. Is R.S. Peters' way of mentioning women in his texts detrimental to philosophy of education? Some considerations and questions. Ethics and Education: Vol. 7, Creating spaces, pp. 291-302. doi: 10.1080/17449642.2013.767002.
This article aims to highlight why R. S. Peters' conceptual analysis of ‘education’ was such an important contribution to the normative field of philosophy of education. In the article, I do the following: 1) explicate Peters' conception of philosophy of education as a field of philosophy and explain his approach to the philosophical analysis of concepts; 2) emphasize several (normative) features of Peters' conception of education, while pointing to a couple of oversights; and 3) suggest how Peters' analysis might be (...) used to reinvigorate a conversation on one central educational aim—that of how we might educate citizens for the 21st century. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, which is the first of two to examine the ideas of R. S. Peters on moral education, consideration is given to his justificatory arguments found in Ethics and Education. Here he employs presupposition arguments to show to what anyone engaging in moral discourse is committed. The result is a group of procedural principles which are recommended to be employed in moral education. This article is an attempt to examine the presupposition arguments Peters employs, to comment on (...) the procedural principles he believes are presupposed, and to consider the strength of the presupposition argument. My conclusion is that Peters's arguments fail to establish the conclusion he arrives at, and that any gains from the form of argument he uses are hollow. (shrink)
I Once gave a series of talks to a group of psychoanalysts who had trained together and was rather struck by the statement made by one of them that, psychologically speaking, ‘reason’ means saying ‘No’ to oneself. Plato, of course, introduced the concept of ‘reason’ in a similar way in The Republic with the case of the thirsty man who is checked in the satisfaction of his thirst by reflection on the outcome of drinking. But Plato was also so impressed (...) by man's ability to construct mathematical systems by reasoning that he called it the divine element of the soul. And what has this ability to do with that of saying ‘No’ to oneself? And what have either of these abilities to do with the disposition to be impartial which is intimately connected with our notion of a reasonable man, or with what David Hume called a ‘wonderful and unintelligible instinct’ in our souls by means of which men are able to make inferences from past to future? It must readily be admitted that there are few surface similarities between the uses of ‘reason’ in these contexts. No obvious features protrude which might be fastened on as logically necessary conditions for the use of the term ‘reason’. But beneath the surface there may be lurking common notions that are, or can be, of importance in our lives. To make them explicit is to give structure and substance to what is often called ‘the life of reason’ and to show that this is not inconsistent with a life of passion as is often thought. This seems eminently worth attempting at a time when many people seem hostile to reason. For those who demand instant gratification, who adopt some existentialist stance, who cultivate violence or mystical experience, or who merely do what others do, are all, in various ways, resisting the claims of reason on them. And what they are resisting is not just the demand that they should reflect and calculate; it is also the influence of passions and sentiments that underlie a form of life. (shrink)
R. S. Peters never explicitly talks about wisdom as being an aim of education. He does, however, in numerous places, emphasize that education is of the whole person and that, whatever else it might be about, it involves the development of knowledge and understanding. Being educated, he claims, is incompatible with being narrowly specialized. Moreover, he argues, education enables a person to have a different perspective on things, ?to travel with a different view? [Peters, R. S. (1967). What is an (...) educational process? In R. S. Peters (Ed.), The concept of education (pp. 1?23). Routledge and Kegan Paul]. In asserting this about education, Peters has more in common with another great English educator, John Henry, Cardinal Newman, than one might expect, given they are separated by about a century and start from different philosophical perspectives, namely Kant to a significant degree in the former and Aristotle in the latter. Both nevertheless acknowledge the importance of reason and its development in any education worthy of the name. I will argue that in describing the ?educated person? Peters is not far from the view of Newman, who saw education as being about the ?enlargement of mind?. Although Newman hesitates to call ?enlargement of mind? wisdom, and Peters does not use either term, there are good grounds for proposing that in distinguishing between education and training, and in asserting education is moral education because it is concerned to improve persons, Peters acknowledges the higher purposes of education and hence, we can add, its connection with wisdom. Significantly, what such a reading of Peters emphasizes is his insistence on the intrinsic value of education, a view seemingly lost in modern market-driven conceptions of education. (shrink)
