Herner Sæverot begins this article with an example: how Søren Kierkegaard used deceit as a means to educate. In one of his biographical texts, it turns out that Kierkegaard's objective was to deceive his readers into a totalized and universal truth. According to Sæverot, Kierkegaard's approach shows that he was a “demystifier,” someone who wants to save an other from delusion and bring this person into a better understanding of the world. Contrary to Kierkegaard, Sæverot argues that education is (...) [im]possible—which, he further maintains, may open up the possibility of being “educated.” Sæverot couches his argument in the context of a novel, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Through a phenomenological study, Sæverot demonstrates how Nabokov creates deceits and adverse forces in his writings so as to open up a space of education, wherein the reader can take active part. The education of Nabokov is thus unpredictable and transformative. The ways in which Nabokov deceives and “educates” can, Sæverot ultimately contends, open up new domains for the field of educational theory. (shrink)
This article aims at making a case for the role of seduction in existential education, that is, education that focuses on the pupil’s life choices. First, the article attempts to show that the relationship between the teacher and the pupil can be understood as a form of seduction. Secondly, the article examines how such a relationship functions in practice. Thirdly, the article warns against dangerous aspects related to seduction, and lastly, the article offers five conditions for how seduction can be (...) used in a justifiable manner in existential education. (shrink)
After providing a general overview and critique of some of the main problems with teacher praise, in which I basically argue that praise binds and controls the students instead of liberating them, I go on to examine whether it is possible to praise without the intention to control the students. In this way I challenge conventional and standardising ways of praising, and argue that it is possible to make room for the singularity and uniqueness of students through praise.
This essay initiates a fundamental discussion about education’s nature and character, and raises the questions: Is education reliant on other disciplines as, for example, psychology, sociology and philosophy? Or may education be thought of independently, without being reliant on other disciplines? These questions are discussed in the light of Theodor Litt’s educational reading of Hegel’s understanding of dialectics, as it appears in the book Phenomenology of Spirit, in order to support that education has a relational and dialectic nature. In the (...) second part, we connect the concept of ‘Hegelian dialectic structure’ with scientific theory. More specifically, we introduce a theoretically oriented concept, based on semantic theory construction; namely, ‘relational parameter bundles’. This concept clarifies the difference between education and other ‘scientific,’ often more empirically based disciplines, such as psychology, on which education, or rather, educational researchers, traditionally rely. Through our theoretical approach we aim to uncover fundamental differences within different disciplines’ scientific thinking, and their use of theories and models, which then manifest themselves in the discipline’s scientific assessments and practical actions. An uncritical integration of other disciplines in education may destroy the ‘true’ nature of education, and thus pose a danger to education’s character, problem areas and ways of conducting research. That does not mean that education shall be isolated from other disciplines, it is rather a question of when perspectives from other disciplines should be included in educational matters. Not before the educational questions are raised and worked through will it be appropriate to obtain knowledge from other disciplines, if, that is, it is deemed necessary based on educational judgment. (shrink)
The paper Publish yet perish: On the pitfalls of philosophy of education in an age of impact factors is written in response to Matthew Hayden’s analysis of publications in four major English-language journals on philosophy of education. The authors take their point of departure in Hayden’s Table 12, which is a list of the top fifteen countries regarding the number and percentage of articles published in the four journals. They point out that the publication output in the field of philosophy (...) of education is compared with the publication output in other disciplines. The authors are highly critical of such comparisons as it is like comparing apples and oranges. There is also the concern that certain assessment systems, which are linked to rewards and punishments, might threaten the very existence of philosophy of education. Therefore, the authors examine the output of individuals. Although the authors recognise several weaknesses of such an approach, they do underline the method’s advanta .. (shrink)
