Questioning the idea of the individual as an autonomous moral agent

Journal of Moral Education 41 (3):301-310 (2012)
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This paper examines ways in which current moral values are influenced by earlier patterns of thinking carried forward in root metaphors whose meanings were often framed by the analogues settled upon in the past by thinkers who were influenced by the silences and prejudices of their culture. It is argued that such tacitly inherited metaphors reproduce the myth of the individual as a moral agent and that this both is ecologically unsustainable and undermines other important ways of understanding the individual. In various ways the form of critical thinking to which it gives rise stands in the way of individuals exercising what Gregory Bateson refers to as their ?ecological intelligence? in a manner that properly takes account of the interdependent nature of cultural and natural ecologies. It is argued that if in the West (at least) a shift could be made to relying on ?ecology? as the dominant root metaphor the whole system of Western moral values would undergo a radical change to one better suited to a current Western environmental situation



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Citations of this work

Brief response to Blenkinsop and Humphreys.Robert Stratford - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (2):156-156.
Brief response to Blenkinsop and Humphreys.Robert Stratford - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-1.

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References found in this work

Pedagogy of the oppressed.Paulo Freire - 2008 - In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1970 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Myra Bergman Ramos, Donaldo P. Macedo & Ira Shor.
Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.Walter J. Ong - 1983 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 16 (4):270-271.

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