The logic of Conditional Beliefs has been introduced by Board, Baltag, and Smets to reason about knowledge and revisable beliefs in a multi-agent setting. In this article both the semantics and the proof theory for this logic are studied. First, a natural semantics forCDLis defined in terms of neighbourhood models, a multi-agent generalisation of Lewis’ spheres models, and it is shown that the axiomatization ofCDLis sound and complete with respect to this semantics. Second, it is shown that the neighbourhood semantics (...) is equivalent to the original one defined in terms of plausibility models, by means of a direct correspondence between the two types of models. On the basis of neighbourhood semantics, a labelled sequent calculus forCDLis obtained. The calculus has strong proof-theoretic properties, in particular admissibility of contraction and cut, and it provides a decision procedure for the logic. Furthermore, its semantic completeness is used to obtain a constructive proof of the finite model property of the logic. Finally, it is shown that other doxastic operators can be easily captured within neighbourhood semantics. This fact provides further evidence of the naturalness of neighbourhood semantics for the analysis of epistemic/doxastic notions. (shrink)
Drawing on notions of alienation, reification and rationalization in their book Dialectic of Enlightenment, Adorno and Horkheimer explored the phenomenon of reason as such concerning the subject and the species, and diagnosed the pathologies of occidental societies. Reason provides the means for a vulnerable being to subordinate nature and serve its desire for self-preservation. However, this reason is instrumental since it objectifies the world and reifies other beings in order to render them manipulable. It is a subjective reason because it (...) promotes the subject's own ends and aims at the subject's survival at the expense of the individual's inner world of unconscious desires and instincts and the reconciliation of human beings with the external world. The myth of Ulysses is magnificantly interpreted by Horkheimer and Adorno along such anthropological lines. As I see it, this anthropology inexorably connects the advent of civilization with the reifying power of reason from the start. Against the early Frankfurt School anthropological explanation of reason, I defend the distinction between communicative and strategic rationality that presupposes a different anthropology from the Freudian one that informed the Dialectic of Enlightenment. (shrink)
This text has already been published in Studies in Philosophy and Education, Feb. 2018, n° 37, p.103–107. As we all know it, writing and reading takes time. In the contemporary social and academic context, often shaped by a destabilizing sense of acceleration and urgency, protecting the moments required for such ‘time-consuming' activities is not something that can be taken for granted anymore. The way we commit to a specific task expresses as much about the meaning it may carry that what (...) we - Débats. (shrink)
In this essay, Marianna Papastephanou discusses three books—Michalinos Zembylas's The Politics of Trauma in Education; Sigal Ben-Porath's Citizenship Under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of Conflict; and Kenneth Saltman's Capitalizing on Disaster: Taking and Breaking Public Schools—from the perspective of the material causality of conflict and of the significance this might have for conflict resolution and the role that education may play in it. Setting out from the Derridean standpoint of spectrality, Papastephanou explores divergences and convergences of Zembylas's critical (...) emotional praxis, Ben-Porath's counterposition of belligerent and expansive citizenship education, and Saltman's critique of educational programs that capitalize on natural disasters and wars. Papastephanou examines various operations of ontology in an interplay with hauntology (to use Jacques Derrida's terminology) and thus puts forward a critical approach to the contribution of each perspective. (shrink)
The error theory is a metaethical theory that maintains that normative judgments are beliefs that ascribe normative properties, and that these properties do not exist. In a recent paper, Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible to fully believe the error theory. Surprisingly, he claims that this is not a problem for the error theorist: even if we can’t fully believe the error theory, the good news is that we can still come close to believing the error theory. In this (...) paper I show that Streumer’s arguments fail. First, I lay out Streumer’s argument for why we can’t believe the error theory. Then, I argue against the unbelievability of the error theory. Finally, I show that Streumer’s positive proposal that we can come close to believing the error theory is actually undermined by his own argument for why we can’t believe the error theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I will focus on a type of confabulation that emerges in relation to questions about mental attitudes whose causes we cannot introspectively access. I argue against two popular views that see confabulations as mainly offering a psychological story about ourselves. On these views, confabulations are the result of either a cause-tracking mechanism or a self-directed mindreading mechanism. In contrast, I propose the view that confabulations are mostly telling a normative story: they are arguments primarily offered to justify (...) one’s attitudes, and they are produced by our argumentative reasoning mechanism driven by the biological goal of presenting ourselves as good reasoners and as reliable sources of information. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide epistemic reasons for investigating the notions of informal rigour and informal provability. I argue that the standard view of mathematical proof and rigour yields an implausible account of mathematical knowledge, and falls short of explaining the success of mathematical practice. I conclude that careful consideration of mathematical practice urges us to pursue a theory of informal provability.
