In this paper we explore potential problems of intersection between teachers' beliefs about the aims of education, a conceptual requirement of antiracism education and moral education. Our objective is to show how the reform of moral education to better accommodate antiracism concerns may depend on paying more attention to how teachers understand this intersection. Based on our analyses of teaching experiences and an exploratory, qualitative study of 20 recently certified teachers, we identify a framework for differentiating three ethical perspectives that (...) teachers often take in articulating and justifying their beliefs about the ideal aims of education. Then, based on our analysis of contemporary programmes of antiracism education, we use illustrative material from our study to identify points of disjuncture that can occur between the aims of such programmes and teachers' beliefs through which those aims are filtered. In particular, we seek to illustrate how the essential political aims of antiracism education that focus on structural relationships between/among social groups can be, in the first instance, occluded by an ethical perspective that centres on the welfare of discrete individuals or, perhaps even more insidiously, reduced to a well-meaning and nice-sounding ethical perspective that focuses on the quality of interaction between/among individuals. (shrink)
The history of the Institute of Medical Ethics has been well recorded. Accounts of its origins in the London Medical Group were published in an academic paper of 2003,1 in the transcript of a Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine Seminar in 20072 and in a chapter of the 2009 Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics.3 In 2013, 50 years since the inauguration of its first series of lectures and symposia, the LMG as an organisation no longer exists, but its (...) aspirations and achievements are alive and well, both in the Journal of Medical Ethics and in the IME, now exploring a new phase as a membership organisation. Other papers in this issue will discuss the history and prospects of the Journal and Institute. But the LMG, similar medical groups in all other British medical schools and the Society for the Study of Medical Ethics from which the IME derived also have a significant continuing life in the thinking and practice of many medical and healthcare professionals who participated in their activities, and then in turn on those influenced by their thinking and practice. The LMG, it could be said, is ‘no more’ an organisation ‘Now but a whole climate of opinion’.4A bottom-up evolutionThe first medical students to be involved in the LMG may not have foreseen its influence on their future careers, but many were aware of being part of something new and exciting. One of those with whom the first lecture series was planned was Margaret Lloyd . "The beginning of the LMG in 1963 was an exciting time for medical students in London. As a mature student entering St Mary's Hospital Medical School … ". (shrink)
This anthology offers a comprehensive introduction to Pliny the Younger's Epistulae for intermediate and advanced Latin students, with the grammatical, lexical, and historical support to enable them to read quickly and fluidly. As the only selection of the letters with extensive commentary, it provides instructors with a unique and complete resource for students.ABOUT THE SERIESThe Oxford Greek and Latin College Commentaries is designed for students in intermediate or advanced Greek or Latin. Each volume includes a comprehensive introduction. The placement, on (...) the same page, of the ancient text, a running vocabulary, and succinct notes focusing on grammar, syntax, and distinctive features of style provides students with essential learning aids.Series Editors: Barbara Weiden Boyd, Bowdoin College, Stephen Esposito, Boston University, and Mary Lefkowitz, Wellesley CollegeAlso Available Ovid: Ars Amatoria, Book 3, Christopher M. Brunelle, St. Olaf CollegeForthcoming Latin VolumesSuetonius's Life of AugustusDarryl Phillips, Connecticut CollegeLucan's De Bello Civile, Book 5Jonathan Tracy, Massey University, New Zealand. (shrink)
The past 25 years have seen an upsurge of interest in the figure of Mary Magdalene, whose image has been transformed through feminist scholarship from penitent prostitute to prominent disciple of Jesus. This article documents another, non-academic, interpretation of Mary Magdalene – the image of Mary as goddess or embodiment of the female divine. The most influential proponent of this view is Margaret Starbird, who hypothesizes that Mary was both Jesus’ wife and his divine feminine counterpart. (...) The author suggests that feminist theologians/thealogians should be aware of this popular understanding of Mary; and consider what it is about Mary Magdalene as the sacred feminine/bride of Jesus/sophia that captures the public imagination in a way that other feminist christologies do not. (shrink)
Feared and admired in equal measure, Mary Midgely has carefully, yet profoundly challenged many of the scientific and moral orthodoxies of the twentieth century. The Essential Mary Midgley collects for the first time the very best of this famous philosopher's work, described by the Financial Times as "commonsense philosophy of the highest order." This anthology includes carefully chosen selections from her best-selling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry and The Myths We Live By . It (...) provides a superb and eminently accessible insight into questions she has returned to again and again in her renowned sharp prose, from the roots of human nature, reason and imagination to the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment. It offers an unrivalled introduction to a great philosopher and a brilliant writer, and also includes a specially written foreword by James Lovelock. (shrink)
(i) Scientific realism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine about the existence and nature of the unobservables of science. (ii) There are good explanationist arguments for realism, most famously that from the success of science, provided abduction is allowed. Abduction seems to be on an equal footing, at least, with other ampliative methods of inference. (iii) We have no reason to believe a doctrine of empirical equivalence that would sustain the underdetermination argument against realism. (iv) The key to defending realism from (...) the pessimistic meta-induction is that we have greatly improved our capacity to understand the unobservable world over recent centuries. (shrink)
