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)
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)
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)
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 (depending on the emphasis on the local or the global) 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 (-land, culture, commitments) 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)
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)
Against narrow understandings of educational research, this article defends the relevance of philosophical anthropology to ethico-political education and contests its lack of space in the philosophy of education. My approximation of this topic begins with comments on philosophical anthropology; proceeds with examples from the history of educational ideas that illustrate what is at stake in placing realism, impossibility and education side by side; and moves to what anthropologically counts as realism or realistic expectations from education. The etymology of the word (...) ‘education’ allows us to unveil educational connections with human nature that demarcate (im)possibility and thematize essentialism. By investigating various questions concerning human nature, philosophical anthropology becomes important for exploring the aims and scope of education in their utopian or anti-utopian framings. (shrink)
In this interview, Christopher Norris discusses a wide range of issues having to do with postmodernism, deconstruction and other controversial topics of debate within present-day philosophy and critical theory. More specifically he challenges the view of deconstruction as just another offshoot of the broader postmodernist trend in cultural studies and the social sciences. Norris puts the case for deconstruction as continuing the 'unfinished project of modernity' and—in particular—for Derrida's work as sustaining the values of enlightened critical reason in various spheres (...) of thought from epistemology to ethics, sociology and politics. Along the way he addresses a number of questions that have lately been raised with particular urgency for teachers and educationalists, among them the revival of creationist doctrine and the idea of scientific knowledge as a social, cultural, or discursive construct. In this context he addresses the 'science wars' or the debate between those who uphold t. (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 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.
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)
One main argument that has been offered in support of the Knowledge Account of Assertion is that it successfully makes sense of a variety of Moorean-paradoxical claims. David Sosa has objected to the Knowledge Account by arguing that it does not generalize satisfactorily to make sense of the oddity of iterated conjunctions of the form “p but I don’t know whether I know that p”. Recently, Martin Montminy has offered a defense of the Knowledge Account. In this paper, I show (...) that both Montminy’s and Sosa’s arguments fail. First, I argue that Montminy does not offer a good reply to Sosa; then I show that Sosa’s objection actually does not constitute a real threat to the Knowledge Account. (shrink)
In this article I explore some points of convergence between Habermas and Derrida that revolve around the intersection of ethical and epistemological issues in dialogue. After some preliminary remarks on how dialogue and language are viewed by Habermas and Derrida as standpoints for departing from the philosophy of consciousness and from logocentric metaphysics, I cite the main points of a classroom dialogue in order to illustrate the way in which the ideas of Habermas and Derrida are sometimes received as well (...) as the actual relevance of ethical and epistemic concerns within educational settings. I claim that such concerns cannot be sidestepped without cost and that they can be approached by combining rather than rigidly separating Habermas and Derrida. Beyond the consolidated polemics, emancipatory politics and Enlightenment priorities of truth and justice bring Habermasian reconstruction and Derridean deconstruction closer than it is typically assumed. Attention to such a convergence can enrich the teaching material of higher education courses which usually comprises either Habermasian or Derridean texts but rarely both. It can also stave off some of the risks involved in some versions of constructivism as they occur in school practice. (shrink)
In this article, I explore the way in which proximity and distance have been made relevant to cosmopolitanism and I discuss the significance contemporary theory attributes to border crossing. By employing colonial border crossing and its rationalization as an example, and by drawing from Alain Badiou's critique of political philosophy, I expose some of the problems of facile and faddish approaches to planetary movement. I argue that the real borders to be crossed by true cosmopolitans are internal and, regrettably, traversible, (...) raised at an early age, preserved through education and carried along wherever one goes. Then, I show how this thesis relativizes the drastic choice between cosmopolitanism and patriotism that is imposed by many current theories. By elaborating on Heraclitus's dictum that ‘the citizens must defend the law, as they would defend the wall of the city’, I sketch an account of patriotism that is (a) compatible with, and conducive to, cosmopolitanism as well as (b) mindful of the duplicity of the interplay of proximity and distance. (shrink)
