David Miller, Professor of Politics at Oxford University, has long been one of the most important and interesting contributors to political theory and philosophy. He is well known for insisting on the mutual relevance of philosophical reflection and political practice, an approach well captured by the title of his recent book, Justice for Earthlings. In his most recent book, Strangers in our Midst: The Political Philosophy of Immigration, Miller revises and extends the work he has been doing for several (...) years now on immigration. The result is a short yet rich defense of the right of states to control their own immigration policy. (shrink)
This paper presents a critical comparative reading of Ulrich Beck and Herbert Marcuse. Beck's thesis on 'selfcritical society' and the concept of 'sub-politics' are evaluated within the framework of Marcusian critical theory. We argue for the continued relevance of Marcuse for the project of emancipatory politics. We recognise that a focus upon the imminent and spontaneous possibilities for radical social change within the 'sub-political' is a useful provocation to the high abstractionism of much critical theory, but suggest that such possibilities (...) are better captured in a Marcusian theoretical frame than they are in Beck's account. (shrink)
This paper presents a critical comparative reading of Ulrich Beck and Herbert Marcuse. Beck's thesis on ‘self-critical society’ and the concept of ‘sub-politics’ are evaluated within the framework of Marcusian critical theory. We argue for the continued relevance of Marcuse for the project of emancipatory politics. We recognise that a focus upon the imminent and spontaneous possibilities for radical social change within the ‘sub-political’ is a useful provocation to the high abstractionism of much critical theory, but suggest that such possibilities (...) are better captured in a Marcusian theoretical frame than they are in Beck's account. (shrink)
Science/Technoscience has moved to center stage in debates over change, power and justice in twenty-first century societies. This text provides a general framework for understanding, combining and applying the rich range of approaches that exist within sociology about science: in particular, the role (and limitations) of science in generating knowledge, and the relationship between scientific knowledge and social progress. Drawing on case studies such as the genetics and computing "revolutions," this is a clear, even-handed and comprehensive introduction to the field.
Matthew D. Eddy and David Knight’s new edition of William Paley’s Natural Theology deserves to become the standard scholarly edition of what is a historically, theologically, and philosophically important work, despite a certain neglect of philosophical issues on the part of the editors.
This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity. The article offers a preliminary understanding of nationalism and patriotism before setting out the terms of the debate. It then critically evaluates the central idea of Callan that one might be under an obligation morally to improve one''s own patriotic inheritance, pointing to (...) the ineliminable tension between the valuation of one''s own patria by its own terms and a detached critical reason. It concludes by suggesting that we are, in advance of our education, members of a particular patria and that any education must be particularistic. Finally, the danger is noted of presuming that, in each case, there is a single, determinate national tradition. (shrink)
In my reply to Boyle, Rosenthal, and Tumulty, I revisit my view of avowals’ security as a matter of a special immunity to error, their character as intentional expressive acts that employ self-ascriptive vehicles (without being grounded in self-beliefs), Moore’s paradox, the idea of expressing as contrasting with reporting and its connection to showing one’s mental state, and the ‘performance equivalence’ between avowals and other expressive acts.
This is a deceptively profound, compact book that can be inscribed in the grand tradition of philosophical dialogue. It confronts naive realism and radical constructivism, arriving at a seemingly workable conciliatory position.
Upshot: This is a deceptively profound, compact book that can be inscribed in the grand tradition of philosophical dialogue. It confronts naive realism and radical constructivism, arriving at a seemingly workable conciliatory position.
