This article seeks to contribute to the challenge of presenting the silenced voices of excluded groups in society by means of a philosophic community of inquiry composed primarily of children and young adults. It proposes a theoretical model named ‘enabling identity’ that presents the stages whereby, under the guiding role played by the community of philosophic inquiry, the hegemonic meta-narrative of the mainstream society makes room for the identity of members of marginalised groups. The model is based on the recognition (...) of diverse narratives within a web of communal narratives that does not favour the meta-narrative. It reports on the experiences of moderators and students from weak and excluded sectors of society in two countries whose participation in communities of philosophical inquiry gave them not only a “voice” but also a presence and identity. (shrink)
The attempt to define meaning arouses numerous questions, such as whether life can be meaningful without actions devoted to a central purpose or whether the latter guarantee a meaningful life. Communities of inquiry are relevant in this context because they create relationships within and between people and the environment. The more they address relations—social, cognitive, emotional, etc.—that tie-in with the children’s world even if not in a concrete fashion, the more they enable young people to search for and find meaning. (...) Examining the way in which philosophical communities of inquiry serve as a dialogical space that enables a search for meaning on the personal and collective plane, this article seeks to expand the discussion of how/whether finding meaning on a private or communal level can promote recognition of the existential uniqueness of each individual and the development of a sense of responsibility for him or her. Grounded in the writings of Matthew Lipman, it links his ideas about finding meaning in philosophical communities of inquiry with those of Jean-Paul Sartre, Viktor Frankl, and Emmanuel Levinas, in particular with regard to the association between meaning and responsibility. (shrink)
A philosophy with children community of inquiry encourage children to develop a philosophical sensitivity that entails awareness of abstract questions related to human existence. When it operates, it can allow insight into significant philosophical aspects of various situations and their analysis. This article seeks to contribute to the discussion of philosophical sensitivity by adducing an additional dimension—namely, the development of a socio-philosophical sensitivity by means of a philosophical community of inquiry focused on texts linked to these themes and an analysis (...) of them with the help of narratival tools that explain the children’s philosophical moves. (shrink)
All over the Internet, many websites operate dealing with collective and personal memory. The sites relevant to collective memory deal with structuring the memory of social groups and they comprise part of “civil religion”. The sites that deal with personal memory memorialize people who have died and whose family members or friends or other members of their community have an interest in preserving their memory. This article offers an analysis of an expanded philosophical discourse that took place over a two-year (...) period with three groups of young people who had experienced loss in their families or their communities and who were partners in writing texts on memorial sites or had established websites as part of coping with the loss. This article seeks to offer a narrative analysis of the philosophical discourse and to contribute to an expansion of the discussion regarding the connection between Philosophy with Children and its methods and the social networks where entire lives involving philosophical dimensions are conducted. (shrink)
This article addresses the principal challenges the philosophy for children (P4C) educator/practitioner faces today, particularly in light of the multi-channel communication environment that threatens to undermine the philosophical enterprise as a whole and P4C in particular. It seeks to answer the following questions: a) What status does P4C hold as promoting a community of inquiry in an era in which the school discourse finds itself in growing competition with a communication discourse driven by traditional media tools?; b) What philosophical challenges (...) face P4C educators and children in consequence of the “new “subject” created by cyberspace? c) Can proper and beneficial use be made of the media in constructing a sense of relevancy and actuality within the classroom?; d) Should P4C educators espouse the communication discourse or create a counter-discourse? (shrink)
Democratic private schools in Israel are a part of the neo-liberal discourse. They champion the dialogic philosophy associated with its most prominent advocates—Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas—together with Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy, the humanistic psychology propounded by Carl Rogers, Nel Noddings’s pedagogy of care and concern, and even Gadamer’s integrative hermeneutic perspective. Democratic schools form one of the greatest challenges to State education and most vocal and active critique of the focus conservative education places on exams and achievement. This article describes (...) the dual discourse connected to the schools. The first is the inner dialogical, which is devoted to student freedom and progress, the child being placed at the center. The second is the exterior discourse, which represents the school as a place of counter-education that provides personal and group development and comprises a site of liberty and choice. The schools in Israel are described as test case and indicating the existence of a sophisticated form of deception via the use of alluring terminology. The democratic private schools should be recognized for what they really are—agents of commodification that undermine democracy rather than enhance it. (shrink)
The trend to centralization of the Mizrahi narrative has become an integral part of the nationalistic, ethnic, religious, and ideological-political dimensions of the emerging, complex Israeli identity. This trend includes several forms of opposition: strong opposition to "melting pot" policies and their ideological leaders; opposition to the view that ethnicity is a dimension of the tension and schisms that threaten Israeli society; and, direct repulsion of attempts to silence and to dismiss Mizrahim and so marginalize them hegemonically. The Mizrahi Democratic (...) Rainbow [The Keshet], the most prominent proponent and representative of this trend, was established in the 1990s with the intention of being a leading civic and political body in Israeli society. While it was the Mizrahi worldview that led to selection of the organization's name and aims, their vision was to be involved in social struggle on behalf of other groups in Israeli society. Since it was established, The Keshet has aimed to function as an assertive, long-term alternative coalition exerting influence, power, and pressure on the Israeli narrative network. And, indeed, the organization has succeeded in disrupting Israeli discourse, principally, by challenging the ideological foundations of the Zionist meta-narrative. Nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st century and nearly a decade since it was established, The Keshet not only represents the most current wave of Mizrahi discourse, it has changed it to such a great degree that it is impossible to ignore its influence. Further, this alternative narrative may have significant potential to advance the internal Jewish discourse so fundamental at this time given the changing Israeli situation and regional conditions. And, while it is possible to view The Keshet and this new narrative