R. S. Peters never explicitly talks about wisdom as being an aim of education. He does, however, in numerous places, emphasize that education is of the whole person and that, whatever else it might be about, it involves the development of knowledge and understanding. Being educated, he claims, is incompatible with being narrowly specialized. Moreover, he argues, education enables a person to have a different perspective on things, ‘to travel with a different view’ [Peters, R. S.. What is an educational (...) process? In R. S. Peters, The concept of education. Routledge and Kegan Paul]. In asserting this about education, Peters has more in common with another great English educator, John Henry, Cardinal Newman, than one might expect, given they are separated by about a century and start from different philosophical perspectives, namely Kant to a significant degree in the former and Aristotle in the latter. Both nevertheless acknowledge the importance of reason and its development in any education worthy of the name. I will argue that in describing the ‘educated person’ Peters is not far from the view of Newman, who saw education as being about the ‘enlargement of mind’. Although Newman hesitates to call ‘enlargement of mind’ wisdom, and Peters does not use either term, there are good grounds for proposing that in distinguishing between education and training, and in asserting education is moral education because it is concerned to improve persons, Peters acknowledges the higher purposes of education and hence, we can add, its connection with wisdom. Significantly, what such a reading of Peters emphasizes is his insistence on the intrinsic value of education, a view seemingly lost in modern market-driven conceptions of education. (shrink)
The concept of respect plays a central role in several recent attempts to re-actualise the programme of a critical social theory. In Axel Honneth's most prominent version of that concept, respect is closely tied to the sphere of law, and it is limited to the recognition of a Kantian-type moral autonomy of the individual. So interpreted, the concept of respect can only have a very limited application in the field of education, where concern for the particular desires, intentions and beliefs (...) of mostly immature persons is at stake.However, more than forty years ago R. S. Peters did develop an extended concept of respect as a central component in education. This concept focuses exactly on those desires, intentions and beliefs, instead of on the very demanding capability of practical reasoning orientated towards the Kantian Categorical Imperative. My task in this paper is to explore the potential of Peters' concept of respect for the identification and description of educational pathologies and ultimately for the founding of a critical theory of education. (shrink)
In his 1973 paper ?The Justification of Education? R.S. Peters aspired to give a non-instrumental justification of education. Ever since, his so-called ?transcendental argument? has been under attack and most critics conclude that it does not work. They have, however, thrown the baby away with the bathwater, when they furthermore concluded that Peters? justificatory project itself is futile. This article takes another look at Peters? justificatory project. As against a Kantian interpretation, it proposes an axiological-perfectionist interpretation to bring out the (...) permanent importance of this project and suggests some possible strategies for its successful execution. (shrink)
_Reading R. S. Peters Today: Analysis, Ethics and the Aims of Education_ reassesses British philosopher Richard Stanley Peters’ educational writings by examining them against the most recent developments in philosophy and practice. Critically reassesses R. S. Peters, a philosopher who had a profound influence on a generation of educationalists Brings clarity to a number of key educational questions Exposes mainstream, orthodox arguments to sympathetic critical scrutiny.
This article examines the work of R. S. Peters on moral development and moral education, as represented in his papers collected under that name, pointing out that these writings have been relatively neglected. It approaches these writings through the lens of the ‘familiar story’ that philosophical work on this topic switched during, roughly, the 1980s from an emphasis on rational principles to an emphasis on virtues and care. Starting from what Peters called ‘the paradox of moral education’—roughly, that a rational (...) morality must be developed in part through habit—the article discusses not only Peters' rational morality of principles and rules but also elements of his thought concerning virtues and care. Running through the discussion is the question of whether Peters, in drawing for instance on Aristotle as well as Kohlberg, is attempting to combine incompatible ideas. Against this, it is suggested that in reading Peters now we can learn from his explicit claim that we need a pluralistic, not a monolithic, approach to moral development and moral education. (shrink)
John Dewey adopted a child-centered point of view to illuminate aspects of education he believed teacher-centered educators were neglecting, but he did so self-consciously and self-critically, because he also believed that ‘a new order of conceptions leading to new modes of practice’ was needed. Dewey introduced his new conceptions in The Child and the Curriculum and later and more fully in Democracy and Education. Teachers at his Laboratory School in Chicago developed the new modes of practice. In this article, I (...) explore Dewey’s new conception of education and compare it with the apparently opposed views of R. S. Peters and Paulo Freire. In doing so, I show that, despite their criticisms of Dewey, whether explicit or implicit, these influential philosophers, representing quite different traditions in philosophy of education were in substantial agreement with him. I also show that, despite our own differences, as important as they are, seeing teachers and learners at work in a rapidly changing society, now on a global scale, in classrooms which are also changing, driven largely by new technologies, the conception of education Dewey, Peters, and Freire developed can provide us with the foundation we need to understand the changing teacher–learner relationship and the purposes their shared activities serve. (shrink)
This introduction to this special issue offers an overview of R. S. Peters' seminal role in the development of modern philosophy of education, acknowledging the originality and range of his work, and indicating his continuing importance to the field. It explains the structure and organisation of the collection and provides a rationale for this body of work as a rereading of Peters in the light of current concerns.