While it is widely acknowledged that knowledge can be acquired via testimony, it has been argued that understanding cannot. While there is no consensus about what the epistemic relationship of understanding consists in, I argue here that regardless of how understanding is conceived there are kinds of understanding that can be acquired through testimony: easy understanding and easy-s understanding. I address a number of aspects of understanding that might stand in the way of being able to acquire understanding through testimony, (...) focusing on understanding ’s paradigmatic form and what it means to say that in order to understand something you need to “grasp” some information or the relationship between bits of information. I argue that in cases of both easy and easy-s understanding, no aspect of understanding stands in the way of it being able to acquire it through testimony. As a result, while not all understanding be acquired through testimony in all instances and for all subjects, this failure of acquisition is only a product of the complexity of the relevant information or one’s unfamiliarity with it, and not a product of the epistemic relationship of understanding. (shrink)
In February 1828 a Royal Commission was appointed to examine the law of Real Property of England and Wales. The Commission sat for four years and examined a vast amount of material, recommended certain changes in the law, and drafted several bills for consideration by parliament. Four massive reports were eventually presented to parliament in May 1829, June 1830, May 1832, and lastly in April 1833. As a result parliament enacted a limited number of piecemeal reforms, but did not attempt (...) a major revision of the law. (shrink)
A realistic and dialectical conception of the epistemology of science is advanced according to which the acquisition of instrumental knowledge is parasitic upon the acquisition, by successive approximation, of theoretical knowledge. This conception is extended to provide an epistemological characterization of reference and of natural kinds, and it is integrated into recent naturalistic treatments of knowledge. Implications for several current issues in the philosophy of science are explored.
SummaryThis paper addresses the question of what scientific realism implies and what it does not when it is articulated so as to provide the best defense against plausible philosophical alternatives. A summary is presented of “abductive” arguments for scientific realism, and of the epistemological and semantic conceptions upon which they depend. Taking these arguments to be the best current defense of realism, it is inquired what, in the sense just mentioned, realism implies and what it does not. It is concluded (...) that realism implies the strong rejection of epistemological foundationalism, a non‐Humean conception of causation and of explanation, and a causal rather than conceptual account of the unity of natural definitions. It is denied that realism implies bivalence or the existence of one true theory, one preferred vocabulary or one distinctly privileged science. It is further denied that realism implies that there are no unrecognized conventional aspects to scientific theorizing and it is denied that realism implies that scientists routinely do good experimental metaphysics. (shrink)
If culture is defined as variation acquired and maintained by social learning, then culture is common in nature. However, cumulative cultural evolution resulting in behaviors that no individual could invent on their own is limited to humans, song birds, and perhaps chimpanzees. Circumstantial evidence suggests that cumulative cultural evolution requires the capacity for observational learning. Here, we analyze two models the evolution of psychological capacities that allow cumulative cultural evolution. Both models suggest that the conditions which allow the evolution of (...) such capacities when rare are much more stringent than the conditions which allow the maintenance of the capacities when common. This result follows from the fact that the assumed benefit of the capacities, cumulative cultural adaptation, cannot occur when the capacities are rare. These results suggest why such capacities may be rare in nature. (shrink)
In the last 60,000 years humans have expanded across the globe and now occupy a wider range than any other terrestrial species. Our ability to successfully adapt to such a diverse range of habitats is often explained in terms of our cognitive ability. Humans have relatively bigger brains and more computing power than other animals and this allows us to figure out how to live in a wide range of environments. Here we argue that humans may be smarter than other (...) creatures, but none of us is nearly smart enough to acquire all of the information necessary to survive in any single habitat. In even the simplest foraging societies, people depend on a vast array of tools, detailed bodies of local knowledge, and complex social arrangements, and often do not understand why these tools, beliefs, and behaviors are adaptive. We owe our success to our uniquely-developed ability to learn from others. This capacity enables humans to gradually accumulate information across generations, and develop well-adapted tools, beliefs, and practices that are too complex for any single individual to invent during their lifetime. (shrink)
C.S. Peirce held what is nowadays called a “commitment view” of assertion. According to this type of view, assertion is a kind of act that is determined by its “normative effects”: by asserting a proposition one undertakes certain commitments, typically to be able to provide reason to believe what one is asserting, or, in Peirce’s words, one “takes responsibility” for the truth of the proposition one asserts. Despite being an early adopter of the view, if Peirce’s commitment view of assertion (...) is mentioned at all in contemporary discussions it is only in passing. His view is, however, far more complex and nuanced than he has been given credit for. My primary goal here, then, is to get a better understanding of Peirce’s version of a commitment view of assertion. I also argue that figuring out the details of Peirce’s theory of assertion can also provide us with a viable way to respond to problems that contemporary commitment views of assertion face. (shrink)
Education, medicine and psychotherapeutics offer exemplary sites through which liberty and its dreams are realized. This article explores the social history of medical freedom and liberty in North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The National League for Medical Freedom (NLMF) and the American Medical Liberty League (AMLL) offered fierce resistance to allopathic power. Allopatic liberties and rights to medical practice in asylums, clinics, courts, hospitals, prisons and schools were never certain. The politics of these liberties and (...) rights represents a fascinating story that neither intellectual nor social historians have fully appreciated. (shrink)
Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in..
