Ralph Kingston, inBureaucrats and Bourgeois Society, argues that government employees constituted the core of the French bourgeoisie in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book lends support to the Marxist interpretation of the Revolution, not as a breakthrough of a capitalist bourgeoisie, but as a conflict originating in a social structure whose economic surplus was appropriated politically. This review posits that the peasants’ subsistence strategies constrained the economic evolution of the country and led well-to-do families to invest in shares of (...) governmental authority and careers in the civil service rather than in private enterprises. The slow economic growth and pursuit of state offices represent underlying continuities between the Old Regime and the nineteenth century. The notable changes resulted from the popular uprisings of 1789–93 and the rationalisation of the state apparatus during the revolutionary decade. (shrink)
As might be expected, self‐identified liberals are more likely than conservatives to hold anti‐free market views. Liberals are more likely to support wage and price controls and the nationalization of industries, and are generally more hostile to business and profits. Less expectedly, while conservatives hold free‐market views relative to liberals, conservatives don't hold such views in any absolute sense. They often support the same economic measures as liberals, but by less decisive margins.
Recent events around the world point to the dire need to counter harmful unconscious bias. Reams of evidence now exists that literal pre-judgement in regards to race, sex, ethnicity, age and religion among other categories strongly affects our behaviour in ways that when we consciously contemplate it, we would condemn. Using Community of Inquiry methods in developing critical reasoning and empathy offer some possible remedies but also hold pitfalls. The dilemma concerns the fact that if harmful unconscious connotative representations are (...) unconscious, then it’s terribly hard to spot and correct them. We need a better way of exploring our own poorly-arrived at beliefs: we need other people. Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of dialogic understanding allows meaning to be created through the process of discussion. It gets particularly interesting when this idea combines with the notion of a “floating signifier.” This suggests that a discussion could then also alter the connotative value of words, signs and concepts through making what had been hidden overt. This paper explores the ways that the dilemma of damaging discourse could be altered and strategies for interrupting this, including the format of a Community of Inquiry. The promise offered by a Community of Inquiry is that connotative meanings can be made explicit. It also points to the challenge: unveiling hidden bias only becomes possible in a setting of great diversity. In the end, while a Community of Inquiry may not be able to solve the problem of unconscious bias, it may help combat the consequences. (shrink)
Plato claims that “philosophy begins in wonder”. To genuinely question the unquestioned opens a hole in the floor of certainty. This feeling is the prerequisite to true philosophical thinking. However, paradoxically, it is often the absence of irreverence that prevents true awe. In order to provoke moral seriousness in students, it is common to inadvertently “flatten” the moral world by injecting seriousness into everything; however, when everything is serious, nothing is serious. This paper explores the role of conceptual and tonal (...) irreverence, and situates this topic more generally within the role of humor in pedagogy. Finally, the presentation demonstrates connections to social justice and the ways that educational reform, in flattening the moral world, have omitted the opportunity to generate wonder and reverence. Platon tvrdi da “filozofija počinje s čuđenjem”. Istinsko preispitivanje neispitanoga izaziva nesigurnost. Taj osjećaj preduvjet je istinskom filozofskom mišljenju. Međutim, paradoksalno, često je upravo nedostatak humora ono što sprječava istinsko čuđenje. Kako bi se izazvala moralna ozbiljnost u studenata uobičajeno je da se nehotice moralni svijet predstavi dosadnijim nego što uistinu jest, dajući svemu ozbiljan predznak; no ništa nije ozbiljno kada je sve ozbiljno. Ovaj rad istražuje ulogu konceptualnog i tonalnog humora te ovu temu općenitije pozicionira u sferu uloge humora u pedagogiji. U konačnici, prezentacija prikazuje veze s društvenom pravdom i načinima na koje je obrazovna reforma, putem prikaza morala kao ozbiljne teme, propustila priliku za stvaranje čuđenja i poštivanja. (shrink)
We live at a time when many aspects of our educational culture are declared to be in crisis. Increasingly, the STEM movement dominates initiatives at the same time that there is less agreement about what constitutes a Humanities or liberal arts education. Relatively broad consensus indicates that it should make students somehow “better”. Within the field of pre-college normative ethics surveys, a survey of textbooks shows that most agree on what a course like this should look like. In evaluating the (...) effects of an ethics curriculum, however, most show diffidence to claim moral transformation in their students. At least part of this problem seems to stem from mainstream philosophy’s longtime bias against and misunderstanding of emotions. A closer look at emotions and how they might be educated offers a very different picture how a successful ethics curriculum could look. A typical ethics curriculum of any level presumes that a course neutral in regards to which, if any, of the normative ethical theories covered is true. However, any such course begins with a host of implied values that might not necessarily be shared with the students. If it’s the case, as contemporary moral psychology suggests that at the very least, our rational minds inform our behavior and moral judgments far less than we might have thought, then a course in normative ethics needs to engage emotions far more effectively. Martha Nussbaum’s recent work Political Emotions suggests some important ways that desirable emotions like civic love and undesirable emotions like disgust might relate to a curriculum. With the right approach, perhaps we can begin to claim that a moral philosophy course might make someone more moral. (shrink)