This article aims to highlight why R. S. Peters' conceptual analysis of ‘education’ was such an important contribution to the normative field of philosophy of education. In the article, I do the following: 1) explicate Peters' conception of philosophy of education as a field of philosophy and explain his approach to the philosophical analysis of concepts; 2) emphasize several features of Peters' conception of education, while pointing to a couple of oversights; and 3) suggest how Peters' analysis might be used (...) to reinvigorate a conversation on one central educational aim—that of how we might educate citizens for the 21st century. (shrink)
The contribution of philosophical ethics to the development of a just conception of education becomes increasingly complex under modern conditions of democratic pluralism. This is because the justification of moral policies for education faces the skeptical challenge of showing how the substantive moral principles upon which a policy rests do not arbitrarily privilege one culturally situated conception of justice over others. In this essay, Christopher Martin argues that this challenge highlights how any legitimate moral point of view on education requires (...) public justification, where a valid moral policy must be demonstrated to be worthy of recognition in a public setting and justified through the reciprocal exchange of reasons. He develops the scope and nature of public justification through an analysis of R.S. Peters’s Ethics and Education and the work of Jürgen Habermas. Both Peters and Habermas argue that public justification entails necessary and unavoidable presuppositions of practical reason, presuppositions that form the basis of a procedural theory of moral justification. Martin discusses the implications of such a procedural approach for the development of educational policy. (shrink)
This article will begin by examining the extent to which R. S. Peters merited the charge of analytic philosopher. His background in social psychology allowed him to become more pragmatic and grounded in social conventions and ordinary language than the analytic philosophers associated with empiricism, and his gradual shift from requiring internal consistency to developing a notion of ?reasonableness?, in which reason could be tied to passion, grounded him in an idiosyncratic notion of ethics which included compassion and virtue as (...) well as reason. I describe his position on ethics as a systemic one of principled pragmatism. (shrink)
At the beginning of Book II of the Republic , Glaucon and Adeimantus ask Socrates to tell them what it is to be just or unjust, and why a man should be the former. Socrates suggests in reply that they consider first what it is for a polis to be just or unjust—a polis is bigger than an individual, he says, so its justice should be more readily visible. Now if we were to view in imagination a polis coming into (...) existence, he goes on, we should see also its justice and injustice coming into existence, and this might help us to discover what these qualities are. (shrink)
Besides the observable properties it exhibits and the actual processes it undergoes, a thing is full of threats and promises. The dispositions or capacities of a thing — its flexibility, its inflammability, its solubility — are no less important to us than its overt behaviour, but they strike us by comparison as rather ethereal. And so we are moved to inquire whether we can bring them down to earth; whether, that is, we can explain disposition terms without any reference to (...) occult powers. (shrink)
I discuss John Henry Newman's correspondence with William Froude, F.R.S., (1810–79) and his family. Froude remained an unbeliever, and I argue that Newman's disputes with him about the ethics of belief and the relationship between religion and science not only reveal important aspects of his thought, but also anticipate modern discussions on foundationalism, the ethics of beliefs and scientism.