as a continuation of the Mizrahi struggle, as a narrative The Keshet's agenda represents a post-colonial perspective and multi-cultural alternative to Zionism as a social vehicle. Amidst all of this, The Keshet continues to offer concrete proposals to change the Jewish character of the state as well as its internal and external relations. One of the primary goals of this study was to examine the rise of the Mizrahi narrative over the last two decades and the new Mizrahi discourse in Israeli society. More specifically, the study sought to attain an in-depth understanding of the central narrative created and represented by The Keshet. An additional goal was to investigate the influence of The Keshet's activity and the narrative it constructed in regard to other narratives. In particular, the study focused on The Keshet's opposition to the central Zionist narrative that infuses civic, political, and academic frameworks in Israel. Accordingly, the primary research questions investigated in the study sought to determine: What has been the influence of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow on the Mizrahi narrative in Israel? And, what are implications of such influence for the central Zionist narrative? Methodologically, the study was based on narrative and comparative analyses of texts from different periods of the older and newer Mizrahi narratives. The corpus included two types of texts: First, academic texts and opinion pieces, both philosophical and programmatic in nature, published in magazines, journals, books, as well as position papers; second, all of the texts published by prominent and influential figures who charted the path of The Keshet or led it organizationally and/or intellectually over the last twenty years (e. g., Yehudah Shenhav, Yossi Yona, Moshe Krief among others). All texts were examined by means of philosophical, historical and critical hermeneutic tools. This analysis revealed different levels of Mizrahi and civic discourse in Israel as well as among The Keshet's founders and leading ideologues. The study was based on a three stage process model, developed for purposes of this study, for investigation and analysis of the new Mizrahi narrative as well as other oppositional narratives, in particular opposition to the hegemonic meta-narrative. The stages are: issuing the challenge, dissolution and, liberation; that is, liberation is the measure of the ultimate success of the struggle for narrative change. Such change is not based on success in the field, but rather on a radical, fundamental reversal of thought, discourse patterns, stylistic structures, as well as forms of questioning - in this case of taken-for-granted racist mechanisms. However, the principal change is in achieving a deep, inner de-legitimization of the signifiers, categories, and reproductions of all manner of mockery that are based on immoral colonialist processes that are reinforced by regimes of fear and intimidation whose self-destruction began upon their very creation. This three stage model charts the course of the oppositional Mizrahi narrative from: accounting for the past (passing judgment on the so-called historic colonialist Zionism) to writing a new (pure Mizrahi) history and creation of a Mizrahi-Arab identity separate from the Ashkenazic, identified as Zionist. Contemporary post-colonialist discourse is integral in these stages. Such a perspective has been transformed by transitions from - binarism to hybridity, Orientalism to Occidentalism, the politics of "liberation" to "constructive" politics, from the history of consciousness to the history of change, as well as from nationalist to post-nationalist questions. Fundamentally, according to this approach, political and other struggles for the emerging narrative of Mizrahi (or Arab) history seek to centralize it in society and weave it amidst the models of multiculturalism. Undertaken in parallel, the central characteristics of all these stages are borrowed from countries in which the need for national reconciliation led to renunciation of apartheid and racist policies and historical judgment of the hegemony supported by racist leaders. In addition, these three moves were undertaken in Keshet and its ideologues by means of substantive symbolic violence directed at the hegemonic Ashkenazic discourse, which included creation of hatred of it, use of stereotypes the opposite of oppressive discourse, and adoption of an arrogant point of view toward it. This stands in stark contrast to the claims of the self-proclaimed new Mizrahi stance of a discourse established on purely ethical grounds that sought to cleanse itself of these very same oppressive elements. The model developed for and demonstrated in this study allows for analysis of oppositional narratives in which the libratory stage evolves into a form of entrapment, as appears to be occurring to the new Mizrahi discourse. This conclusion is based on the observations shared by many Keshet proponents including leading intellectuals who worked on the manifestos that were the subject of criticism from the Zionist camp. The study identified and defined the following six interwoven strata, which for purposes of explication are each discussed in a separate chapter: The first chapter presents a general theoretical discussion of the issue of the narrative and the inter-narrative struggle that has become central and applicable in various ways in the latest generation (e. g., anthropologically, hermeneutically, and philosophically). The analysis surveys different discussions in the inter-narrative struggle and locates them in the contexts, relations, and meanings derived from, representing, and indeed reproducing the narrative of national identity. The second chapter includes a historical survey of the older Mizrahi struggle that existed prior to the ascendance of the new Mizrahi narrative. Initially, Mizrahi discourse focused on expressing the ethnic protest that grew in years to follow. These feelings of discrimination and social distancing of the immigrants from Islamic countries gave birth to expressions of protest, the most prominent of which were Wadi Salib and the Black Panther Movement's various activities. The research literature contains many explanations for the exacerbation of the ethnic problem and creation of a situation that could not be ignored. The consensus academic view reached at the end of the 1970s identified a number of primary factors for this situation: the existence and extensive numbers of different ethnic groups; the relative or absolute segregation of frameworks within which members of these ethnic groups lived and acted; and the significant overlap between socio-economic status and feelings of discrimination retained by members of the Mizrahi group due years of neglect by the Ashkenazic establishment, the strengthening of Mizrahi social, cultural, and political power, as well as the emergence of a Mizrahi elite that identified with Mizrahi problems. The severe consequences of feelings of discrimination were expressed in a long series of events, such as: rioting by residents of the Rehovot Sharayim neighborhood in 1956; events of Wadi Salib in Haifa in 1959; and a chain of activities involving the Black Panthers in the 1970s. Protest was also an aspect of the "tent movement" in the 1970s and 1980s. Political activities were advanced by the Tami Movement that competed in the election for the 10th Knesset in 1981 and the Shas Movement that has continued to garner political power since being found in 1984. The 1980s and 1990s were characterized as the era of radical consciousness of Mizrahi discourse as well as by the rise to power, in consecutive order, of the political parties – Tami, Shas, and the Mizrahim HaHadashim [the New Mizrahi]. The latter party laid the foundations of the new radical Mizrahi discourse from