In the book Forgotten Connections. On Culture and Upbringing, originally from 1983, the late German educator Klaus Mollenhauer interprets Johann Friedrich Herbart’s educational concept of Bildsamkeit, i.e., the ability and willingness to be educated. Furthermore, Mollenhauer conceives Bildsamkeit as growing out of a primitive state towards a cultivated life. The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard, however, conceives the Christian concept of ‘primitiveness’ as a growing in the opposite direction, i.e., as a growing out of a cultivated state towards a primitive one, (...) in which the self shall let itself be invented by ‘God’. Thus, I investigate whether the concept of primitiveness may enrich the reflection on the educational concept of Bildsamkeit, as it is conceived by Mollenhauer. Towards the end of the paper I turn to Emmanuel Levinas, whose ethical reading of the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud may reveal a weakness in Kierkegaard’s concept of primitiveness. But rather than rejecting the concept of primitiveness, I suggest that we re-consider the concept, with the help of Levinas’s transcendental perspective of ‘God’. Essentially, I try to address the following question: Can Bildsamkeit be something more than the ability to be educated? Can not Bildsamkeit also be defined as being susceptible to ‘God’, who transcends our existence, after which we are lead towards a teaching and education otherwise? (shrink)
This article states that the concept of time we generally hold is a spatial version of time.However, a spatial time concept creates a series of problems,with unfortunate consequences for education.The problems become particularly obvious when the spatial time concept is used as a basis for the education function that is connected to the individuality of the pupils. In order to examine this problem more closely, the article turns to literature in order to get a new and different insight into education. (...) In part four of the novel Ada or Ardor: A family chronicle the Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov claims, by way of the protagonistVanVeen, that a spatial notion of time will lead to a determinate and reduced view of the future. Not only does one in this way sweep the very notion of time under the carpet, but one will moreover hinder the possibility of appearing as a unique and individualised person.Van is preoccupied with a pedagogic question: viz., the question of how one can become individualised through time.This is also the reason he attempts to re-create a time concept that can give him the status of a free and independent individual. With a background in Van’s analysis of time, the article attempts to derive two forms for education. First, formal education, which bases itself on a spatial time concept. Secondly, non-formal education, which bases itself on a time concept that has freed itself in the greatest possible manner from space. Neither of these two solutions is appropriate in regard to education’s individualising function. Therefore, the article draws on Nabokov’s best-known novel, Lolita, so as to broadenVan’s understanding of time. In the end, then, the article articulates a time concept that introduces a notion of education where time occurs through acts of responsibility. Not until education has such a time concept as a basis, can one, so the article argues, attain the education function that has as its goal to individualise and make responsible children and young people. (shrink)
In this highly original account of Bishop George Berkeley's epistemological and metaphysical theories, George S. Pappas seeks to determine precisely what doctrines the philosopher held and what arguments he put forward to support them. Specifically, Pappas overturns accepted opinions about Berkeley's famous attack on the Lockean doctrine of abstract ideas. Berkeley's criticism of these ideas had been thought relevant only to his views on language and to his nominalism; Pappas persuasively argues that Berkeley's ideas about abstraction are crucial to nearly (...) all of the fundamental principles that he defends. Pappas demonstrates how an adequate appreciation of Berkeley's views on abstraction can lead to an improved understanding of his important principle of esse is percipi, and of the arguments Berkeley proposes in support of this principle. Pappas also takes up Berkeley's widely rejected claim to be a philosopher of common sense. He assesses the validity of this self-description and considers why Berkeley might have chosen to align himself with a commonsense position. Pappas shows how three core concepts—abstraction, perception, and common sense—are central to and interdependent in the work of one of the major figures of early modern Western thought. (shrink)
A layman's guide to the mechanics of Gödel's proof together with a lucid discussion of the issues which it raises. Includes an essay discussing the significance of Gödel's work in the light of Wittgenstein's criticisms.
This volume gathers together for the first time are all the key texts in a crucial debate in modern philosophy, centered on Leibniz's famous 1695 essay, the "New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication," in which he introduced his strikingly original theory of metaphysics. His "system" became increasingly famous and drew him into discussion and development of these ideas, both in public and in private, with a variety of thinkers, most notably the great French philosopher Pierre Bayle. (...) Woolhouse's and Francks's new English edition gives the only full representation of this debate, and will therefore be essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a proper understanding of Leibniz's philosophy and its intelletual context. All the texts are newly translated and extensively annotated; many appear in English for the first time. (shrink)
This book presents a new and radical interpretation of some of Martin Heidegger’s most influential texts. The unfamiliar interpretations all seek to question and unframe hasty assessments of the concepts and constellations of thoughts surrounding Heidegger’s notion of modern technology.