David Sosa argues that the knowledge account of assertion is unsatisfactory, because it cannot explain the oddness of what he calls dubious assertions. One such dubious assertion is of the form ‘P but I do not know whether I know that p.’ Matthew Benton has attempted to show how proponents of the knowledge account can explain what’s wrong this assertion. I show that Benton’s explanation is inadequate, and propose my own explanation of the oddness of this dubious assertion. (...) I also explain what’s wrong with other dubious assertions mentioned by Sosa. (shrink)
Philosophy for Children arose in the 1970s in the US as an educational programme. This programme, initiated by Matthew Lipman, was devoted to exploring the relationship between the notions ‘philosophy’ and ‘childhood’, with the implicit practical goal of establishing philosophy as a full-fledged ‘content area’ in public schools. Over 40 years, the programme has spread worldwide, and the theory and practice of doing philosophy for or with children and young people appears to be of growing interest in the field (...) of education and, by implication, in society as a whole. This article focuses on this growing interest by offering a survey of the main arguments and ideas that have given shape to the idea of philosophy for children in recent decades. This aim is twofold: first, to make more familiar an actual educational practice that is not at all well known in the field of academic philosophy itself; and second, to invite a re-thinking of the relationship between philosophy and the child ‘after Lipman’. (shrink)
The recent passing of Ann Sharp, Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, at the age of 68, has left many of us involved in the movement of philosophy for/with children bereft, no doubt in many different ways. The warmth and intensity of her personal and professional focus, the simple clarity of her thinking, and her boundless energy in the work of international dissemination of the concept and practice of philosophizing with children, resonate (...) even more sonorously in her death. We thought it appropriate to try following at least one pathway backwards in her life story through the memory and testimony of her chief collaborator over a period of 35 years, Matthew Lipman. I interviewed Lipman, age 87, in the single room of the eldercare center in New Jersey that has become the site for his dogged and tenacious struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, and asked him to reflect on their long partnership. The transcript ends suddenly, not because we stopped talking, but because I stopped taping, sensing his fatigue, and suggesting that we return for another round, at which point we turned to other, less somber matters. (shrink)
Over 35 years, Daniel Dennett has articulated a rich and expansive philosophical outlook. There have been elaborations, refinements, and changes of mind, exposi- tory and substantive. This makes him hard to pin down. Does he, for example, think intentional states are real? In places, he sounds distinctly instrumentalist; elsewhere, he avows realism, ‘sort of’. What is needed is a map, charting developments and tracing dialectical threads through his extensive writings and the different regions of his thought. This is what (...) class='Hi'>Matthew Elton’s impressive book supplies. Accessibly written, with a useful glossary and detailed guides to the literature, it will be ex- tremely helpful to students and professionals alike. (shrink)
This review of Matthew Lipman’s autobiography, A Life Teaching Thinking, is a reflection on the themes and patterns of his extraordinarily productive career. His book begins with memories of earliest childhood and his preoccupation with the possibility of being able to fly, moves through the years in which his family struggled with the effects of the Great Depression, through his service in the military during World War II, his discovery of the joy and beauty of philosophy, his academic rise (...) at Columbia University, his Fullbright sojourn in Paris, and his early and later career. Lipman’s educational project led in four related directions: the practice of philosophy for children, which he invented, and which presents an epistemological challenge to a second field, philosophy of education, which is as startling as was Rousseau’s two hundred years before. Third, it led to a realm of theory called philosophy of childhood, upon which the practice of philosophy for children is a kind of action-meditation, prompting adults as it does to reflect on children’s differences from and similarities to adults at the same time, and in the same discursive space. Finally, his praxis also implicitly challenged those accounts of children’s philosophies, paradigmatically represented by Piaget’s work, which represent childhood epistemology as evidence for various genetic and epigenetic stage-based theories of cognitive development. The consequence for education of this confluence was a methodology—community of inquiry—that serves as a bridge between the two most influential philosophers of education of the 20th century—John Dewey and Paulo Freire. The educational praxis that emerged from his venture, for all its apparent simplicity, operationalizes a postcolonial standpoint epistemology vis a vis childhood and children, pulls the linchpin that holds in place the school as ideological state apparatus, and empowers the elementary classroom as a primary site for democratic theory and practice. (shrink)
For those who are eagerly awaiting the return of Christ in glory, the admonition articulated in Matthew 24:42 has always been of paramount importance. Not only are we counseled to remain ever vigilant, but the intellectual boundaries within which we may abide in our expectation are also carefully delineated, for it is here that Christ most firmly establishes his mandate that we profess a radical agnosticism regarding the time-tables of sacred history. Nonetheless, since the days of the Church Fathers (...) there have been some who, for a variety of reasons, have sought to arrive at a more certain — or at least more refined — understanding of the timing of the Parousia, most often through a combination of exegesis and numerology. To a certain degree, Christian of Stavelot's comments on Matthew 24:42 must be considered among these attempts. (shrink)