Many of our beliefs behave irrationally: this is hardly news to anyone. Although beliefs’ irrational tendencies need to be taken into account, this paper argues that beliefs necessarily preserve at least a minimal level of rationality. This view offers a plausible picture of what makes belief unique and will help us to set beliefs apart from other cognitive attitudes.
In this paper, I discuss globalisation as an empirical reality that is in a complex relation to its corresponding discourse and in a critical distance from the cosmopolitan ideal. I argue that failure to grasp the distinctions between globalisation, globalism, and cosmopolitanism derives from mistaken identifications of the Is with the Ought and leads to naïve and ethnocentric glorifications of the potentialities of globalisation. Conversely, drawing the appropriate distinctions helps us articulate a more critical approach to contemporary cultural phenomena, and (...) reconsider the current place and potential role of education within the context of global affairs. From this perspective, the antagonistic impulses cultivated by globalisation and some globalist discourse are singled out and targeted via a radicalization of educational orientations. The final suggestion of the article concerns the vision of a more cosmopolitically sensitive education. (shrink)
Successful biomedical data mining and information extraction require a complete picture of biological phenomena such as genes, biological processes, and diseases; as these exist on different levels of granularity. To realize this goal, several freely available heterogeneous databases as well as proprietary structured datasets have to be integrated into a single global customizable scheme. We will present a tool to integrate different biological data sources by mapping them to a proprietary biomedical ontology that has been developed for the purposes of (...) making computers understand medical natural language. (shrink)
What form does power take in situations of retaliation against whistleblowers? In this article, we move away from dominant perspectives that see power as a resource. In place, we propose a theory of normative power and violence in whistleblower retaliation, drawing on an in-depth empirical study. This enables a deeper understanding of power as it circulates in complex processes of whistleblowing. We offer the following contributions. First, supported by empirical findings we propose a novel theoretical framing of whistleblower retaliation and (...) the role of mental health, which draws upon poststructuralist psychoanalytic thinking. Specifically, we highlight how intra- and inter-psychic affective and ambivalent attachments to organizations influence the use of normative violence in cases of whistleblower retaliation. The second contribution is empirical and builds upon the existing literature on whistleblower retaliation by highlighting how organizations position whistleblower subjects as mentally unstable and unreliable individuals, to undermine their claims. We conclude by highlighting the implications of normative power for the outcomes of whistleblower struggles. (shrink)
Cosmopolitan concern for the whole world is often treated as oppositional to particular collectivities, to corresponding sensibilities and to the obligations that follow from them. Tensions revolve around demands made upon the self and infuse educational discourse accordingly. Culturalism approaches the self as a culturally or multiculturally shaped identity, monopolises the terrain of cosmopolitan debate and narrows the scope of cosmopolitan education only to encouraging hybridity of selfhood and to cultivating respect and tolerance of global diversity. In this article, I (...) discuss Jeremy Waldron's conception of cosmopolitan selfhood by drawing on the exemplary status attributed to specific manifestations of hybrid identity. What will gradually emerge from my discussion is, hopefully, a broadening of cosmopolitan demands upon the self and an emphasis on the transforming and reforming rather than the forming or informing significance of cosmopolitan education. This trans/re‐forming significance is attached to a critical positioning of the subject regarding the ethico‐political responsibilities of one's home that often go unnoticed. Doing one's homework is shown to be a precondition for a cosmopolitanism understood within the order of treatment of, rather than agreement with, the Other. (shrink)
Old and new complicities of collective political attachment in violence give patriotism a bad name. Simplistic positions often view collective attachment as either entirely bad or as sanitizable merely by adding to patriotism the adjective ‘critical’. Patriotic affectivity, as illustrated with the political emotion of pride, stands out within philosophical debates. This article argues that, to think about patriotism differently, we need to look more closely at ‘optics’ of patriotism and pride that have escaped debate although they are crucial for (...) avoiding older pitfalls. To this end, I revisit Richard Rorty’s and Martha Nussbaum’s positions on pride by introducing more challenging examples of what being/feeling patriotic should mean. I reframe patriotism so that an ‘outward’ ‘optic’ acts as a strong corrective of the usual inward preoccupation with domestic issues within the polity and the state. (shrink)