One of the greatest of modern philosophers, on a par with his contemporary John Locke, Leibniz was born in Leipzig in 1646, died in Hanover in 1716. He was a leading figure in European intellectual circles, and the founder of the Academy of Berlin. His strange, complex metaphysical system established him as the third of the great 'Rationalists', after Descartes and Spinoza. Along with the 'New System', his most famous philosophical works are the Discourse of Metaphysics and Monadology. He also (...) made important contributions to logic, mathematics, theology, jurisprudence, and history.Gathered here for the first time are all the key texts in a crucial debate in modern philosophy, centred on Leibniz's famous 1695 essay, the `New System of the Nature of Substances and their Communication'. In this classic essay Leibniz introduced to a broad European readership the strikingly original metaphysical ideas he had come to a decade earlier. His 'system' became increasingly famous and drew him into discussion and development of these ideas, both in public and in private, with a variety of thinkers: Simon Foucher; Henri Basbage de Beauval; Francois Lamy; Isaac Jacquelot; the Englishwoman Damaris Masham; Pierre Desmaizeaux; René Joseph de Tournemine; and most notably the great French philosopher and scholar Pierre Bayle. (shrink)
Recent Anglophone scholarship has successfully shown that Nietzsche's thought makes important contributions to a wide range of contemporary philosophical debates. In so doing, however, scholarship has lost sight of another important feature of Nietzsche's project, namely his desire to challenge the very conception of philosophy that has been used to assess his merits as a philosopher. In other words, contemporary scholarship has overlooked Nietzsche's contributions to metaphilosophy, i.e. debates around the nature, methods, and aims of philosophy. This important new collection (...) of essays brings together an international group of distinguished scholars to explore and discuss these contributions and debates. It will appeal to anyone interested in metaphilosophy, Nietzsche studies, German studies, or intellectual history. (shrink)
S. A. Lloyd proposes a radically new interpretation of Hobbes's Leviathan that shows transcendent interests - interests that override the fear of death - to be crucial to both Hobbes's analysis of social disorder and his proposed remedy to it. Most previous commentators in the analytic philosophical tradition have argued that Hobbes thought that credible threats of physical force could be sufficient to deter people from political insurrection. Professor Lloyd convincingly shows that because Hobbes took the transcendence of religious and (...) moral interests seriously, he never believed that mere physical force could ensure social order. Lloyd's interpretation demonstrates the ineliminability of that half of Leviathan devoted to religion, and attributes to Hobbes a much more plausible conception of human nature than the narrow psychological egoism traditionally attributed to Hobbes. (shrink)
R. S. Peters on Education and Ethics reissues seven titles from Peters' life's work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the books are concerned with the philosophy of education and ethics. Topics include moral education and learning, authority and responsibility, psychology and ethical development and ideas on motivation amongst others. The books discuss more traditional theories and philosophical thinkers as well as exploring later ideas in a way which makes the subjects they discuss still relevant today.
