Classical conceptual distinctions in philosophy of education assume an individualistic subjectivity and hide the learning that can take place in the space between child (as educator) and adult (as learner). Grounded in two examples from experience I develop the argument that adults often put metaphorical sticks in their ears in their educational encounters with children. Hearers’ prejudices cause them to miss out on knowledge offered by the child, but not heard by the adult. This has to do with how adults (...) view education, knowledge, as much as child, and is even more extreme when child is also black. The idea is what Miranda Fricker calls ‘epistemic injustice’ which occurs when someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower. Although her work concerns gender and race, I extrapolate her radical ideas to (black) child. Awareness of the epistemic injustice that is done to children and my proposal for increased epistemic modesty and epistemic equality could help transform pedagogical spaces to include child subjects as educators. A way forward is suggested that involves ‘cracking’ the concept of child and a different nonindividualised conception of education. (shrink)
Scholars have long asserted that public relations (PR) professionals should play the role of organizational conscience, but little research has focused on why and how they play this role effectively. We found that PR professionals who played the role of organizational conscience had broadened conceptions of their roles and responsibilities, including a fervent duty to the public interest. This often put them in the position of providing criticism to powerful organizational players. Rather than raising their ethical concerns as persuasive orators, (...) they used subtle, resourceful, and experiential approaches to persuasion. Playing the role of organizational conscience typically necessitated gaining access to informal coalitions since access to dominant power coalitions often was limited or late. Organizations with participative cultures supported the role of organizational conscience. (shrink)
We analyze the developments in mathematical rigor from the viewpoint of a Burgessian critique of nominalistic reconstructions. We apply such a critique to the reconstruction of infinitesimal analysis accomplished through the efforts of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass; to the reconstruction of Cauchy’s foundational work associated with the work of Boyer and Grabiner; and to Bishop’s constructivist reconstruction of classical analysis. We examine the effects of a nominalist disposition on historiography, teaching, and research.
One of the most influential scientific treatises in Cauchy's era was J.-L. Lagrange's Mécanique Analytique, the second edition of which came out in 1811, when Cauchy was barely out of his teens. Lagrange opens his treatise with an unequivocal endorsement of infinitesimals. Referring to the system of infinitesimal calculus, Lagrange writes:Lorsqu'on a bien conçu l'esprit de ce système, et qu'on s'est convaincu de l'exactitude de ses résultats par la méthode géométrique des premières et dernières raisons, ou par la méthode analytique (...) des fonctions dérivées, on peut employer les infiniment petits comme un instrument sûr et commode pour abréger et simplifier les demonstrations.Lagrange's renewed enthusiasm for .. (shrink)
In this paper we offer an appreciation and critique of patient-led care as expressed in current policy and practice. We argue that current patient-led approaches hinder a focus on a deeper understanding of what patient-led care could be. Our critique focuses on how the consumerist/citizenship emphasis in current patient-led care obscures attention from a more fundamental challenge to conceptualise an alternative philosophically informed framework from where care can be led. We thus present an alternative interpretation of patient-led care that we (...) call ‘lifeworld-led care’, and argue that such lifeworld-led care is more than the general understanding of patient-led care. Although the philosophical roots of our alternative conceptualisation are not new, we believe that it is timely to re-consider some of the implications of these perspectives within current discourses of patient-centred policies and practice. The conceptualisation of lifeworld-led care that we develop includes an articulation of three dimensions: a philosophy of the person, a view of well-being and not just illness, and a philosophy of care that is consistent with this. We conclude that the existential view of well-being that we offer is pivotal to lifeworld-led care in that it provides a direction for care and practice that is intrinsically and positively health focused in its broadest and most substantial sense. (shrink)
In her book Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing , Miranda Fricker introduces the helpful notion of “identity prejudice” as “a label for prejudices against people qua social type” . She focuses on race, class and gender, and Michael Hand in his article What Do Kids Know? A response to Karin Murris is indeed correct when he states that I have applied her arguments to age as a category of epistemic exclusion.I argue that among the usual contenders of (...) epistemic prejudices, we also need to be cognisant of adults’ implicit and explicit assumptions and prejudices about child and childhood. However, Hand incorrectly uses Fricker’s ideas to reject my proposal to include child as being on the receiving end of epistemic injustice. A close reading of some passages about stereotyping will show why this is the case and why his own claim that “children typically are immature, ill-informed and endearing” will turn out to .. (shrink)
