Previous governments and other commentators have emphasized the relationship between a teacher's knowledge of the subject material being taught and the quality of learning outcomes. This has been reflected in the entry requirements to Initial Teacher Training of public examination performance in the core subjects. However, disquiet has been expressed as to the efficacy of such qualifications as indicators of knowledge and skills at the entry point. Recent changes to ITT regulations require students' actual knowledge of the content of the (...) three core subjects to be audited. This paper reports and reflects on the effects that re-examining their knowledge and skills in mathematics has had on the confidence of primary trainee teachers. It presents some key questions that must be addressed if the current audit regulations are indeed to benefit our future teachers and to enhance the learning of our pupils. (shrink)
Henry Morris (1889-1961), the great educational philosopher, and initiator of the integrated community educational centre - embodied in the Cambridgeshire village college system - was county education officer and had his first 'memorandum' on the concept of community education printed by the Cambridge University Press. 1984 is both the 60th anniversary of his first memorandum and the 400th anniversary of the Press and this commemorative book will be published to coincide with a number of events to celebrate that. The (...) book is a collection of his papers, mainly about community education, edited by Professor Harry Re;e, who is closely associated with the Community Education Development Centre in Coventry. (shrink)
The sovereignty of the people, it is widely said, is the foundation of modern democracy. The truth of this claim depends on the plausibility of attributing sovereignty to “the people” in the first place, and I shall express skepticism about this possibility. I shall suggest as well that the notion of popular sovereignty is complex, and that appeals to the notion may be best understood as expressing several different ideas and ideals. This essay distinguishes many of these and suggests that (...) greater clarity at least would be obtained by focusing directly on these notions and ideals and eschewing that of sovereignty. My claim, however, will not merely be that the notion is multifaceted and complex. I shall argue as well that the doctrine that the people are, or ought to be, sovereign is misleading in potentially dangerous ways, and is conducive to a misunderstanding of the nature of politics, governance, and social order. It would be well to do without the doctrine, but it may be equally important to understand its errors. Our understandings and justifications of democracy, certainly, should dispense with popular sovereignty. (shrink)
One of the most difficult and perplexing tenets of classical theism is the doctrine of divine simplicity. Broadly put, this is generally understood to be the thesis that God is altogether without any proper parts, composition, or metaphysical complexity whatsoever. For a good deal more than a millennium, veritable armies of philosophical theologians – Jewish, Christian and Islamic – proclaimed the truth and importance of divine simplicity. Yet in our own time, the doctrine has enjoyed no such support. Among many (...) otherwise orthodox theists, those who do not just disregard it completely explicitly deny it. However, in a couple of recent articles, William E. Mann has attempted to expound the idea of divine simplicity anew and to defend it against a number of criticisms. He even has gone so far as to hint at reaffirming its importance, suggesting that the doctrine may have a significant amount of explanatory power and other theoretical virtue as part of an overall account of the nature of God, by either entailing or in other ways providing for much else that traditional theists have wanted to say about God. In this paper, I want to take a close look at Mann's formulation of the doctrine and at a general supporting theory he adumbrates in his attempt to render more plausible, or at least more defensible, various of its elements and implications. As Mann has made what is arguably the best attempt to defend the doctrine in recent years, I think that such an examination is important and will repay our efforts. (shrink)
One of the most noteworthy features of David Gauthier's rational choice, contractarian theory of morality is its appeal to self-interested rationality. This appeal, however, will undoubtedly be the source of much controversy and criticism. For while self-interestedness is characteristic of much human behavior, it is not characteristic of all such behavior, much less of that which is most admirable. Yet contractarian ethics appears to assume that humans are entirely self-interested. It is not usually thought a virtue of a theory that (...) its assumptions are literally false. What may be said on behalf of the contractarian? (shrink)
Philosophy, according to a prominent conception of its nature and method, consists primarily of conceptual or linguistic analysis. Because the relations between concepts are logical, and because the propositions which express them are necessary, philosophy is taken to be an a priori activity.