Is it Eurocentric on the part of western philosophers (Habermas, Derrida) or of researchers in human sciences to set out from a specific locality (Europe) to formulate ethico-political ideals with universal aspirations? In this article, I critique the ‘universalism vs. particularism’ framework within which the charge of Eurocentrism is deployed and I redefine the notion of Eurocentrism outside the drastic choice between universalism and particularism and in light of an ‘ec-centric’ reflection on the entanglement of the ‘We’ and the ‘others’. (...) I illustrate my position by discussing the Habermasian–Derridean plea for the determination of new European political responsibilities beyond any Eurocentrism. I grant that the two philosophers go indeed beyond Eurocentrism as the latter is usually understood, i.e. along the axis ‘universal–particular’. Yet, without minimizing their political contribution, I detect subtler Eurocentrisms that pervade several assumptions of Habermas’s and Derrida’s collaborative efforts. I argue that a hasty enlisting of possibilities for a politically and morally pertinent European intervention in world affairs fails to account for other, more necessary steps in the direction of reforming the western consciousness and of going beyond less easily discernible Eurocentrisms such as those theorized within the proposed, reformulated notion. (shrink)
Rawls''s recent modification of his theory of justice claims that political liberalism is free-standing and falls under the category of the political. It works entirely within that domain and does not rely on anything outside it In this article I pursue the metatheoretical goal of obtaining insight into the anthropological assumptions that have remained so far unacknowledged by Rawls and critics alike. My argument is that political liberalism has a dependence on comprehensive liberalism and its conception of a self-serving subjectivity (...) that is far more binding as well as undesirable than it has been so far acknowledged. I proceed with a heuristic approach that introduces us to the possibility that political liberalism presupposes tacitly the Occidental metanarrative of reason harnessing rampant self-interest and subordinating it to a higher-order interest. As the presuppositions of political liberalism emerge, I draw from the debate between Rawls and Habermas in order to illustrate my argument for the existence of a dependence on these presuppositions. I outline some implications of the anthropological basis of political liberalism and conclude by exemplifying them with reference to Rawls''s comments on the division of a cake. (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 paper employs an eclectic mix of paradigms in order to discuss constituting characteristics of young children's learning experiences. Drawing upon a phenomenological perspective it examines learning as a form of 'Being' and as the result of learners' engagement with the world in their own, unique, intentional manners. The learners' intentions towards their world are expressed in everyday activity and participation. A social constructivist perspective is thus employed to present learning as situated in meaningful socio-cultural contexts of the everyday, lived (...) world and as a form of participation in those settings. These characteristics of learning are brought together into a holistic, synthesised model, a Gestalt of learning. The proposed synthesis has relevance for and is applicable to educational contexts as a means of making sense of children's learning experiences and of promoting and facilitating them. (shrink)
In this article I discuss Kant's idea of cosmopolitanism both in its prescriptive dimension (its normative content and regulative aspirations) and also its descriptive basis (its crucial philosophical-anthropological assumptions constituting its theoretical justification). My aim is to show that the prescriptive dimension cannot be treated separately from the descriptive one for some difficulties that the latter confronts pervade the former and misinform it. I then proceed to an examination of those difficulties which I locate mainly in Kant's onto-theological commitment to (...) some anthropological tenets of his era. I explore the implications of these tenets and show that they contribute negatively to the task of the promotion of a cosmopolitanism that respects difference and heterogeneity. I conclude with some critical suggestions pro-pounding a renegotiation of the paradigmatic certainties of Kant's cosmopolitanism in order to salvage its normative import and couch it in less onto-theological terms. (shrink)
Ball (2009) claims that without phenomenal concepts, the knowledge argument fails. In this article, I argue that Ball doesn’t succeed in proving his claim. The reason is that the Marianna case is not a case where the acquisition of the concept required for entertaining a phenomenal belief content Q alone is sufficient for Marianna, given enough physical information about her environment, to infer Q.
We describe a relational framework that uniformly supports formalization and automated reasoning in varied propositional modal logics. The proof system we propose is a relational variant of the classical Rasiowa-Sikorski proof system. We introduce a compact graph-based representation of formulae and proofs supporting an efficient implementation of the basic inference engine, as well as of a number of refinements. Completeness and soundness results are shown and a Prolog implementation is described.
This paper represents only the initial stage of my research and its main goal is to go over some aspects of the current debate on emotions. After laying out the cognitivist position, I will review some objections that have been moved to it. After that I will focus on the work on emotions recently done by de Sousa, Mulligan and Wollheim. In the literature, views on emotions have played a role in the debate on the nature of values. So at (...) the end of the paper I will very briefly tackle the issue of values in relation to the so-called "response-dependence" approach. (shrink)