which emerged such cultural activities as: Iton Aher [A Different Newspaper]; Bimat Kivon Aher [Another Direction Forum]; Efir'yon journal; the Halah Organization for Education in Neighborhoods, Development Towns, and Villages; Kedma; the newspaper – Patish [Hammer]; and, eventually the establishment of Keshet. The third chapter presents an examination of the materialization of the inter-narrative struggle in the case of Israel, with a specific focus on The Keshet and the new Mizrahi narrative advanced by it and intellectuals. The Keshet ideology is examined in the context of its grounding in post-colonial thought, especially that of Edward Said; the directions proposed by Ella Shohat and her followers; the central thinkers of the narrative in Israel in the last decade; and the harsh critique leveled at the Ashkenazic-Zionist narrative. The practical steps proposed for implementation within the multicultural model are also examined. Here the effort to reduce the centrality of Zionism while revealing its oppressive mechanisms was undertaken in parallel with use of these mechanisms in order to create a Mizrahi space with broad margins inclusive of alternative forms of Israeli identity in the Middle East and in conjunction with Arabs within and beyond Israel. Mizrahi traditionalism is examined in the fourth chapter in two particular respects. First, the criticism of the new Mizrahi narrative leveled by the renewed view and, second, the implications of the alternative in terms of creating a Mizrahi space that does not oppose Zionism. Rather, in opposing the post-colonialist perspective, this renewed traditionalist perspective criticizes as well as values Zionism. This space seeks to be both Jewish and Mizrahi. It does not detach itself from nationalist Zionism but rather views itself as a continuation of this tradition and, accordingly, is an effort to develop a next stage in its development. For example, an essential dimension of the traditionalist perspective, "commitment," is considered in this stage to be a fertile basis for dialogue with the past and as an anchor for contemporary interpretation of Mizrahi and other Jews' identities in Israel. The fifth and sixth chapters deal with all of the vectors of criticism directed at the new Mizrahi narrative, including its ideological foundations, philosophical stance, as well as intellectual and practical basis in the Israeli sphere in the face of Palestinian nationalism. These vectors of criticism from within and beyond The Keshet deal with issues, such as, the meaning of the movement's activities and the narrative that it offers regarding questions of Israeli identity, Israeli collective memory, and Mizrahi self-perception. At the same time, it must confront the capitalist neo-liberal narrative in a global world and thrive in a context in which it must make itself manifest amidst oppositional narratives. The final chapter presents a comprehensive, critical analysis of the new Mizrahi narrative. It does so by means of a theoretical model that examines it as an oppositional narrative – one that seeks to challenge the hegemonic meta-narrative, to dissolve the boundaries of the narrative discourse, and to propose liberation and redemption that may led to entrapment amidst a changing, a-dichotomous realities (e. g., global economic development in the face of Zionist nationalisms that display ideological strength as well as development of the sense of being an Israeli that maintains its vitality and continuity while being constituted by sectors that challenge being a Mizrahi, such as co-ethnic subjects. The Keshet's influence is dramatic and extends in a number of central directions. Its political activity and non-entry into the domains of the Israeli parliament granted the movement significant power in civic discourse and contributed to changing the persona of the Mizrahi discourse; for example, from political-party struggles over budgets and obtaining shares of the regime to changing the face of Israeli society and the centrality of the Mizrahi narrative. This change included deconstructing the Ashkenazic narrative and constructing comprehensive Ashkenazic-Zionist guilt, as evident in the Ehud Barak's request for collective forgiveness. This was accomplished through the participation of leading members of Keshet who appeared in prominent intellectual forums and engaged in lively discourse - principally in academic, social, and media domains. Such participation gave new meaning to various aspects of Israeli society while establishing different models of multiculturalism. The rise of the new Mizrahi narrative is a significant marker in the inter-narrative struggle as it represents a desire for separate or hybrid identities. And, the deep probing of the narrative constructed by leaders of The Keshet and those who identify with the movement produced a number of clear ways to distinguish it from the old Mizrahi struggle, whose history was portrayed through social protests, in a manner similar to linear vectors marked with wars and elections. The old Mizrahi struggle selected the traditional tactical struggle identified usually with social and political movements that seek to change political, social, and economic reality - from the bottom up. Their primary demand was to change decisions as well as the division of social goods and resources. Hence, this older period of struggle was not aimed at opposing the ideological foundations of the hegemonic narrative nor did it seek to undermine in a radical manner the unique nature of the state of Israel as a revolutionary solution for the problems of the Jews according to the Zionist approach, as a national home for the Jewish people, and recognition of the right to an preferred and meta-definition of Jewish nationalism. In contrast, the top down struggle advanced by the new narrative is part of an ideological movement led by the educated that is assertive and ground in post-colonialist theory. Accordingly, it was critical of the techniques and mechanisms of oppression as well as sought to attack the Zionist ideological foundations and to reveal its racist operations and the regimes that have preserved it so efficiently for many years. The uniqueness of this narrative is the intellectual offensive that continues to be advanced and, in parallel, development of the discourse struggle in Israel concerning the justification for Zionism and the concrete political proposal that Jews reject the taken-for-granted status of it as an ideology. This new narrative recognizes the historic difficulties of subversion as an emancipatory and, principally, moral effort. In addition, the new Mizrahi narrative shares the foundations and narrative of Palestinian victimization. In its radical version, the new Mizrahi narrative seeks to connect to the Palestinian narrative in order to create a new space here. According to this version, this action will take place gradually. The first stage will be characterized by opposition to Western European, Ashkenazic Zionism. The Eurocentric Zionism will surrender in the second stage, to be followed in the last stage by creation of a coalition of Jews and Arabs that will be establish through concrete actualization of the refugee status and victimization that is shared by both Palestinians and Mizrahim (whether as Mizrahim or Jewish-Arab). Not a speculative academic exercise, the goal sought by this narrative is delineate and to achieve a multicultural model in which equality, liberty, and social justice will overcome the nationalism and colonialism of either side; that is it will be neither Zionist nor Jewish. Thus, this approach stresses what is shared (e.g., acceptance of the Arab space and not a rejection of it; the legitimacy of the Arab language and culture). This is part of detachment from and historic judgment of the colonialist Zionist enterprise. This