In an article which appeared a few years ago, entitled ‘God's Death’ , A.D. Smith launched one of the most interesting of recent attacks on the traditional doctrine of the Incarnation. Focusing on the death of Christ, he claimed to demonstrate the logical impossibility of Jesus having been both human and divine. Each of the premises of his argument was said to be a commitment of orthodox theology. He thus presented his reasoning as displaying an internal incoherence in that way (...) of thinking about divinity, humanity, and the person of Christ. The argument was basically quite simple: According to Christian theology and in concurrence with general thought on the matter, we must hold that human death involves the possibility of annihilation. As a man, Jesus of Nazareth faced and underwent a human death. He thus faced the possibility of annihilation. But orthodox theologians hold God to be of such an ontological status that no divine being could even possibly be annihilated. So no divine person could die a human death. From this follows the impossibility of the traditional claim that the Second Person of the divine Trinity became a man, lived a human life, and died a human death for us and our salvation. The qualitative difference between God and man is such as to render incarnational christology an incoherent theological stance. (shrink)
In this volume comprised of sixteen essays and rebuttals, author and professor of philosophy Susan Haack responds to her fellow philosophers and her critics on a wide range of topics that involve much more than the esoteric nature of contemporary philosophy. Instead, as is Haack's forte, she asserts her views on important current issues such as how scientists conduct their work, the ethics of affirmative action and the pitfalls of preferential hiring, and how the distorted reality the postmodern thinkers (...) have presented has corrupted legal thinking. Her charge is to bring clarity, precision, integrity, and most of all, practicality to her field of study. (shrink)
According to welfarism about value, something is good simpliciter just in case it is good for some being or beings. In her recent Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, “Good-For-Nothings”, Susan Wolf argues against welfarism by appeal to great works of art, literature, music, and philosophy. Wolf provides three main arguments against this view, which I call The Superfluity Argument, The Explanation of Benefit Argument, and The Welfarist’s Mistake. In this paper, I reconstruct these arguments and explain where, (...) in my view, each goes wrong. (shrink)
Reviewing "The Ethics of Gender, Feminism and Christian Ethics," and "The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology," the author suggests that Susan Parsons responds to questions postmodernism has posed to both feminism and Christian ethics by using insights gained from various accounts of the moral subject found in feminist philosophy, ethics, and theology. Hesitant to embrace postmodernism's critique of the possibility of ethics, Parsons redefines ethics by establishing a moral point of view within discursive communities. Yet in her brief treatment (...) of Emmanuel Levinas, Parsons does not explore the postmodern option he offers feminists: an understanding of moral responsibility that can be critical of ethics. Parsons also ignores some feminist perspectives in the physical and natural sciences, thereby missing valuable insights of feminists who insist upon the materiality of the body. (shrink)
Historically labor has been central to human interactions with the environment, yet environmentalists pay it scant attention. Indeed, they have been critical of those who foreground labor in their politics, socialists in particular. However, environmentalists have found the nineteenth-century socialist William Morris appealing despite the fact that he wrote extensively on labor. This paper considers the place of labor in the relationship between humanity and the natural world in the work of Morris and two of his contemporaries, the (...) eminent scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, and the Fabian socialist Herbert George Wells. I suggest that Morris's conception of labor has much to recommend it to environmentalists who are also interested in issues of social justice. (shrink)
During the British socialist revival of the 1880s competing theories of evolution were central to disagreements about strategy for social change. In News from Nowhere (1891), William Morris had portrayed socialism as the result of Lamarckian processes, and imagined a non-Malthusian future. H.G. Wells, an enthusiastic admirer of Morris in the early days of the movement, became disillusioned as a result of the Malthusianism he learnt from Huxley and his subsequent rejection of Lamarckism in light of Weismann's experiments (...) on mice. This brought him into conflict with his fellow Fabian, George Bernard Shaw, who rejected neo-Darwinism in favour of a Lamarckian conception of change he called "creative evolution.". (shrink)
Efforts to introduce particular-focused and emotionally engaged storytelling into historiography have sparked intense debate. Stone-Mediatore argues that women and other under-represented groups have a particular interest in defending the epistemic value of storytelling, but that we can do so meaningfully -- not by endorsing all storytelling -- but only by articulating a metahistory that challenges the division between history and story as well as makes explicit the interrelated epistemic and ethical goals of historical inquiry. The author draws on Hannah Arendt (...) and Susan Griffin to begin to articulate such a feminist metahistory. She argues that such a metahistory throws light on the potential value of creative and engaged storytelling, not only for understanding historical events but also for building less violent worlds. (shrink)
An essay on the article "Reason and Feeling in Thinking about Justice," by Susan Moller Okin is presented. It offers a history of the original position in philosophical reasoning for explaining a sense of justice and examines feminist criticisms against such thinking for failure to appreciate differences and otherness while focused on universality and impartiality. The author relates the choice feminist theories on ethic of sympathy or care for others in place of an ethic of justice in general.