The philosophy for children curriculum was specially written by Matthew Lipman and colleagues for the teaching of philosophy by non-philosophically educated teachers from foundation phase to further education colleges. In this article I argue that such a curriculum is neither a necessary, not a sufficient condition for the teaching of philosophical thinking. The philosophical knowledge and pedagogical tact of the teacher remains salient, in that the open-ended and unpredictable nature of philosophical enquiry demands of teachers to think in the moment (...) and draw on their own knowledge and experience of academic philosophy. Providing specialist training or induction in the P4C curriculum cannot and should not replace undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in academic philosophy at universities. However, although for academic philosophers the use of the P4C curriculum could be beneficial, I will argue that its use poses the risk of wanting to form children into the ideal ‘abnormal’ child, the thinking child—the adult philosopher’s child positioned as such by the Lipman novels. The notion of narrativity is central in my argument. With the help of two picturebooks—The Three Pigs by David Weisner and Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne—I illustrate my claim that philosophy as ‘side-shadowing’ or meta-thinking can only be generated in the space ‘in between’ text, child and educator, thereby foregrounding a ‘pedagogy of exposure’ rather than ‘teacher proof’ texts. (shrink)
Philosophy with children (P4C) 1 presents significant positive challenges for educators. Its 'community of enquiry' pedagogy assumes not only an epistemological shift in the role of the educator, but also a different ontology of 'child' and balance of power between educator and learner. After a brief historical sketch and an outline of the diversity among P4C practitioners, epistemological uncertainty in teaching P4C is crystallised in a succinct overview of theoretical and practical tensions that are a direct result of the implementation (...) of P4C in mainstream education. These recurring pedagogical tensions in my practice as P4C teacher, teacher educator and mentor of teacher educators cause disequilibrium that opens up rich opportunities for philosophy of education in supporting novice P4Cers. Disequilibrium is a positive force that opens up a space in which educators need to reflect upon their values, their beliefs about learning and teaching, and ultimately encourages educators to rethink their own role. Plato's metaphor of the stingray highlights the role of the P4C teacher educator as model of the P4C teacher in any setting: 'to numb and to be numbed'. The P4C community and its institutions need to address the questions arising from these pedagogical tensions; and this needs to be done with integrity, that is, in communities of enquiry that include children. If not, in the long term, a more instrumental version of P4C may prevail. (shrink)
This book provides an exciting and diverse philosophical exploration of the role of practice and practices in human activity. It contains original essays and critiques of this philosophical and sociological attempt to move beyond current problematic ways of thinking in the humanities and social sciences. It will be useful across many disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, science, cultural theory, history and anthropology.
In Buddhism, Meditation and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom , Rick Repetti explains how the dynamics of Buddhist meditation can result in a kind of metacognition and metavolitional control that exceeds what is required for free will and defeats the most powerful forms of free will skepticism. This article argues that although the Buddhist path requires and enhances the kind of mental and volitional control Repetti describes, the central dynamic of the path and meditation is better understood as (...) a process of habituation. This not only involves the dis‐identification from mental and emotional content that Repetti discusses—and is commonly emphasized in modern presentations of mindfulness or insight (vipassanā ) meditation—but also a transformation of the heart that is effected through the complementary psychological and somatic qualities associated with calm abiding (samatha ) and concentration (samādhi ) and emphasized in the Pali Nikāyas and commentaries. (shrink)
The authors of the paper ‘Advance euthanasia directives: a controversial case and its ethical implications’ articulate concerns and reasons with regard to the conduct of euthanasia in persons with dementia based on advance directives. While we agree on the conclusion that there needs to be more attention for such directives in the preparation phase, we disagree with the reasons provided by the authors to support their conclusions. We will outline two concerns with their reasoning by drawing on empirical research and (...) by providing reasons that contradict their assumptions about competence of people with dementia and the importance of happiness in reasoning about advance directives of people with dementia. We will draw attention to the important normative questions that have been overstepped in their paper, and we will outline why further research is required. (shrink)