possibility includes moral elements that remove the evil and harm caused by Zionism for many years as well as inner cleansing – primarily among Ashkenazim – of attitudes towards Jews and non-Jews. Though, in this regard, it should be noted that, to date, the new narrative has not made similar claims that Palestinians undergo a similar process. The assumption seems to be that this should be tested, that the coalition proposed is a possibility that will be recognized by the Palestinians, and that they are prepared to undergo a similar, shared moral process that involves negating the state of Israel as a Jewish, Western state, a state of the Jewish people, and not only for those who live within it. These Mizrahi thinkers conducted a significant move through deconstruction and substitution of the Eurocentric narrative with a multi-cultural proposal that is optimistic and even attractively naïve. Today, they acknowledge that they did not take into account Palestinian nationalist violence directed to citizens, the traditionalist alternative, and widespread opposition within the Mizrahi community toward what is perceived to be Mizrahi seclusion. They also did not take into account the harsh criticism rendered by young and educated Mizrahim who claim that they were born into a complex, multi-dimensional, multi-layered identity that includes internalization of the language of the West and rules of the game of this complex identity. And, though they are critical of some of its values, this makes it difficult to mount internal emotional opposition to the West and to the globalization contained within this world. Hence, this more familiar world is preferred over the values of the Mizrahi-Arab alternative, particularly in regard to problems in the domains of democratic citizenship, stance taken toward women, and freedom of speech. Further, educated Mizrachim reject the post-colonialist perspective and are stridently critical of its dichotomization. They claim that such a division is irrelevant in a world in which older ideologies have collapsed and new spheres – such as cyberspace and others – are open to them in which they can present themselves with an Israeli identity that is not categorized as necessarily Mizrahi. (shrink)
This paper will focus on an ethical tension in community of philosophical inquiry with children and young adults and the resolution that I suggest is called Enabling Identity. The model Enabling Identity seeks to endow a voice for children and adolescents from marginalized groups by challenging the mainstream hegemonic discourse that governs the discourse where communities of philosophical inquiry operate. One of the challenges Philosophy for Children (P4C) faces today is enabling the voices of marginalized groups represented within communities of (...) philosophical inquiry comprised of children or adults to be heard. The participants in communities of philosophical inquiry who come from nonprivileged backgrounds and low socio-economic sectors or national minorities whose narrative does not accord with that of the dominant national narrative feel uncomfortable expressing their feelings and experiences, preferring not to raise the questions that interest them. Even if they are amicable, such communities of inquiry are governed—even if implicitly—by the hegemonic meta-narrative. This article analyzes this ethical tension and suggests a three-phase theoretical and practical model, which depicts this enabling while relying on narrative theory as well as on the philosophical and dialogical work of Emmanuel Levinas and Martin Buber. The last part also offers insights from research in German and Israeli communities of inquiry with children and young adults that have used this model. (shrink)
This article takes issue with Gert Biesta’s lecture and the interpretation that one of his main arguments leads to the conclusion that the world is essentialist in nature. Thus, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics, all of which any entity of that kind must have. In this text I will argue that existence “in the world” necessarily demands the belief that many other worlds consisting of diverse identities and communities have long been present and (...) should be acknowledged. It also counters the view that children must be taught to adjust to life in the world—i.e., submit and compromise—by fostering philosophical communities of inquiry that place children’s doubts and uncertainties at the center of their focus, thereby promoting the possibility of Tikkun Olam (social justice or the establishment of godly qualities throughout the world) in its broadest sense. All these “compromises” required from the child are cultivated by the “pedagogy of fear.” I submit that, when allowed to do so from a young age, children can engage in three activities: 1) the exercising of their own thinking processes; 2) the development of the will to fight for improvement of things; and 3) the identification of possibilities for change and Tikkun Olam. Children can take part from an early age in philosophical communities of inquiry in which they can think and consider ideas—including those capable of creating their own unique “worlds.” These three activities necessarily forming part of the basis of young children’s understanding of what needs “repairing” in the world. The community of inquiry can cultivate their ability to identify injustice and social wrongs and be ready to actively seek to change society. At the heart of this change lies the potential of philosophy to serve as the driving force behind action and influence rather than as a power dedicated to preserving the status quo. (shrink)
This article develops a theoretical framework for understanding the applicability and relevance of Philosophy with Children in and out of schools as a platform for self-determined learning in light of the developments of the past 40 years. Based on the philosophical writings of Matthew Lipman, the father of Philosophy for Children, and in particular his ideas regarding the search for meaning, it frames Philosophy with Children in six dimensions that contrast with classic classroom disciplinary learning, advocating a “pedagogy of searching” (...) to replace the “pedagogy of fear” that dominates traditional learning systems. (shrink)
Democratic education is one of the significant challenges facing state education in Israel. This is one of the most sophisticated versions of alternative education, which clearly criticizes the traditional education that is centered on curricula and the assessment industry that brought the strongest expression.) This article seeks to contribute to the discussion of the place of democratic education as normalizing education. Democratic schools in Israel, as a space of opportunity and limitations. The article will incorporate a historical overview of the (...) philosophical approach underpinning democratic education while highlighting the opportunities it provides as a space of active and vigilant dialogue, both on its organizational and pedagogical dimensions, and will seek to clarify its social and educational opportunities. (shrink)