Though concerned with knowledge, this article begins with unknown political events that are ignored by the culture and educational practices of the societies in whose name the events took place. The questions that these events raise indicate a relation of epistemology with ethics and education that complicates some theoretical and managerial attitudes to knowledge. This relation, along with Richard Smith’s notion of knowingness, will frame an exploration of virtue-epistemologies that contests epistemic exaggerations of the knower as accomplished virtuous character. The (...) article emphasizes the need for a normative epistemology that critically invigorates the educational aim of transmitting knowledge and submits it to ethico-political considerations. (shrink)
We assessed the automaticity of spatial-numerical and spatial-musical associations by testing their intentionality and load sensitivity in a dual-task paradigm. In separate sessions, 16 healthy adults performed magnitude and pitch comparisons on sung numbers with variable pitch. Stimuli and response alternatives were identical, but the relevant stimulus attribute (pitch or number) differed between tasks. Concomitant tasks required retention of either color or location information. Results show that spatial associations of both magnitude and pitch are load sensitive and that the spatial (...) association for pitch is more powerful than that for magnitude. These findings argue against the automaticity of spatial mappings in either stimulus dimension. (shrink)
This article focuses on John Locke's understanding of the student as a natural learner and on the ambiguous utopia of childhood that underpins this understanding. It draws a parallel between the educational utopia of natural learning and colonization, and then investigates ethico-political implications. Locke politicizes natural learning in ways that normalize exclusions at the level of intersubjective ethical relations and naturalize colonial expansion at the level of cosmopolitan right. Thought through to its implications, this claim leads to exploring connections between (...) Locke's educational philosophy and his multiple and ambiguous utopianisms. Thus examined, the political operations of Locke's pedagogy bring to the fore the subtle though no less important performativity of Locke-inspired, modern educational utopianism that remains so far under- or non-theorized in educational philosophy. (shrink)
This article argues that hegemonic cosmopolitan narrativity fails to frame a complex cosmopolitan normativity. The hegemonic cosmopolitan narrative celebrates a mobile selfhood merely hospitable to the encountered, mobile diversity that comes ashore. A recent educational-theoretical ‘refugee-crisis’ initiative serves as an illustration of the normative shortcomings of the new cosmopolitanism. The implicit normativity of the dominant cosmopolitan narrativity is, I claim, politically too weak to cover the normative surplus of a more critical cosmo-politics. Cosmopolitanism should be recast to make higher ethico-political (...) demands on the global self and world for the cultivation of neglected ecological and relational sensibilities. (shrink)
Educational philosophy has not discussed Foucault’s publications on the Iranian Revolution and the related controversy. Foucauldian concepts are applied to education, though his only writings which ‘sidetracked’ him from exploring power within the state, namely, his journalistic accounts of his visits to Iran, remain unexplored in our field. Against moralist accusations of Foucault’s views on Iran as ‘singularly uncritical’, and beyond standard postcolonial charges of Foucault with exoticism and orientalism, I examine how the writings in question reveal ambivalences and limits (...) of Foucauldian philosophy and complicate the glorification of limit-experience in educational theory. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to investigate possibilities for conceptions of critical thinking beyond the established educational framework that emphasizes skills. Distancing ourselves from the older rationalist framework, we explain that what we think wrong with the skills perspective is, amongst other things, its absolutization of performativity and outcomes. In reviewing the relevant discourse, we accept that it is possible for the skills paradigm to be change?friendly and context?sensitive but we argue that it is oblivious to other, non?purposive kinds (...) of rationality that are indispensable to critical thought. Our suggestion is that there is an aporetic element in critical thought that is missing from contemporary educational positions. We consider some other efforts to redeem the surplus of criticality that performativity fails to take into account and conclude that the aporetic element that we highlight accommodates better than other theories do the significance of thematizing the taken?for?granted instead of focusing on problem solving. (shrink)
