion in Kierkegaard and Zen. For this is of course no marginal issue: the distinction between the aesthetic and the religious is fundamental to the whole structure of Kierkegaard's authorship while the arts provde one of the main manifestations of the spirit of Zen. Our line of enquiry may be narrow but it takes us straight to the heart of the matter and the questions which it raises are crucial to the overall assessment of both Kierkegaard and Zen and of the relationship between them. (shrink)
Justin Garson has recently advanced a Generalised Selected Effects Theory of biological proper function. According to Garson, his theory spells trouble for the Dysfunction Account of Disorder. This paper argues that Garson’s critique of the Dysfunction Account from the Generalised Theory fails, and that we should reject the Generalised Theory outright. I first show that the Generalised Theory does not, as Garson asserts, imply that neurally selected disorders are not dysfunctional. Rather, it implies that they are both functional and dysfunctional. (...) I argue on this basis that the Generalised Theory yields conflicting functional norms, and we that should reject it outright on these grounds. (shrink)
Recent discussions in Just War Theory have been framed by a polarising debate between “traditionalist” and “revisionist” approaches. This debate has largely overlooked the importance of an applied account of Just War Theory. The main aim of this essay is to defend the importance of this applied account and, in particular, a nonideal account of the ethics of war. I argue that the applied, nonideal morality of war is vital for a plausible and comprehensive account of Just War Theory. A (...) subsidiary aim of the essay is to show that once we appreciate the importance of the applied, nonideal account, it becomes clear that the positions proposed by revisionists and traditionalists are, in fact, much closer than often presumed. (shrink)
This book shows Kierkegaard's role in literary, religious, and political movements associated with romanticism, modernism and existentialism. It explores his background in romantic literature and his response to aspects of contemporary urban culture and goes on to show how his influence in the 20th century.
The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty's report, The Responsibility to Protect, argues that when a state is unable or unwilling to uphold its citizens? basic human rights, such as in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, the international community has a responsibility to protect these citizens by undertaking humanitarian intervention. An essential issue, however, remains unresolved: which particular agent in the international community has the duty to intervene? In this article, I critically examine four ways (...) of assigning this duty. Although I highlight the benefits of institutionalising the responsibility to protect, I argue that we should adopt, in the short term at least, a consequentialist solution: humanitarian intervention should be the responsibility of the intervener that will be the most effective. (shrink)
The private military industry has been growing rapidly since the end of the Cold War. The Morality of Private War uses normative political theory to assess the leading moral arguments for and against the use of private military and security companies.
This volume brings together for the first time all the writings of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill on equality between the sexes, including John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women, a classic in the history of the women's rights ...
This paper reports on a relationship between the University of Toronto and a non-profit, non-governmental (“third party”) certifying organization called Local Flavour Plus (LFP). The University as of August 2006 requires its corporate caterers to use local and sustainable farm products for a small but increasing portion of meals for most of its 60,000 students. LFP is the certifying body, whose officers and consultants have strong relations of trust with sustainable farmers. It redefines standards and verification to create ladders for (...) farmers, Aramark and Chartwells (the corporations that won the bid), and the University, to continuously raise standards of sustainability. After years of frustrated efforts, other Ontario institutions are expressing interest, opening the possibility that a virtuous circle could lead to rapid growth in local, sustainable supply chains. The paper examines the specificities of the LFP approach and of the Toronto and Canadian context. Individuals in LFP acquired crucial skills, insights, experience, resources, and relationships of trust over 20 years within the Toronto “community of food practice,” located in a supportive municipal, NGO and social movement context. (shrink)
This article aims to engender discussion about the nature and future of medical humanities. First, a normative personal vision of medical humanities as an inclusive movement is outlined. Some of the problems that may emerge if medical humanities conceives itself too narrowly are then discussed. The case of the rise of the medical ethics movement is used to show what can happen to a movement that restricts itself too quickly and then the stages of the “death course of a discipline” (...) are described and assayed. The article concludes with a plea for medical humanities to remain a “broad church”, exploratory, pluralistic movement rather than aiming to become a paramedical academic discipline. (shrink)
According to the Argument for Autonomous Mental Disorder (AAMD), mental disorder can occur in the absence of brain disorder, just as software problems can occur in the absence of hardware problems in a computer. This paper argues that the AAMD is unsound. I begin by introducing the ‘natural dysfunction analysis’ of disorder, before outlining the AAMD. I then analyse the necessary conditions for realiser autonomous dysfunction. Building on this, I show that software functions disassociate from hardware functions in a way (...) that mental functions do not disassociate from brain functions. It follows that mental disorders are brain disorders necessarily. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard brings together an outstanding selection of contemporary specialists and uniquely combines work on the background and context of Kierkegaard's writings, exposition of his key ideas, and a survey of his ...