From its inception, philosophy for/with children (P4wC) has sought to promote philosophical discussion with children based on the latter’s own questions and a pedagogic method designed to encourage critical, creative, and caring thinking. Communities of inquiry can be plagued by power struggles prompted by diverse identities, however. These not always being highlighted in the literature or P4wC discourse, this article proposes a two-stage model for facilitators as part of their ethical responsibility. In the first phase, they should free themselves from (...) assumptions and closed-mindedness. They should liberate themselves from pedagogy of fear and “banking education” in order to act freely in an educational space characterized by improvisation that cultivates participation of the children. Here, the text is based on normalizing education principles, counter-education and diasporic-education approaches in order to ensure openness and inclusiveness. In the second, they should embrace enabling-identity views and practices in order to make the community of inquiry as identity-broad and -rich as possible, recognizing and legitimizing the participants’ differences. Here, the text is based on principles such as recognizing power games as part of the community, ensuring multi-narratives human environment and enabling epistemic justice in order to ensure perspectival multiplicity, multiple identities, and the legitimization of difference characterized by pedagogy of search. (shrink)
In recent years, the educational-system development specialization of the MA program in the University of Haifa’s Faculty of Education has held an annual seminar on Philosophy for/with Children (P4wC). Under my guidance, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Circassian students have formed a group embodying a living and breathing dialogical space. Despite the global spread of P4wC principles following the emergence of the P4C movement promoted by the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry and its practice in dozens of national and regional (...) centers, neither approach is formally taught in Israeli universities and colleges. Both thus remain outside the pedagogical mainstream, the University of Haifa—where I teach—being the only institution at which they can be studied at an MA level. I have also established the Israeli Academic Forum for Philosophy with Children, which conducts seminars and offers professional development, etc. (shrink)
A new program of teacher training in a dialogical spirit in order to prepare them towards working in the field of philosophy with children combines cultivating creativity and self-reflective thinking had been operated as a part of cooperation between the academia and the education system in Israel. This article describes the program that is a part of their practice towards co-operation between academia and schools as a part of PDS (Professional Development Schools) partnership. The program fosters creativity and self-reflective thinking (...) in schools and teacher training, and offers dialogical methods through the philosophy of Martin Buber, Emanuel Levinas and Paulo Freire. The program encourages adopting principles proposed by Martin Buber (1947, 1957, 1959), who perceived education as a dialogue among people whose humanity is fully manifested in its reciprocity. This is an unequivocal stance, maintaining that neither skillful technique nor exciting contents can replace the experience of the spontaneous, authentic concrete presence of the educator’s personality. The dialogic dimension of the program draws its significance from the principle of responsibility, as expressed by Emanuel Levinas (2003). It is based on the idea that the human being, as a speaking subject, does not place himself/herself in the center, but turns to the other. This committed attitude of the other must be expressed in education action, in clothing the naked and feeding the hungry as expressed by Paulo Freire (1973). These principles implemented in teacher education and teacher training requires active listening, a capacity to be response-able to environment in which teachers are situated and it seeks to uncover assumptions, reflect on concepts in use and assist the new teacher to be involve on a philosophical inquiry, as well as situating self-understanding in the context of philosophy of education. (shrink)
The debate on history teaching in the Israeli education system often digresses beyond the disagreements between professionals, teachers and educators regarding the discipline. It reflects different points of views regarding the role of the state as an educating factor, its commitment to teach national, nation building, values and its adherence to humanistic, man building, values and democratic, society building, values.
This article discusses the conditions under which dialogical learner-researchers can move out of the philosophical laboratory of a community of philosophical inquiry into the field of social activism, engaging in a critical and creative examination of society and seeking to change it. Based on Matthew Lipman’s proposal that communities of philosophical inquiry can serve as a model of social activism in the present, it presents the community of philosophical inquiry as a model for social activism in the future. In other (...) words, Lipman’s central ideas in his earlier and later thought—including meaning as a mode of action, relevance as a way of examining life and stimulating influence for change as a form of creating a democratic society—establish two parallel circle of influence: the present time, in the shape of the philosophical community of inquiry that allows activist skills to be honed, and a social space that extends into the future as a forum for applying principles and bettering society. Finally, this paper adduces several forms of social activism that may be anchored in philosophical awareness of real conditions and their contexts. Through them, the community of philosophical inquiry not only constitutes a place in which young people’s thought processes can be developed but also one in which they can aspire to become activists in various areas. (shrink)
Can poetry be Diasporic? Can poetry free itself from the shackles of conformism? Can it be independent and divergent, and not seek a home? Is it capable of mustering its inner strengths and living without being enlisted by a collective that accords it power? This article argues that poetry is essentially dialectic. It has little vitality without the presence of the Other, without interaction with him. However, it also contains independent, personal elements and reaches its peak through the individual’s anti-conformist (...) activity and expression. Poetry, like language, enables us to view ourselves from outside, thereby fulfilling an important role, similar to language itself, and it is created by the individual’s alienation even from himself. Poetry may provide one of the most creative potential tools of Diasporic philosophy, love and creativity being its cornerstones, but it can also be a destructive factor seeking to imprison the creative soul within a home with the solid walls of a rigid community. (shrink)
The use of WhatsApp as a means of communication is widespread amongst today‘s youth, many of whom spend hours in virtual space, in particular during the evenings and nighttime in the privacy of their own homes. This article seeks to contribute to the discussion of the dialogical language and ―conversations‖ conducted in virtual-space encounters and the way in which young people perceive this space, its affect on them, and their interrelations within it. It presents the findings of a study based (...) on a community of philosophical inquiry in which young adults students discussed the ―I‖ and ―Thou‖ (the other) and the interaction between them in a WhatsApp community. The results evince that the youth related to the virtual space in very similar fashion to Buber‘s ―I-Thou‖ concept, the language they employed to describe what happened in it enabling an expansion of the conceptualization and research language to an ―I-Space-Thou‖ model. (shrink)
Otherness was at the center of the Levinese project, and in his ethics theory. In doing so, Levinas moved his project away from ontology, epistemology, and reason, to a point where the others are confronted in all its "nudes," to the point where it is recognizable that it cannot be reduced. In this article, I will examine the concepts of responsibility and the connection of the other person's humanism from his major books.