In this study of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Paul S. Loeb proposes a fresh account of the relation between the book's literary and philosophical aspects and argues that the book's narrative is designed to embody and exhibit the truth of eternal recurrence. Loeb shows how Nietzsche constructed a unified and complete plot in which the protagonist dies, experiences a deathbed revelation of his endlessly repeating life, and then returns to his identical life so as to recollect this revelation and gain (...) a power over time that advances him beyond the human. Through close textual analysis and careful attention to Nietzsche's use of Platonic, biblical, and Wagnerian themes, Loeb explains how this novel design is the key to solving the many riddles of Thus Spoke Zarathustra - including its controversial fourth part, its obscure concept of the Übermensch, and its relation to Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. (shrink)
Collingwood’s “Libellus de Generatione: An Essay in Absolute Empiricism” was a tract of strenuous philosophical revisionism; never published, perhaps unpublishable, supposedly destroyed, it survived. He begins by stressing his obligations to David Hume; he offers his thematic: “absolute denial of any such concept as substance and the resolution of all reality into the reality of experience.” “The reality of mind is the process of its experience, its life, and nothing else”. Or, “the mind is a mirror... whose being is solely (...) the activity of reflecting”; it has no “substance of its own of which this activity is only a reflection”. Collingwood’s entire career as student and teacher... (shrink)
This work is intended as an introduction to the study of Soviet psy chology. In it we have tried to present the main lines of Soviet psycho logical theory, in particular, the philosophical principles on which that theory is founded. There are surprisingly few books in English on Soviet psychology, or, indeed, in any Western European language. The works that exist usually take the form of symposia or are collections of articles translated from Soviet periodicals. The most important of these (...) are Psychology in the Soviet Union (ed. by Brian Simon), Recent Soviet Psychology (ed. by Neil O'Connor) and Soviet Psychology, A Symposium (ed. by Ralf Winn). Raymond Bauer has also edited an interesting symposium entitled Some Views on Soviet Psychology. Only two systematic studies of Soviet psychology have been published to date: Joseph Wortis' Soviet Psychiatry and Raymond Bauer's The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Both are valuable introductions to Soviet psychology; Bauer's book, in particular, gives a good account of the debates on psychological theory in the Soviet Union in the nineteen twenties and -thirties. Both, however, are somewhat out of date. There are also a number of interesting articles written by Ivan D. London and Gregory Razran, which give general surveys of particular periods or aspects of Soviet psychology. These have been listed in the bibliography. (shrink)
While perhaps best known for his Lives, Plutarch also wrote philosophical dialogues that constitute a major intellectual legacy from the first century A.D. This collection presents two important short works from his writings in moral philosophy. They reveal Plutarch at his best--informative, sympathetic, rich in narrative--and are accompanied by an extensive commentary that situates Plutarch and his views on marriage in their historical context.
Just as some types of philosophical analysis are more useful than others to historians or political scientists, so, I find, are some sorts of historical research more useful to philosophers than are other sorts. Sommerville makes history useful to non-historians by clarifying the large-scale historical background against which his investigative questions are posed, and then separating out crucial figures, ideas, and events from arcana of interest primarily to specialist historians. His interpretations are relatively neutral, striking a welcome balance between mere (...) reporting of events or textual ideas on the one hand, and on the other, accounts so theoretically laden that they prejudge or foreclose promising interpretive possibilities. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophical discourse has deeply problematized the possibility of absolute existence. Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics demonstrates that by reading Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept in his Science of Logic as a form of Absolute Dialetheism, Hegel’s logic of the concept can account for the possibility of absolute existence. Through a close examination of Hegel’s concept of self-referential universality in his Science of Logic, Moss demonstrates how Hegel’s concept of singularity is designed to solve a host of metaphysical and epistemic paradoxes (...) central to this problematic. He illustrates how Hegel’s revolutionary account of universality, particularity, and singularity offers solutions to six problems that have plagued the history of Western philosophy: the problem of nihilism, the problem of instantiation, the problem of the missing difference, the problem of absolute empiricism, the problem of onto-theology, and the third man regress. Moss shows that Hegel’s affirmation and development of a revised ontological argument for God’s existence is designed to establish the necessity of absolute existence. By adopting a metaphysical reading of Richard Dien Winfield’s foundation free epistemology, Moss critically engages dominant readings and contemporary debates in Hegel scholarship. Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics will appeal to scholars interested in Hegel, German Idealism, 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and contemporary European thought. (shrink)
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise in managing the conflict (...) of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
Papers delivered at the joint meeting of the Hegel Society of America and the Hegel Society of Great Britain held at Merton College, Oxford, Sept. 1-4, 1981, to mark the 150th anniversary of Hegel's death. Includes bibliographical references and index.