The issue of detention as a public health control measure has attracted attention recently. This is because the threat of strains of tuberculosis that are resistant to a wider range of drugs has been identified, and there is renewed concern that public health is threatened. This paper considers whether involuntary detention is justified where voluntary measures have failed or where a patient poses a danger, albeit uncertain, to the public. We discuss the need for strengthening evidence-based assessments of public health (...) risk and suggest that we should refect more profoundly on the philosophical foundations upon which our policies and practices are grounded. (shrink)
While the notion of risk remains under-theorised in moral philosophy, risk aversion and moralist self-protection appear as dominant cultural tendencies saturating educational orientation and practice. Philosophy of education has responded to the educational emphasis on risk management by exposing the unavoidable and positive presence of risk in any endeavour to learn and teach. Taking such responses into account, I discuss how the theoretical connection of risk and education could be radicalised through an ethical approach combined with epistemological and existential concerns. (...) My aim is to propose an ethics that is sensitive to the difference between risks taken and risks imposed and to the cultural variations of what counts as danger. Finally, I explain how the educational relevance of such an ethics requires a prior questioning of the western understanding of self and world that has functioned as a subtext of the dominant view of risk. (shrink)
Over the past 25 years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of studying the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of genetic and genomic research. A large investment into ELSI research from the National Institutes of Health Human Genomic Project budget in 1990 stimulated the growth of this emerging field; ELSI research has continued to develop and is starting to emerge as a field in its own right. The evolving subject matter of ELSI research continues to raise new research (...) questions as well as prompt re-evaluation of earlier work and a growing number of scholars working in this area now identify themselves as ELSI scholars rather than with a particular discipline. Due to the international and interdisciplinary nature of ELSI research, scholars can often find themselves isolated from disciplinary or regionally situated support structures. We conducted a workshop with Early Career Researchers in Oxford, UK, and this paper discusses some of the particular challenges that were highlighted. While ELSI ECRs may face many of the universal challenges faced by ECRs, we argue that a number of challenges are either unique or exacerbated in the case of ELSI ECRs and discuss some of the reasons as to why this may be the case. We identify some of the most pressing issues for ELSI ECRs as: interdisciplinary angst and expertise, isolation from traditional support structures, limited resources and funding opportunities, and uncertainty regarding how research contributions will be measured. We discuss the potential opportunity to use web 2.0 technologies to transform academic support structures and address some of the challenges faced by ELSI ECRs, by helping to facilitate mentoring and support, access to resources and new accreditation metrics. As our field develops it is crucial for the ELSI community to continue looking forward to identify how emerging digital solutions can be used to facilitate the international and interdisciplinary research we perform, and to offer support for those embarking on, progressing through, and transitioning into an ELSI research career. (shrink)
This essay discusses a conception of the relation of philosophy to education that has come to be widely held in both general philosophy and philosophy of education. This view is approached here through the employment of Jean-Paul Sartre's notion of the 'practico-inert' as the realm of consolidated social objects, part of which is the institution of education. It is shown that a rigid demarcation of the practico-inert, on the one hand, and praxis, on the other, lies at the heart of (...) the contemporary philosophical stance towards education. Generally, philosophy today does not allocate redemptive-political space to education and its practices (such as assessment). Hannah Arendt's and Alain Badiou's ideas on knowledge, statistics and everydayness are used here as examples, and the received view is further criticised. Then, another possible connection of philosophy and education is examined, one that would attribute to education a more active, politically operative and central role in philosophy. (shrink)
We analyse Kreisel’s notion of human-effective computability. Like Kreisel, we relate this notion to a concept of informal provability, but we disagree with Kreisel about the precise way in which this is best done. The resulting two different ways of analysing human-effective computability give rise to two different variants of Church’s thesis. These are both investigated by relating them to transfinite progressions of formal theories in the sense of Feferman.
Over the past 25 years, there has been growing recognition of the importance of studying the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of genetic and genomic research. A large investment into ELSI research...