Negation has occupied a unique place in the history of ideas. Negation as opposed to truth-conditional affirmation has been very much present in Indian and Western thought from very early times. R. S. Bhatnagar of happy memory in his “Many Splendoured Negation” :83–906, 2006) had shown many a facet that could be construed in “negation”. This paper is an attempt to revisit the notion of negation that R. S. Bhatnagar brought to light and to further the germane thought that he (...) had outlined in his concise exposé. Though Bhatnagar had stated that there could be negative and positive functions of negations, a vigilant reading of his article shows that the primary import of Bhatnagar is to examine the positive function of negation. According to R. S. Bhatnagar, even death, which could be the negative in its most feared form, the reality of which, has the positive effect on the soul force in its commitment to live well and die well. R. S. Bhatnagar’s engagement with negation is not complete unless one takes into consideration “negation” as an integral part of philosophizing in India, whether it is the Buddhist tradition or any other tradition. One encounters the philosophical “exercise” on negation enormously in Buddhist thought. The first part of the paper is a brief discussion on the views of Bhatnagar in his essay mentioned with the author’s considerable add-on, while the second part brings home the Buddhist facet and paradigm of negation, the missing link in Bhatnagar. The third part of the paper is an unveilment of the cogitation of R. S. Bhatnagar on “death” in terms of negation. (shrink)
Fractures are widely developed in various reservoirs, where they provide not only migration pathways but also additional storage space for oil and gas. With the improvement of exploration and development in recent years, the study of fractures has become one of the key factors for high production in reservoirs, and the accurate identification of fracture distribution is of great significance for the exploration and development of many reservoirs. Outcrop, core observation, well logging, and imaging analysis all show that various types (...) of fractures are widely developed in the Ordovician carbonate reservoir in the Shunbei area of the Tarim Basin, with horizontal fractures and low-angle oblique fractures being the main types. To strengthen the further study of fractures in this area, we improve the commonly used ratio of the range to standard deviation analysis method. We combine numerical analysis of R/S curves and the existing core data to predict fracture development zones in the Ordovician reservoirs north of the Shunbei no. 5 fault zone. Validated by fractures observed in the core, our results indicate that the R/S analysis is able to predict fractures in the carbonate reservoir. By adding a second derivative term, we are able to reduce the false positives suffered by the traditional R/S method. Fracture prediction is more automated, more accurate, and precise, with accurate identification approaching 68%. We also examine the ability of different log curves for fracture identification, and we determine that the RD and AC curves are the most effective. Our findings indicate that the R/S analysis method using conventional log curves holds great promise in fracture prediction for areas lacking core and image log data. (shrink)
Rauszer and Sabalski proved in  that distributivity with respect to inﬁ- nite joins and meets is a sucient and necessary condition making the RasiowaSikorski Lemma valid in distributive lattices. The main part of their proof is a direct construction of a required ﬁlter under distributivity. In this note we show that a generalization of the result can be obtained from the Rasiowa-Sikorski Lemma for Boolean algebras by using Gornemann’s result in  instead of a direct con- ¨ struction. Suppose (...) A is a distributive lattice and Q; R 2 A f;g. We call A complete if 8M 2 Q9 M 2 A and 8N 2 R9 F N 2 A. M 2 Q is -dis if 9 M 2 A and 8a 2 A a t M = m2M. N 2 R is F -dis if 9 F N 2 A and 8a 2 A a u F N = F n2N. is called distributive if every M 2 Q is -dis and every N 2 R is F -dis. Suppose A is complete and C; D A. By rC we mean the ﬁlter in A generated by C, in particular, let r; = ; = ;. is called complete if and , where 8M 2 Q 9m 2 MrC \ D[fmg = ;) 8N 2 R 9n 2 NrC[fng \ D = ;). (shrink)
In his work on personal identity, Derek Parfit makes two revolutionary claims: firstly, that personal identity is not what matters in survival; and secondly, that what does matter is relation R. In this article I demonstrate his position here to be inconsistent, with the former claim being defensible only in case the latter is false. Parfit intends his famous fission argument to establish the unimportance of identity – a conclusion disputed by, among others, Mark Johnston. My approach is to critically (...) assess their debate, focusing on Johnston's reductio of Parfit's position. I contend that although Parfit's own response fails, there are other ways to save the fission argument. The unimportance of identity then comes at a cost, however, because the reductio can only be avoided by accepting either that nothing matters in survival, or else that facts about particles and forces do. Either way, relation R cannot be what matters. (shrink)
Where Deleuze and Guattari introduce us to “lines of flight,” they transcode the mechanics of “flight” through “capture,” fomenting what is understood by many as Deleuze’s philosophical thesis: forging an analog relationship between univocity and difference via multiplicitious immanence. This is, of course, posed against Freud’s molar unities in their second chapter “One or Several Wolves.” Thus, if Heidegger is the philosopher par excellance of queries between hermeneutics and immanence (the philosopher of anti-immanence), it is Deleuze who asks “what is (...) the relationship between immanence and multiplicity?” While, for radical immanence qua Laruelle and post-Laruelleans, Deleuze is confounded with multiplicity (caught in an eternal Prometheun ἰσονομία (isonomia) where there is no victor), for Deleuze multiplicity and difference are two components that can fit together adeptly. Guided by the principle of univocity, Deleuze describes a world of pure multiplicity—all multiplicities are equally immanent within nature. As Whitehead spoke of “occasions,” Deleuze speaks of specific gatherings (of heterogeneous multiplicities), dubbed “assemblages,” that occasion themselves as blips – blips of singularity on an otherwise smooth plane. Following philosopher Levi R. Bryant's account of "dim media," I situate political lines of flight qua psychogeographies vis-a-vis urban topology. (shrink)