Some philosophers claim that young children cannot do philosophy. This paper examines some of those claims, and puts forward arguments against them. Our beliefs that children cannot do philosophy are based on philosophical assumptions about children, their thinking and about philosophy. Many of those assumptions remain unquestioned by critics of Philosophy with Children. My conclusion is that the idea that very young children can do philosophy has not only significant consequences for how we should educate young children, but also for (...) how adults should do philosophy; and that further research is urgently needed. (shrink)
This essay is an attempt to analyze, classify and illustrate different scholarly approaches to the Sanskrit philosophical commentaries as reflected in some influential and especially thoughtful studies of Indian philosophy; at the same time it highlights some specific features involving commentary and annotation in general, drawing from results of studies on commentaries conducted in other disciplines and fields, such as Classical and Medieval Studies, Theology, and Early English Literature. In the field of South Asian Studies, philosophical commentaries may be assessed (...) from various overlapping and not always exclusive points of view, such as preservation of otherwise lost historical information, historical authenticity and reliability, interpretational innovation, spiritual or experiential insight, philosophical creativity, intellectual liveliness, doxographic intent, degree of incidentality, expository breadth and explanatory depth. The essay provides numerous examples taken from classical to early modern philosophical literature, especially of the Brahminical and Buddhist traditions, and also discusses their diverging perception by modern scholars and interpretators. (shrink)
Historians and philosophers of twentieth-century life sciences have demonstrated that the choice of experimental organism can profoundly influence research fields, in ways that sometimes undermined the scientists’ original intentions. The present paper aims to enrich and broaden the scope of this literature by analysing the career of unicellular green algae of the genus Chlorella. They were introduced for the study of photosynthesis in 1919 by the German cell physiologist Otto H. Warburg, and they became the favourite research objects in this (...) field up to the 1960s. The paper argues that dealing with Chlorella’s high metabolic flexibility was crucial for the emergence of a new conception of photosynthesis, as a plastic, integrated system of pathways. At the same time, it led to new collaborations between physiologists and phycologists, both of whom started to re-orient their studies in ecologically informed directions. Following Chlorella’s trail, hence, not only elucidates how experimental organisms forced scientists to change their conceptual approaches and techniques, but also provides insight into the interaction of different lines of research of mid-twentieth century plant sciences. (shrink)
Dementia is highly prevalent and up until now, still incurable. If we may believe the narrative that is currently dominant in dementia research, in the future we will not have to suffer from dementia anymore, as there will be a simple techno-fix solution. It is just a matter of time before we can solve the growing public health problem of dementia. In this paper we take a critical stance towards overly positive narratives of techno-fixes by placing our empirical analysis of (...) dementia research protocols and political statements in a framework of technology assessment. From this perspective, it becomes obvious that a techno-fix is just one of many ways to approach societal problems and more importantly that technologies are way less perfect than they are presented. We will argue that this narrow scope, which focusses on the usual suspects for solving illnesses, reduces dementia to organismic aspects, and may be counterproductive in finding a cure for dementia. We conclude with outlining how the narrow scope can be balanced with other narratives and why we should have a reasonable scepticism towards the usual suspects. (shrink)
In the first decades of the twentieth century, the process of photosynthesis was still a mystery: Plant scientists were able to measure what entered and left a plant, but little was known about the intermediate biochemical and biophysical processes that took place. This state of affairs started to change between the two world wars, when a number of young scientists in Europe and the United States, all of whom identified with the methods and goals of physicochemical biology, selected photosynthesis as (...) a topic of research. The protagonists had much in common: They had studied physics and chemistry to a high level; they used physicochemical methods to study the basic processes of life; they believed these processes were the same, or very similar, in all life forms; and they were affiliated with institutions that fostered this kind of study. This set of cognitive, methodological, and material resources enabled these protagonists to transfer their knowledge of the concepts and techniques from microbiology and human biochemistry, for example, to the study of plant metabolism. These transfers of knowledge had a great influence on the way in which the biochemistry and biophysics of photosynthesis would be studied over the following decades. Through the use of four historical cases, this paper analyzes these knowledge transfers, as well as the investigative pathways that made them possible. (shrink)