The purpose of Donald Winch’s "historiographic revision" is to show that most recent interpretations of Smith have distorted his meaning because they have misread the intention of Smith’s work, treating it either as the first great justification of the nascent liberal capitalist polity, or as such a justification infiltrated by intimations of the Marxian notion of alienation. In Winch’s view, either account of Smith’s project is misleading by virtue of imposing nineteenth-century perspectives and categories upon "what is quintessentially a work (...) of the eighteenth century." The problem, then, is to determine the historically appropriate context or problematic within which the complex and at times paradoxical thought of the Wealth of Nations, the Theory of Moral Sentiments, and the Lectures on Jurisprudence can reasonably be situated. As Winch notes, his study is an application of the contextualist methodological principles of Quentin Skinner and J. G. A. Pocock, and is similar in design to recent works on Locke by John Dunn and on Hume by Duncan Forbes. (shrink)
The doctrine of idols is one of the most famous aspects of Bacon's thought. Yet his claim that the idols lead to madness has gone almost entirely unnoticed. This paper argues that Bacon's theory of idols underlies his diagnosis of the contemporary condition as one of ‘universal madness’. In contrast to interpretations that locate his doctrine of error and recovery within the biblical narrative of the Fall, the present analysis focuses on the material and cultural sources of the mind's tendency (...) towards error. It explains the idols in terms of Bacon's materialist psychology and his exposé of the debilitating effects of language and traditional learning. In so doing, it highlights the truly radical nature of the idols. For Bacon, the first step towards sanity was to alert people to the prevailing madness. The doctrine of idols was intended as a wake-up call, preparing the way for a remedy in the form of his new method of inquiry. The paper concludes by indicating how Bacon's method aimed to treat ‘universal madness’, and it suggests that his diagnosis influenced John Locke. (shrink)
Walter Freeman's theory of nonlinear neurodynamics has had a major impact on brain dynamics in modern cognitive neuroscience. Steven Bressler's theory of neurocognitive networks follows from Freeman's work, and his empirical evidence for the coordination of cortical areas by phase-coupled beta rhythms in large-scale cognitive brain networks supports Freeman's ideas on nonlinear brain dynamics. Bressler's work, taking Freeman's concepts into the realm of cognitive neurodynamics, also supports Scott Kelso's theory of metastability in coordination dynamics. The aims of the present paper (...) are threefold: 1) to explore relevant concepts in Freeman's theoretical framework, 2) unify it and provide empirical support for it, and 3) explore its import for the study of consciousness. We take as our point of departure Bressler and Kelso's 2016 publication on cortical coordination dynamics and the Freeman-Kelso dialogue noted in the literature on this topic. In our view, Freeman's conceptual framework has great explanatory power. Its grounding in a dynamical systems approach to the study of brain function, and its incorporation of embodiment, make it relevant to the study of consciousness. Thus, with Freeman, we argue that the scientific understanding of consciousness must move beyond notions of computationalism and mental representations, to employ concepts of nonlinear brain dynamics and embodiment. (shrink)
It is well-established that toddlers can correctly select a novel referent from an ambiguous array in response to a novel label. There is also a growing consensus that robust word learning requires repeated label-object encounters. However, the effect of the context in which a novel object is encountered is less well-understood. We present two embodied neural network replications of recent empirical tasks, which demonstrated that the context in which a target object is encountered is fundamental to referent selection and word (...) learning. Our model offers an explicit account of the bottom-up associative and embodied mechanisms which could support children’s early word learning and emphasises the importance of viewing behaviour as the interaction of learning at multiple timescales. (shrink)
In 1931 the mathematical logician Kurt Godel published a revolutionary paper that challenged certain basic assumptions underpinning mathematics and logic. A colleague of Albert Einstein, his theorem proved that mathematics was partly based on propositions not provable within the mathematical system and had radical implications that have echoed throughout many fields. A gripping combination of science and accessibility, Godel’s Proof by Nagel and Newman is for both mathematicians and the idly curious, offering those with a taste for logic and philosophy (...) the chance to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. (shrink)