The ‘Marwa’ elementary school (pseudonym) – an Israeli public school on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Authority – is a unique educational institution in that, despite being not religious, it only accepts from Grade 1 through to Grade 6 girls. Several years ago, the principal decided to implement a Philosophy with Children (PwC) programme as an alternative pedagogy. This paper surveys how the educational faculty regarded the introduction of this curriculum and how it contributed towards the development of (...) philosophical discursive skills, a classroom atmosphere of friendship and caring, and critical and creative thinking competence amongst the students. (shrink)
This chapter discusses a form of pedagogy of reflection suggested to be defined as the dialogical-reflective professional-development school (DRPDS) a framework that develops and empowers students by engaging them in a process of continual improvement, responding to diverse situations, providing stimuli for learning, and giving anchors for mediation. The pedagogy of reflection relates to dialogue not only from a theoretical historical context but also by way of example that is, it offers empowering dialogues within the traditional teacher-training framework. (...) This chapter outlines the importance of the pedagogy of reflection in the multicultural educational space of the preservice education field in Israel, analyzing the first university PDS model. The pedagogy of reflection in the context of the educational dialogue of educators is outlined as a tool for student empowerment, achieved through a community of learners who dedicate space to the development of their whole personality within the profession, taking a moral stance toward the educational discourse, minimizing judgmentalism and prejudice, creating national/gender equality with the goal of examining the fundamental question of educational performance, and reinforcing their sense of organizational belonging within the system. In these contexts, the chapter is based on the elements of dialogical philosophy exemplified in the thought of Burbules, Nelson, Isaacs, Bohm, and Heckmann and the reflective basis of educational and organizational performance exemplified in the writings of van Manen. The chapter also presents two examples from a project in which teaching units based on dialogue and reflection were developed within a dialogic community that represents in its very being collective empowerment, the possibility of coping with problems that are too large for an individual to solve on his/her own, and an alternative to sealed and alienated organizations. (shrink)
100 years have passed since the Balfour declaration, and this significant historical document is still under much scrutiny and at the same time highly relevant. Each side – the Jews and the Palestinians – makes a structured political use of it, in order to justify its arguments, and to criticizes what does not fit his narrative; and this mainly to deepen his justifications and nationalist ideology.
The new Mizrahi narrative, presented by Israeli Mizrahi groups such as The Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow, presents a challenge to multi-cultural education. In particular, it repudiates the hegemonic meta-narrative of Ashkenazi-Zionist-Jewish-Israeli history that identifies the (White) Ashkenazi as the Zionist. The article summarizes a narrative-oriented academic research of the evolution of the new Mizrahi narrative in Israel, since the 1990s.It presents findings from historical, philosophical, and narrative analyses of texts from different periods of older and newer Mizrahi struggles in Israel. The (...) article presents a three-stage model of the development of resistance narratives that evolved, in this case, in opposition to the hegemonic Ashkenazi mega-narrative, and that employed different practices that facilitated their expression in social narrative networks. These stages are: (1) accounting for the past (placing historic, colonialist Zionism on trial); (2) writing a new (purely Mizrahi) historiography; and (3) creating an Arab-Mizrahi identity separate from the Ashkenazi hegemony (identified as occupational Zionism that has been violent against both Jews and Arabs, and which is an invasive, foreign growth in a non-European space). The article offers critical perspectives on the main philosophical and educational challenges of the new narrative which reveals that, historically, these three processes also involve use of stereotypes and assumed an elitist point of view that governed development of the resistance discourse. Such actions contradict the movement’s claim that the new Mizrahi narrative exists on purely moral grounds and seeks to liberate itself from these very same oppressive elements found in the dominant meta-narrative. In contrast, the analytical approach presented in this article allows for an analysis of the resistance narrative that changes the stage of liberation to one of unification. (shrink)
This article reviews an extensive study of Israeli secondary school general history curricula and textbooks since the establishment of the state in 1948 until the present day. By analyzing the way in which Germany is presented in various contexts, the findings of the study indicate that, while the textbooks reflect a shift from an early censorious attitude to a factual approach, the curriculum continues to present national Jewish Zionism as the metanarrative. In this context, Germany is framed as a victimizer.