Recently, there has been growing concern that increased partisanship in news sources, as well as new ways in which people acquire information, has led to a proliferation of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers: in the former, one tends to acquire information from a limited range of sources, ones that generally support the kinds of beliefs that one already has, while the latter function in the same way, but possess the additional characteristic that certain beliefs are actively reinforced. Here I argue, (...) first, that we should conceive of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers as types of epistemically pernicious groups, and second, that while analyses of such groups have typically focused on relationships between individual members, at least part of what such groups epistemically pernicious pertains to the way that members rely on the groups themselves as sources of information. I argue that member reliance on groups results in groups being attributed a degree of credibility that outruns their warrant, a process I call groupstrapping. I argue that by recognizing the groupstrapping as an illicit method of forming and updating beliefs we can make progress on some of the open questions concerning epistemically pernicious groups. (shrink)
Formal models of cultural evolution analyze how cognitive processes combine with social interaction to generate the distributions and dynamics of ‘representations.’ Recently, cognitive anthropologists have criticized such models. They make three points: mental representations are non-discrete, cultural transmission is highly inaccurate, and mental representations are not replicated, but rather are ‘reconstructed’ through an inferential process that is strongly affected by cognitive ‘attractors.’ They argue that it follows from these three claims that: 1) models that assume replication or replicators are inappropriate, (...) 2) selective cultural learning cannot account for stable traditions, and 3) selective cultural learning cannot generate cumulative adaptation. Here we use three formal models to show that even if the premises of this critique are correct, the deductions that have been drawn from them are false. In the rst model, we assume continuously varying representations under the in uence of weak selective transmission and strong attractors. We show that if the attractors are suf ciently strong relative to selective forces, the continuous representation model reduces to the standard.. (shrink)
ABSTRACTConventional wisdom holds that there is no lucky knowledge: if it is a matter of luck, in some relevant sense, that one's belief that p is true, then one does not know that p. Here I will argue that there is similarly no lucky understanding, at least in the case of one type of luck, namely environmental luck. This argument has three parts. First, we need to determine how we evaluate whether one has understanding, which requires determining what I will (...) call understanding's evaluative object. I argue that as the evaluative object of knowledge is a belief in a proposition, the evaluative object of understanding is a mental representation of a relational structure. Next, I show that arguments that environmental luck is incompatible with understanding miss the mark by considering cases in which one has a belief in a proposition is lucky to be true, instead of ones in which one's mental representation of a relational structure is lucky to obtain. I agree, then, with those who argue that one can have understanding when one's beliefs are environmentally lucky to be true, but that this compatibility is not relevant when considering the question of whether one can have environmentally lucky understanding. I then present what I take to be a properly constructed case which shows the incompatibility of environmental luck with understanding. (shrink)
There are many uses of the word ‘ought’, not all of which are moral uses. The following sentences contain ‘oughts’ which are not moral ‘oughts’. The peaches on the tree nearest the house ought to be ripe. The old car ought to go now it's had a re-bore. You ought to prune your Lorraine Lee roses in February. You ought to wash your hands before meals. You ought to take more exercise.
We will start with a fable— There was once a creator who wanted to create free beings. The other creators, it seems, didn't share this ambition, indeed they thought his project was philosophically confused. They were well satisfied with their own worlds. But our creator sat down to work it out. ‘How will you even start?’ asked his friend D, the Doubter. ‘Well, I know what I won't do’, answered C. ‘I won't just give them an empty faculty named Desire, (...) and tell them to invent values and want what they choose. Unless they want something definite for a start, they won't even be able to start choosing.’ ‘Exactly’, said D. ‘So what I think I must do,’ C went on, ‘is to give them a lot of desires which conflict, and make them bright enough to see they have got to do something about it.’. (shrink)