Most of us have grown up with faces on television that look back at us, talk to us, even whenwe ignore them. They smile at us, and seem to address us personally. But they cannot seeor hear us, and we may or may not know who they are. Increasingly, in societies wherescreens are prevalent , our encounters with fellow humanbeings are mediated in ways such as this. Has the ubiquitous intervention of screens in ourlives thus made it harder to understand (...) and communicate directly with one another? Or,have screens extended our capacity to empathise and ‘socialise’, bringing us face-to-facewith people and points of view that we otherwise would never have encountered? In thisessay, I examine the idea that cinematic perception enables us to see the social world froma radically different perspective, and that an experience of this perspective may in itself beethical. I focus on the use of ‘direct address’, and discuss two documentaries by Errol Morriswhere the technique of direct address is used in ways that complicate ideas of mediationand empathy: Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. and The Fog of War:Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara . I also draw on the philosophyof Emmanuel Levinas, particularly his work on ethics and the face, to analyse the effects ofMorris’s techniques. The essay highlights the importance of responsibility in human communication, and maintains that by reflecting on the viewing situation we are betterpositioned to empathise with Morris’s controversial subjects. (shrink)
George Santayana published The Realm of Matter and The Genteel Tradition at Bay. He continued work on Book Three of Realms of Being, The Realm of Truth, and on his novel, The Last Puritan. Citing his commitment to his writing and his intention to retire from academia, he declined offers from Harvard University for the Norton Chair of Poetry and for a position as William James Professor of Philosophy, as well as offers for positions at the New School for Social (...) Research and Brown University. The deaths of his half sisters, Susan Sturgis de Sastre and Josephine Sturgis, in 1928 and 1930, respectively, were extremely distressing to him. Santayana and Charles Strong continued their epistolary debate over the nature and perception of reality and the problem of knowledge. The book also includes letters to Robert Bridges, Cyril Clemens, Morris R. Cohen, Curt John Ducasse, Sydney Hook, Horace Meyer Kallen, Walter Lippmann, Ralph Barton Perry, William Lyon Phelps, and Herbert W. Schneider. Santayana sent many letters with articles and reviews to journalists Wendell T. Bush, Henry Seidel Canby, Wilbur Cross, and John Middleton Murry. Discussion of his novel and continuing work on Realms of Being took place with Otto Kyllmann and John Hall Wheelock, his editors at Constable and Scribner's. Although Santayana now made the Hotel Bristol in Rome his permanent residence, he continued to travel in England, France, and Italy. (shrink)
This study is the first examination of the works and lives of the women of the St. Louis philosophical movement and Concord School of Philosophy , two branches of the same idealist movement in America that introduced German thinkers to the American reading public, particularly G. W. F. Hegel. The St. Louis branch of the movement focused primarily on education as a civilizing force in society. The concepts of "self-activity" and self-estrangement were seen as integral to the educative process and (...) therefore became predominant themes of the movement. ;Many of the women in this study were contributors to The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, America's first philosophy journal, edited by William Torrey Harris, the recognized leader of the St. Louis and Concord circles. Figures studied include Susan Elizabeth Blow , kindergarten education theorist; Anna Callender Brackett , proponent of higher education for women; Grace C. Bibb , feminist and educator, Ellen M. Mitchell , feminist and Concord School lecturer; and Marietta Kies , a political theorist who posited altruism as a valid ethical principle for use in public life. A number of less prominent women educators and thinkers of the St. Louis movement and Concord School are also discussed. ;All the women in this study were associates of Harris or his colleagues: Thomas Davidson , John Dewey , George H. Howison , George S. Morris , Denton J. Snider , and Louis Soldan. (shrink)
[ Susan Hurley] I argue that the aim to neutralize the influence of luck on distribution cannot provide a basis for egalitarianism: it can neither specify nor justify an egalitarian distribution. Luck and responsibility can play a role in determining what justice requires to be redistributed, but from this we cannot derive how to distribute: we cannot derive a pattern of distribution from the 'currency' of distributive justice. I argue that the contrary view faces a dilemma, according to whether (...) it understands luck in interpersonal or counterfactual terms. /// [Richard J. Arneson] Does it make sense to hold that, if it is bad that some people are worse off than others, it is worse if those who are worse off come to be so through sheer bad luck that it is beyond their power to control? In her contribution to this symposium, Susan Hurley cautions against a closely related fallacy: from the fact that people have come to an unequal condition through unchosen bad luck, it does not follow that, if we aim to undo the influence of unchosen luck, we ought to institute equality of condition. Forswearing the fallacy that Hurley analyses is compatible with answering the question affirmatively, and more generally with holding that principles of distributive justice should be sensitive to the distinction between chosen and unchosen bad luck. This essay explores how this might be done. (shrink)
In this paper I lay out what I take to be the crucial insights in Susan Bordo's "Feminist Skepticism and the 'Maleness' of Philosophy" and point out some additional difficulties with the skeptical position. I call attention to an ambiguity in the nature or content of the "maleness" of philosophy that Bordo identifies. Finally, I point out that, unlike some feminist skeptics, Bordo never loses sight in her work of women's lived experiences.