This paper provides insights into the pedagogy in practice of non-mainstream education through a qualitative case study of an alternative school in the context of the Israeli school system. The school’s alternative agenda is based on being isolated from mainstream education. We explore the negotiations between the school’s pedagogy and mainstream educational standards. We point to the tensions stemming from the intersections between the school’s ideals and the external context. This issue is significant for understanding the voices that affect alternative (...) education, in relation to its aspiration for autonomous practices, and the ways in which secluded practices are permeated by mainstream influences. Our findings reveal that these negotiations centre on issues relating to learning, knowledge, and assessment. Mainstream standards pass into the alternative educational schemes, creating challenges leading not to a rejection of mainstream demands but to a need to balance between the different educational approaches. The act of balancing does not negate the significance of the alternative school. On the contrary, the ability to suspend educational isolation by interacting with the surrounding educational context enables this type of alternative education to stay in touch with its radical educational agenda. (shrink)
The article conceptualizes the term Pedagogy of Fear as the master narrative of educational systems around the world. Pedagogy of Fear stunts the active and vital educational growth of the young person, making him/her passive and dependent upon external disciplinary sources. It is motivated by fear that prevents young students—as well as teachers—from dealing with the great existential questions that relate to the essence of human beings. One of the techniques of the Pedagogy of Fear is the internalization of the (...) view that without evaluation and assessment we cannot know a child’s level or “worth”—and therefore are unable to help him/her if he is “slow in learning.” In contrast, Philosophy for/with Children offers a space for addressing existential questions, some of which deal with urgent social issues. The willingness to make philosophy inquiry an alternative already from an early age seeks to allow the child to challenge him/herself with new and fresh questions. Philosophy for/with Children does not regard children as a “space of lack” (experience, knowledge, values, etc.) The new and fresh philosophical perspective of children demands the presence of a willingness to engage in dialogue and rejection of the fear of the innocent and deep questions of philosophy. Shaking free of the Pedagogy of Fear and restoring honor to children’s questions demands a fundamental conceptual change within education. The replacement of existential certainty as it is depicted by adults in the existing education system with an existential question is a heavy intellectual task that in most cases is viewed as subversive—primarily on the part of the adult. It demands a return to starting points and a willingness to allow children a free and safe educational space in which to ground preliminary and fertile questions about themselves, their lives, their environment, and, most of all, the changing world they discover with the form of originality that is right for them. (shrink)
This article explores Gerardus van der Leeuw’s view of phenomenology of religion. The phenomenological method he defended is basically a hermeneutical approach in which an observer relates personally and even existentially to the “phenomena” he studies in order to determine their essence. In his anthropology a similar way of relating to the world is discussed: the “primitive mentality” that is characterized by the “need to participate”. Both phenomenology and mentalité primitive imply a critique of modern scholarship. This fundamental criticism of (...) the prevailing approach in the humanities including religious studies explains the growing distance between van der Leeuw and the majority of scholars of religion in the decades after his death in 1950. (shrink)
Ariès traces Western man's attitudes toward mortality from the early medieval conception of death as the familiar collective destiny of the human race to the modern tendency, so pronounced in industrial societies, to hide death as if it were an embarrassing family secret.
This remarkable book--the fruit of almost two decades of study--traces in compelling fashion the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day. A truly landmark study, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages in our perceptions of life in relation to death, each stage representing a virtual redefinition of human nature. Starting at the very foundations of Western culture, the eminent historian Phillipe Aries shows how, (...) from Graeco-Roman times through the first ten centuries of the Common Era, death was too common to be frightening; each life was quietly subordinated to the community, which paid its respects and then moved on. Aries identifies the first major shift in attitude with the turn of the eleventh century when a sense of individuality began to rise and with it, profound consequences: death no longer meant merely the weakening of community, but rather the destruction of self. Hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Aries shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century--how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives--and points out what may be done to "re-tame" this secret terror. The richness of Aries's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards (with their often macabre headstones and monuments), to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, paintings, diaries, town plans, crime and sanitation reports, and grave robbing complaints, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history--indeed the pathology--of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death. (shrink)
Constructions of Intersubjectivity shows that the meaning of grammatical constructions often has more to do with the human cognitive capacity for taking other peoples' points of view than with describing the world. Treating pragmatics, semantics, and syntax in parallel and integrating insights from linguistics, psychology, and animal communication, Arie Verhagen develops a new understanding of linguistic communication. In doing so he shows the continuity between language and animal communication and reveals the nature of human linguistic specialization. Professor Verhagen uses (...) Dutch and English data from a wide variety of sources and considers the contributions of grammar to the coherence of discourse. He argues that important problems in semantics and syntax may be resolved if language is understood as an instrument for exerting influence and coordinating different perspectives. The grammatical phenomena he discusses include negative expressions, the let alone construction, complementation constructions, and discourse connectives.This powerfully argued and original explanation of the nature and operation of communication will interest a wide range of scholars and advanced students in linguistics, cognitive science, and human evolution. (shrink)
Many believe that the ethical problems of donation after cardiocirculatory death (DCD) have been "worked out" and that it is unclear why DCD should be resisted. In this paper we will argue that DCD donors may not yet be dead, and therefore that organ donation during DCD may violate the dead donor rule. We first present a description of the process of DCD and the standard ethical rationale for the practice. We then present our concerns with DCD, including the following: (...) irreversibility of absent circulation has not occurred and the many attempts to claim it has have all failed; conflicts of interest at all steps in the DCD process, including the decision to withdraw life support before DCD, are simply unavoidable; potentially harmful premortem interventions to preserve organ utility are not justifiable, even with the help of the principle of double effect; claims that DCD conforms with the intent of the law and current accepted medical standards are misleading and inaccurate; and consensus statements by respected medical groups do not change these arguments due to their low quality including being plagued by conflict of interest. Moreover, some arguments in favor of DCD, while likely true, are "straw-man arguments," such as the great benefit of organ donation. The truth is that honesty and trustworthiness require that we face these problems instead of avoiding them. We believe that DCD is not ethically allowable because it abandons the dead donor rule, has unavoidable conflicts of interests, and implements premortem interventions which can hasten death. These important points have not been, but need to be fully disclosed to the public and incorporated into fully informed consent. These are tall orders, and require open public debate. Until this debate occurs, we call for a moratorium on the practice of DCD. (shrink)