For 170 years, Harriet Taylor Mill has been presented as a footnote in John Stuart Mill’s life. This volume gives her a separate voice. Readers may assess for themselves the importance and influence of her ideas on "women’s" issues such as marriage and divorce, education, domestic violence, and suffrage. And they will note the overlap of her ideas on ethics, religion, arts, and socialism, written in the 1830s, with her more famous husband’s works, published 25 years later.
In her account of a debate held at Princeton University between herself and Peter Singer, the lawyer and disability rights activist Harriet McBryde Johnson criticizes the ‘terrible purity of Singer's vision’. Although she certainly disagrees with the substance of Singer's arguments concerning disability and infanticide, this remark is best understood as a critique of their form. In this paper, I attempt to make sense of this critique. I argue that Singer's characteristic mode of argument, with its appeal to a (...) universal, neutral point of view, makes it impossible for McBryde Johnson to give voice to her particular experience and thus obscures her humanity. In order to clarify the positive contribution that an appeal to particular experience may make to moral reasoning, I draw a parallel with the transformative effects of the experience of beauty, arguing that McBryde Johnson's writing ought to be regarded as both morally and philosophically instructive. (shrink)
All authors in this symposium use a food regime perspective to ask questions about the present which—as these articles demonstrate—have several possible answers. History suggests a time perspective of 25–40 year cycles so far—a food regime 1870–1914, an experimental and chaotic era 1914–1947, and a food regime 1947–1973. It has been less than 40 years since 1973, when food regime analysts agree that a contested and experimental period began. There is no consensus on whether it has already ended or how (...) it might issue into a new food regime. The conversation is more fruitful than the conclusions. I intend these comments as an invitation to join in. (shrink)
To mark International Women’s Day the Research Group for Law, Gender and Sexuality at Westminster Law School held an evening conversation on 10 March 2016 on Women and Asylum. Speakers working in different areas of the asylum system shared their insights and experiences with an audience of staff, students, activists and other visitors. Harriet Samuels chaired the conversation and the speakers were Princess Chine Onyeukwu, Debora Singer, Priya Solanki and Zoe Harper. This article is an edited extract from the (...) transcript of the presentations and wide-ranging discussion, including the question and answer session. The discussion focused on the different steps in the refugee determination process and considered, in particular, the gendering of credibility and how women’s perceived lack of credibility has a significant impact on determinations and processes. (shrink)
George Pattison’s Heidegger on Death aims at critically assessing Heidegger’s analysis of death included in his magnum opus Being and Time . Given the peculiar status of Heidegger’s analysis, tightly interwoven into a complex argumentative narrative touching on an array of foundational issues in philosophy, Pattison must first of all spell out for his reader Heidegger’s overall project in BT and show how Heidegger’s analysis of death fits in it. As the author makes clear, HD isn't meant to (...) be a piece of Heidegger scholarship but rather ‘… an essay about death that uses Heidegger … as a way of thinking about the question of death in a Christian and theological perspective’ . This self-imposed task places a second burden on Pattison, i.e., to draw on theological premises to examine Heidegger’s analysis of death and find it ultimately wanting. An implicit third burden, which the author only occasionally seems to intend to meet, is to state in exactly what sense .. (shrink)
This paper asks when a natural disease kind is truly 'reactive' and when it is merely associated with a corresponding social kind. I begin with a permissive account of real kinds and their structure, distinguishing natural kinds, indifferent kinds and reactive kinds as varieties of real kind characterised by super-explanatory properties. I then to situate disease kinds within this framework, arguing that many disease kinds prima facie are both natural and reactive. I proceed to distinguish ‘simple dependence’, ‘secondary dependence’ and (...) ‘essential dependence’ between a natural kind and its classification, and argue that a natural kind is only really reactive, in an important sense, under conditions of essential dependence. On this basis, I offer a principled hypothesis for why psychiatric kinds may be are more metaphysically unstable than paradigm biomedical kinds. (shrink)