Dementia is highly prevalent and incurable. The participation of dementia patients in clinical research is indispensable if we want to find an effective treatment for dementia. However, one of the primary challenges in dementia research is the patients’ gradual loss of the capacity to consent. Patients with dementia are characterized by the fact that, at an earlier stage of their life, they were able to give their consent to participation in research. Therefore, the phase when patients are still competent to (...) decide offers a valuable opportunity to authorize research, by using an advance research directive. Yet, the use of ARDs as an authorization for research participation remains controversial. In this paper we discuss the role of autonomous decision-making and the protection of incompetent research subjects. We will show why ARDs are a morally defensible basis for the inclusion of this population in biomedical research and that the use of ARDs is compatible with the protection of incompetent research subjects. (shrink)
Human science researchers tend to be targeted for critique on the grounds that their approach is too individualistic to take due cognisance of societal and political influences. What is accordingly advocated is that the phenomenological and so-called romantic theories should be abandoned in favour of analytic or continental theories that have as their main focus the system, the group, the society, and the various influences of the social world on the existential reality of the individual.Without trying to invalidate these social (...) science strategies, this paper attempts to show that it is not necessary to surrender phenomenology in order to understand not only the individual, but also the social world in which individuals live. It is argued that the desired goal of a less individualistic human science’s theoretical basis can still be founded in phenomenology, in that Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, which has its origin in Husserlian phenomenology, provides us with an adequate ontology for understanding human existence more comprehensively. Merleau-Ponty’s ontological philosophy elucidates the in-between world, that structure of existence where the individual cannot be separated from her/his world context. In his exploration of the reversibility of existence, Merleau-Ponty demonstrates that there is no ontological gulf between the individual and the social world. Instead, the world is ‘in’ the individual as much as the individual is ‘in’ the world. With this phenomenological epistemology, it is argued, it is possible to generate research that is capable “of more than a frozen existence”, as Merleau-Ponty puts it. (shrink)
Human science researchers tend to be targeted for critique on the grounds that their approach is too individualistic to take due cognisance of societal and political influences. What is accordingly advocated is that the phenomenological and so-called romantic theories should be abandoned in favour of analytic or continental theories that have as their main focus the system, the group, the society, and the various influences of the social world on the existential reality of the individual.
It is commonly argued that cultural objects ought to be returned to their place of origin in order to remedy injustices committed in the past. In this paper, it is shown that significant challenges attach to this way of arguing. Although there is considerable intuitive appeal in the idea that if somebody wrongs another person then she ought to compensate for that injustice, the principle is difficult to apply to wrongdoings committed many decades or centuries ago. It is not clear (...) that historic injustices can meaningfully be corrected, or compensated for, and there are several arguments why, even in cases where there is a prima facie moral case for compensation, repatriation might not be a legitimate means of remedy. In order to bring analytical clarity to the issue, this paper discusses the various steps of the argument that must be addressed in order to ground a valid repatriation claim based on historic injustices. (shrink)
We apply a framework developed by C. S. Peirce to analyze the concept of clarity, so as to examine a pair of rival mathematical approaches to a typical result in analysis. Namely, we compare an intuitionist and an infinitesimal approaches to the extreme value theorem. We argue that a given pre-mathematical phenomenon may have several aspects that are not necessarily captured by a single formalisation, pointing to a complementarity rather than a rivalry of the approaches.
The proliferation of digital data and internet-based research technologies is transforming the research landscape, and researchers and research ethics communities are struggling to respond to the ethical issues being raised. This paper discusses the findings from a collaborative project that explored emerging ethical issues associated with the expanding use of digital data for research. The project involved consulting with researchers from a broad range of disciplinary fields. These discussions identified five key sets of issues and informed the development of guidelines (...) orientated to meet the needs of researchers and ethics committee members. We argue that establishing common approaches to assessing ethical risks of research involving digital data will promote consistency in the ethical standards for research, enable the smooth functioning of ethics committees, and sustain public confidence in research. We conclude with recommendations for the development of educational resources for ethics committees, data management guidelines and further public education. (shrink)
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