Some people claim that evolution is "just a theory". Do you know what a scientific theory really is? Just a theory is an overview of the modern concepts of science. A clear understanding of the nature of science will enable you to distinguish science from pseudoscience (which illegitimately wraps itself in the mantle of science), and real social issues in science from the caricatures portrayed in postmodernist critiques. Prof. Ben-Ari's style is light (even humorous) and easy to read, bringing the (...) latest concepts of science to the general reader. Of particular interest is his analysis of the terminology of science (fact, law, proof, theory) in relation to the colloquial meaning of these terms. Between chapters are biographical vignettes of scientists — both familiar and unfamiliar — showing their common commitment to the enterprise of science, together with a diversity of backgrounds and personalities. This accessible, informative, and comprehensive work will give lay readers a good grasp of real science. (shrink)
The Vatican recently published directives regarding “beginning of life” issues that explain the Catholic Church's position regarding new technologies in this area. We think that it is important to develop a response that presents the traditional Orthodox Jewish position on these same issues in order to present an alternative, parallel system. There are many points of commonality between the Vatican document and traditional Jewish thought as well as several important issues where there is a divergence of opinion. The latter include (...) the status of the zygote as produced during in vitro fertilization, the acceptable of procreation in a method other than through the conjugal act, and the permissibility of deriving benefit from the products of an illicit act. These points of agreement and disagreement are discussed in detail in this article. (shrink)
Within the space of a few years, the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation, and its acronym RRI, catapulted from an obscure phrase to the topic of conferences and attempts to specify and realize it. How did this come about, and against which backdrop? What are the dynamics at present, and what do these imply for the future of RRI as a discourse, and as a patchwork of practices? It is a social innovation which creates opening in existing divisions of (...) moral labour, a notion that is explained with the help of the history of responsibility language. It is filled in for the present situation and ongoing developments. Some elements may stabilize and this creates a path into the future. There will be reductions of the originally open-ended innovation, some productive, others less so. This is a reason to regularly inquire into the value of the reductions and the directions the path is taking. (shrink)
Brain death is accepted in most countries as death. The rationales to explain why brain death is death are surprisingly problematic. The standard rationale that in brain death there has been loss of integrative unity of the organism has been shown to be false, and a better rationale has not been clearly articulated. Recent expert defences of the brain death concept are examined in this paper, and are suggested to be inadequate. I argue that, ironically, these defences demonstrate the lack (...) of a defensible rationale for why brain death should be accepted as death itself. If brain death is death, a conceptual rationale for brain death being equivalent to death should be clarified, and this should be done urgently. (shrink)
An ℵ1-Souslin tree is a complicated combinatorial object whose existence cannot be decided on the grounds of ZFC alone. But fifteen years after Tennenbaum and Jech independently devised notions of forcing for introducing such a tree, Shelah proved that already the simplest forcing notion—Cohen forcing—adds an ℵ1-Souslin tree.In this article, we identify a rather large class of notions of forcing that, assuming a GCH-type hypothesis, add a λ+-Souslin tree. This class includes Prikry, Magidor, and Radin forcing.
The dominant approach to the public sphere is characterized by idealism and normativism. It overemphasizes civic-minded or civil discourse, envisions unrealistically egalitarian and widespread participation, has difficulty dealing with consequential public events, and neglects the spatial core of the public sphere and the effects of visibility. I propose a semiotic theory that approaches the public sphere through general sensory access. This approach enables a superior understanding of all public events, discursive or otherwise. It also captures the dialectical relationship between the (...) public sphere and politics by (1) specifying the mechanisms through which visibility and publicity become resources or constraints for political actors, (2) explaining the political regulation of visibility, (3) showing the central role that struggles over the contents of public spaces play in political conflict, and (4) analyzing the links among social structure, social norms, and political action in the transformation of the public sphere. (shrink)
There might not be a specific nano-ethics, but there definitely is an ethics of new & emerging science and technology (NEST), with characteristic tropes and patterns of moral argumentation. Ethical discussion in and around nanoscience and technology reflects such NEST-ethics. We offer an inventory of the arguments, and show patterns in their evolution, in arenas full of proponents and opponents. We also show that there are some nano-specific issues: in how size matters, and when agency is delegated to smart devices. (...) Our overall approach is a pragmatist ethics, and we conclude that struggle (and learning) might be more productive than models emphasizing consensus. (shrink)
This article explores the various uses or – according to some authors, such as the sociologist James Beckford – misuses of the term ‘postsecular’. The variations in its use are indeed so broad that the question is justified whether the terminology as such has much analytical value. The prominence of the ‘postsecular’ in present-day debates in my view primarily indicates the inability among scholars, intellectuals and religious interest groups to come to grips with what – for some at least – (...) is an unexpected presence and resurgence of religion in the public domains of presumably secular societies. The work of the cultural anthropologist Talal Asad shows that the secular does not preclude the religious. All kinds of religious arguments, organizations, and agents are very much present in modern ‘secular’ societies. From this perspective, the emergence of the ‘postsecular’ refers to very real phenomena, most importantly the intertwinement of the secular and the religious. For instance, religious actors do not accept the barriers of secular society and claim a role for religion in public and secular arenas. This insight could be one of the most important driving forces behind the popularity of the term ‘postsecular’ in recent years. (shrink)
The Technology Assessment (TA) Program established in 2003 as part of the Dutch R&D consortium NanoNed is interesting for what it did, but also as an indication that there are changes in how new science and technology are pursued: the nanotechnologists felt it necessary to spend part of their funding on social aspects of nanotechnology. We retrace the history of the TA program, and present the innovative work that was done on Constructive TA of emerging nanotechnology developments and on aspects (...) of embedding of nanotechnology in society. One achievement is the provision of tools and approaches to help make the co-evolution of technology and society more reflexive. We briefly look forward by outlining its successor program, TA NanoNextNL, in place since 2011. (shrink)