Utilising empirical ethics analysis, we evaluate the merits of systems proposed to increase deceased organ donation in South Africa. We conclude that SA should maintain its soft opt-in policy, and enhance it with ‘required transplant referral’ in order to maximise donor numbers within an ethically and legally acceptable framework. In SA, as is the case worldwide, the demand for donor organs far exceeds the supply thereof. Currently utilising a soft opt-in system, SA faces the challenge of how to increase donor (...) numbers in a context which is imbued with inequalities in access to healthcare, multiplicitous personal beliefs and practices, distrust of organ transplant and varying levels of education and health literacy. We argue that a hard opt-in, opt-out or mandated consent system would be problematic, and we present empirical data from Gauteng Province illustrating barriers to ethically sound practice in soft consent systems. Ultimately, we argue that in spite of some limitations, a soft opt-in system is most realistic for SA because its implementation does not require extensive public education campaigns at national level, and it does not threaten to further erode trust at a clinical level. However, to circumvent some of the clinical-level barriers identified in our empirical study, we propose a contextually sensitive option for “enabling” soft opt-in through “required transplant referral”. We argue that this system is legally defensible, enhances ethical practice and could also increase donor numbers as it has in many other countries. (shrink)
The triumph was the most prestigious accolade a politician and general could receive in republican Rome. After a brief review of the role played by the triumph in republican political culture, this article analyzes the severe limits Augustus placed on triumphal parades after 19 BC, which then became very rare celebrations. It is argued that Augustus aimed at and almost succeeded in eliminating traditional triumphal celebrations completely during his lifetime, by using a combination of refusing them for himself and his (...) relatives and of rewarding his legates who fought under his auspices with ornamenta triumphalia and an honorific statue in the Forum of Augustus. Subsequently, the elimination of the triumph would have been one natural result of the limit placed on further imperial expansion recommended by Augustus in his will, a policy his successors chose not to follow. Tiberius, however, was unwilling to conform to this new order and retired from public life to Rhodes the year after celebrating a triumph in 7 BC, the first such celebration since 19 BC. Tiberius' two triumphs and the senate's repeated offers of further triumphs to Augustus himself represented a different vision of the role triumphal celebration should take in a restored res publica and an ongoing challenge to the princeps. (shrink)
The ArgumentWritten as one book, Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England has become two. One book, treating Puritanism and science, has since become “The Merton Thesis.” The other, treating shifts of interest among the sciences and problem choice within the sciences, has been less consequential. This paper proposes that neglect of one part of the monograph has skewed readers' understanding of the whole. Society and culture contributed to institutionalization of science and the directions it took, neither one exclusively. Four (...) aspects of the neglected chapters are examined: their theoretical underpinnings, the conceptions providing foundations for this part specifically and for the monograph as a whole; their comparative neglect, attributed partly to the absence of a cognitive constituency for their claims; the problem of problem choice in science in Merton's work; and the Merton monograph and later social constructionism:their differences and affinities. (shrink)
This paper presents four arguments in favour of respecting Ulysses Contracts in the case of individuals who suffer with severe chronic episodic mental illnesses, and who have experienced spiralling and relapse before. First, competence comes in degrees. As such, even if a person meets the usual standard for competence at the point when they wish to refuse treatment, they may still be less competent than they were when they signed the Ulysses Contract. As such, even if competent at time 1 (...) and time 2, there can still be a disparity between the levels of competence at each time. Second, Ulysses Contracts are important to protect people’s most meaningful concerns. Third, on the approach defended, the restrictions to people’s liberty would be temporary, and would be consistent with soft paternalism, rather than hard paternalism: the contracts would be designed in such a way that individuals would be free to change their minds, and to change or cancel their Ulysses Contracts later. Finally, even if one rejects the equivalence thesis, this is still consistent with the claim that, in particular cases, it can be as wrong to allow a harm as to do a harm. Nevertheless, controversies remain. This paper also highlights several safeguards to minimise risks. Ultimately, we argue that people who are vulnerable to spiralling deserve a way to protect their autonomy as far as possible, using Ulysses Contracts when necessary. (shrink)