In this paper I wish to comment upon the use of polemical argument in philosophy of education and education. Like Foucault, I believe that a whole morality is at stake because polemical argument obfuscates the search for truth at the expense of truth and the other’s veracity, integrity and dignity. The use of polemics is illustrated by two arguments. The first general argument is taken from an attack upon Albert Camus by the British writer Colin Wilson. The second more particular (...) example is taken from attacks in New Zealand by the State Department of Education upon the educational ideas of the novelist and educator Sylvia Ashton-Warner. Finally I discuss how polemics might be countered in education. (shrink)
In recent educational reforms in New Zealand, a central assumption has been the existence of a free and autonomous chooser acting as a consumer of education. The present paper examines and critiques this notion of autonomy, as developed within liberal theory. Both Foucault and Lyotard provide materials for this critique of such a self, a self independent of the laws and principles of a community.
Lyotard talks of performativity or the subsumption of education to the efficient functioning of the social system. Education is no longer to be concerned with the pursuit of ideals such as that of personal autonomy or emancipation, but with the means, techniques or skills that contribute to the efficient operation of the state in the world market and contribute to maintaining the internal cohesion and legitimation of the state. But this requires individuals of a certain kind -- not Kantian autonomous (...) persons but Foucault's normalized and governable individuals. In constituting such individuals discourse is critically important. But how discourse effects this through the force of language is not fully developed by Foucault. This paper draws upon the performative account of language offered by John Austin to develop more fully comments made by Foucault on the force or effects of language in constituting normalized and governable individuals for the march of performativity. (shrink)
Critical thinking, considered as a version of informallogic, must consider emotions and personal attitudesin assessing assertions and conclusions in anyanalysis of discourse. It must therefore presupposesome notion of the self. Critical theory may be seenas providing a substantive and non-neutral positionfor the exercise of critical thinking. It thereforemust presuppose some notion of the self. This paperargues for a Foucauldean position on the self toextend critical theory and provide a particularposition on the self for critical thinking. Thisposition on the self is (...) developed from moretraditional accounts of the self from Descartes toSchopenhauer, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. (shrink)
In 1975 I published an article on Gilbert Ryle's task/achievement analysis of teaching, arguing that teaching was in Ryle's sense of the distinction a task verb. Philosophers of education were appealing to a distinction between tasks and achievements in their discussions of teaching, but they were often also appealing to Ryle's work on the analysis of task and achievement verbs. Many philosophers of education misunderstood Ryle's distinction as teaching was often claimed to be a term with both an achievement sense (...) and a task sense. In terms of Ryle's distinction a verb could not have both a task and an achievement sense. It will be argued that in recent discussions of education, teaching is treated more as an achievement verb than as a task verb, contrary to my original claim that teaching was a task verb. ‘Teaching’ then would appear to have changed its meaning. If that is so, it is a function of altered approaches to teaching, whereby unless something of value has been added then the teaching was not successful, or appropriate. (shrink)
Recent curriculum âreformâ in western educational systems has seen a major emphasis on electronic technology, but reform literature seldom problematises the form that this new education should take in this new mode of information. From the particular case of New Zealand it is argued that knowledge has been replaced by information, knowing that (something is the case) by knowing how (acquiring skills), while electronic writing tends to be treated as a mere extension of print literacy. However, the information economy is (...) a major force restructuring not only the curriculum but, also, our social and cultural relations, established notions of knowledge, authority, and rights, and our notions of subjectivity. The purpose of this paper is to problematise this move to information in the new electronic technologies. (shrink)
This distinctive collection by scholars from around the world focuses upon the cultural, educational, and political significance of Richard Rorty's thought. The nine essays which comprise the collection examine a variety of related themes: Rorty's neopragmatism, his view of philosophy, his philosophy of education and culture, Rorty's comparison between Dewey and Foucault, his relation to postmodern theory, and, also his form of political liberalism.
We describe an evaluation undertaken on contract for the New Zealand State Services Commission of a major project (the Administrative Decision-Making Skills Project) designed to produce a model of administrative decision making and an associated teaching/learning packagefor use by government officers. It describes the evaluation of a philosophical model of decision making and the associated teaching/learning package in the setting of the New Zealand Public Service, where a deliberate attempt has been initiated to improve the quality of decision making, especially (...) in relation to moral factors. (shrink)
Freud saw the dream as occupying a very important position in his theoretical model. If there were to be problems with his theoretical account of the dream then this would impinge upon proposed therapy and, of course, education as the right balance between the instincts and the institution of culture. Wittgenstein, whilst stating that Freud was interesting and important, raised several issues in relation to psychology/psychoanalysis, and to Freud in particular. Why would Wittgenstein have seen Freud as having some important (...) things to say, even though he was sharply critical of Freud's claims to be scientific? The major issues to be considered in this paper are, in Section 1, the scientific status of Freud's work—was it science or was it more like philosophy than science; the analysis of dreams; rationality, and dreams and madness. Section 2 considers Freud and education, including the indignity of Freud's notion of ‘the talking cure.’ Section 3 considers psychoanalytic explanations not as theory but as a manner of speaking: ‘une façon de parler.’. (shrink)
The term ‘knowledge economy’, like the term ‘globalisation’, has become a catchword in political and educational debate over the last decade or so, especially in debates upon educational policy where the role of education in preparing young people to take their part in the Knowledge Economy is often seen as paramount over other traditional schooling activities. It is said in such debates that the production of knowledge, information and skills, will become more valuable than traditional primary and secondary production. A (...) lot is said about the knowledge required in the Knowledge Economy, and about how institutions, businesses, activities and human beings are to be ordered or structured in accordance with views of knowledge and new Management theories. But little is said of the young people expected to take their part in the knowledge economy. Do they have a choice? Is lying on a surfboard excluded from their life options? How will they be developed, trained or educated to take their part? Will they be committed to developing their selves in accordance with the model of the IT Knowledge Entrepreneur presented as a model for education by policy makers in the Knowledge Economy? This article will argue against this latter notion of the development of the self, arguing that because knowledge is prioritised over ethics, there is both an inadequate notion of the self and the educational development of the self and, because of its implicit view only of ethics, an inadequate ethical and moral view of education [246 words]. (shrink)
First I would like to thank Clarence Joldersma for his review of our Poststructuralism, Philosophy, Pedagogy. In particular, I would thank him for his opening sentence: “[t]his book is a response to a lack.” It is the notion of a lack, noted again later in his review, which I wish to take up mainly in this response. Rather than defending or elaborating our particular contributions to PPP—the latter would be a great indignity to my colleagues as I would not write (...) over them—I will take the opportunity to develop the theme of a lack, as I believe that Joldersma has raised a very important issue. But first I will respond briefly to some of Joldersma’s general and opening statements about the book, and my philosophical position in particular. (shrink)