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101. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
John R. Silber Philosophy and the Future of Education
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Predicting the future is a difficult and uncertain activity in which one is far more likely to be wrong than right. To predict the contribution of philosophy to education in the next century is an especially dubious enterprise because we cannot even predict the direction philosophy itself will take in the future. If, however, we follow the precedent of Immanuel Kant—who did not ask “Is knowledge possible?” but rather “What must we presuppose to account for the possibility of knowledge?”-- we can then hope for an answer. We must ask, “What must the contribution of philosophy to future education be if philosophy and future education are to benefit humankind?” This question, I believe, can be answered.
102. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Richard Feldman Epistemology, Argumentation, and Citizenship
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In this paper I will examine two issues concerning the nature of arguments, one having to do with the goal of argumentation and the criteria for a good or successful argument and the other having to do with the role of the informal fallacies in effective argument analysis.
103. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
León Olivé Can Philosophy and Education Still Emancipate Humanity?
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Philosophy has historically played an important role: it has provided individuals and whole societies with conceptions of the world, which have made meaningful their individual and collective lives. But in our contemporary world, that role has been minimized under the impact of science and technology, the global exchange of information, and the transformation of social structures. The possibility of progress in this respect depends on the possibility of recovering the values of respect and love for others, as well as respect for their cultural values. Finally, it depends on the possibility of turning the notion of humanity into a meaningful one for everybody—not only as a biological species—but rather as a truly global community of people, where differences will always exists and will be most welcome and common projects in the interest of everybody will be agreed upon and developed.
104. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Jonathan E. Adler Epistemic Dependence, Diversity of Ideas, and a Value of Intellectual Vices
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The present argument assumes that teaching through modeling attempts to teach the intellectual virtues not primarily as an independent goal of education as, for example, a way to build good character, but for its value to inquiry. I argue that intellectual vices (such as being gullible, dogmatic, pigheaded, or prejudiced)—while harmful to inquiry in certain ways—are essential to its well functioning. Furthermore, to the extent that teaching models critical inquiry, there are educational lessons for which some students ought to take a dogmatic or narrow minded commitment to certain hypotheses or positions; and then, insofar as this modeling works, it will promote these intellectual vices. In Part I of what follows, I develop my argument; in Part II, I respond to the objection that diversity of ideas and attitudes need not—and ought not—call upon the promotion of intellectual vices.
105. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Catherine Z. Elgin Education and the Advancement of Understanding
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Understanding, as I construe it, is holistic. It is a matter of how commitments mesh to form a mutually supportive, independently supported system of thought. It is advanced by bootstrapping. We start with what we think we know and build from there. This makes education continuous with what goes on at the cutting edge of inquiry. Methods, standards, categories and stances are as important as facts. So something like E. D. Hirsch’s list of facts every fourth grader should know is slightly silly. What makes for a good fourth grade education is not the set of facts the fourth grader knows, but the level of understanding she has achieved and the resources she can deploy to advance that understanding. Facts are part of the story, but so are fictions, methods, standards, and categories. A major part of understanding is recognizing what problems remain to be solved.
106. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Adrian Miroiu Changing Patterns of Teaching Philosophy
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I investigate two issues that divided philosophers on how to teach philosophy to non-philosophers in East-European countries, specifically in Romania. First, should we focus on respectable philosophical ideas like Being, Truth, God, and Reason, or spend our time in classes discussing topics one faces in everyday life, like equity, famine, abortion, or pornography? The former alternative enforces the significant cultural role philosophy (and some philosophers) enjoyed in the last decades of socialism, while the second means a dramatic change in the way philosophy relates to real life. Second, should we support the idea that great values like goodness, justice, and freedom have an enduring, non-contextual, even absolute, character, or center on tolerance, our fallibility and the social context of life? I discuss background factors that make philosophers bound to choose between such alternatives, and argue that answers are independent of our own philosophical opinions on these topics.
107. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
David Evans Global Agenda for the Teaching of Philosophy
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Philosophy is taught and studied throughout the world. In consequence the activity is suffused with the pluralism which cultural diversity imports; but still there are universals that need to be explored and stated. I set out a list of issues that should concern teachers of philosophy in any cultural context, and then proceed to try to resolve them. A number of these problems relate to the scope of philosophy teaching and its relation to other subjects at its boundaries. In this paper, I discuss how we can sustain the integrity of philosophy while at the same time not restricting its scope of operation.
108. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Wu Kuang-ming World Inter-Learning: The Global Project Of Teaching Philosophy
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Humanity must continue to grow and develop together in a complex of reciprocal relationships. Such a view presumes an education which is ultimately philosophical. That is, philosophy, teaching and globalization together complement and mutually enrich humanity. In what follows, I discuss the ground, the goal, and potential developments for this project.
109. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Gareth B. Matthews On Valuing Perplexity in Education
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Plato and Aristotle thought that philosophy begins in the perplexed recognition that there are significant puzzles one does not know how to deal with. Some such puzzles can be expressed in questions of the form, ‘How is it possible that p?’, e.g., ‘How is it possible that the world had an absolute beginning?’ I discuss an example of young children asking that last question and go on, with further examples, to make a plea for cultivating such questions as an educational objective, whether the perplexity-expressing questions themselves be scientific, philosophical, or both.
110. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Margaret Chatterjee Global Agenda for Teaching Philosophy
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Critiques of the ‘global’ have, in recent years, concerned the alleged implication of cultural dominance and secondly—and more philosophically—discerned therein foundationalism/essentialism. These charges will be examined. I next turn to the bearing of organizational/faculty matters on our theme, drawing on teaching experience in more than one country. The relocation of philosophy cannot but raise questions about how the subject itself is conceived. In the final section I suggest that the original humanist import of philosophical studies needs recovery, with ‘globality’ examined critically not only over space but across time. This would involve not only due appreciation of argument (for no discipline lacks this) but of language, standpoint and attitude.
111. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Lucius Outlaw, Jr. Philosophical Education and Cultural Diversity
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Will professional philosophers contribute in substantial ways toward efforts to realize long-term prospects for justice, stability, and harmony, especially in light of the contentious situations and invidious histories spawned by Western Modernity? Perhaps. Are these tasks for which professional philosophers are especially well-prepared and thus should have primary responsibility? Some among professional philosophers (and others) would be so bold—and misguided—as to assign themselves such a vaunted responsibility. Certainly, this has been the case in the past. However, the longer I participate in and think about professional philosophy, the more I am convinced that such an assessment and assignment of responsibility cannot be adequately justified. In what follows, I argue that one’s educational needs (in light of the aforementioned tasks) cannot be adequately met by professional philosophers alone.
112. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
J. C. Nyìri Philosophy, Education, and the History of Communication Technologies
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The emergence and development of the humanities were initially bound up with the spread of alphabetic writing, and subsequently with the development of printing; the original task of the nascent humanities disciplines was a thoroughly practical one: that of building up our knowledge about the characteristics of the new media with the aim of exploiting this knowledge in everyday life—for the sake of economic, educational, or political benefits. In particular, the beginnings of philosophy lead us back to the times of the first emergence of alphabetic writing. There is no philosophy in a purely oral culture; Western philosophy is in the first instance, and remains down to the twentieth century, reflection on conceptual relations generated by written language. Today, the printed word is losing its position as the dominant vehicle of communication. Philosophy faces a new educational challenge: that of articulating the logic of multimedia information storage and exchange.
113. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Katalin G. Havas Learning to Think: Logic for Children
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Thinking should be taught in every class, but only children’s philosophy workshops allow learning and the practice of correct thinking without linking them to the acquisition of some other mandatory learning. The reading of stories with veiled philosophical content is one way to conduct philosophical workshops for children. We may give children stories that contain some laws of correct logical reasoning. However, in order to achieve this aim, we must extract the content from the symbolic logic and translate it into everyday language. We must choose areas where the thought process is of interest for children, such as that found in logical games. This method was used by Lewis Carroll in his book The Game of Logic. We attempt to develop further his idea by suggesting games which are used by children in their everyday life.
114. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
Israel Scheffler Some Contributions of Philosophy to Education
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Of what use is philosophy to education? What do philosophical purposes, skills, and attitudes bring to educational practice? What might they accomplish? My concern in this paper is not with any particular set of philosophical doctrines, nor am I inquiring after the educational implications of this or that philosophical viewpoint. Rather, my questions pertain to philosophical activity itself. The questions are thus quite general and they are certainly not new. But they take on special urgency when viewed in the perspective of current trends that are likely to affect our future circumstances of life and our operative conceptions of education.
115. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 3
David M. Steiner Volume Introduction
116. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 4
Mark DeBellis The Paradox of Music Analysis
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Music analysis raises interesting problems for the theory of mental representation and meaning, and poses new challenges for epistemology. When an analysis purports to show the structure an analyst or reader hears a piece as having, what relation must thereby hold between hearing and analysis, and how does the analyst or reader know that it does? A paradox of analysis arises: if an analysis correctly captures the information content of a hearing, then it is bound to be uninformative. The solution is to distinguish different levels of content, where analysis and hearing share content on one level and diverge on another. The question then arises of how an analyst or reader knows that she hears a piece in the way described by an analysis. The nature of this (apparently a priori) knowledge is an important, and heretofore unappreciated, problem for epistemology. Music analysis is, finally, a fertile ground for investigating the age-old problem of the relation between perception and concepts.
117. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 4
Edith Wyschogrod The Death of the Sign, The Rise of the Image in Merce Cunningham’s Choreography
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It is not the purpose of the present paper to chronicle transformations in the recent history of dance but rather to demonstrate that an art in which the materiality of the body and the localizability of space are critical has nevertheless been engaged in a struggle between sign and image. This struggle cannot be understood without attending to the tensions between the visceral and the virtual, between site specific spatiality and cyberspace. Exploring changes in dance, an art not generally discussed in this context, may help to illuminate the conceptual underpinnings of structuralism understood as a theory of signs and the shift to a poststructuralist culture of images.
118. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 4
Merold Westphal The Politics of Religious Pluralism
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Religious pluralism (as a disputed philosophical theory about the undisputed empirical fact of religious pluralism) has evoked lively debate. I make three observations. First, there is a striking similarity between postmodern and earlier modern responses to religious difference insofar as each represents an a priori refusal to let religious believers disagree with each other cognitively. Second, the rejection of theo-logical exclusivism by religious pluralism presumes that its account of religious difference is true, while that of theo-logical exclusivism is false. Third, religious pluralism (pace Hick) does not follow from the premises of Kantian anti-realism. I suggest that religious pluralism is motivated by the terrible history and contemporary specter of religiously sanctioned violence. I argue that we should look directly at the content of religious belief in order to break the link between religious truth claims and religiously sanctioned violence and domination.
119. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 4
George Allan Forms, Transforms, and the Creative Process
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A standard account of creativity is that it is a process in which the form of a thing or event is altered—restructured or reinterpreted—in a way that changes fundamentally that thing’s or event’s meaning, its nature or function, its intrinsic or instrumental value. What is created in this manner, however, is only a variation of the initial form. Such processes are creative in a weak sense; the strong sense requires that the old form be replaced by a quite different one, as in reconstructions or metaphors. But creative substitution is not haphazard, not a matter of insight, genius, luck, or divine assistance. It utilizes the generative rules governing a formal structure to make or discover new forms that are transformations, not variations, of the original form. These procedures are teachable and not mysterious, although the possible transforms of the structure are never predictable.
120. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 4
Matti Sintonen Creativity and Discovery
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In what follows, I want to discuss two particular—though broad—topics that have been raised by recent advances in cognitive science and science studies. First, the role of creativity in scientists’ self-understanding has changed dramatically through centuries and, with help from our friends in cognitive science, it is now possible to go beyond the so-called scientific imagination. I shall also suggest that creativity requires persistence over a long period. In our times of immediate gratification, this is an increasingly difficult mental disposition to promote. Secondly, although discovery and creativity are seemingly drifting apart, it turns out that discoveries have a historical depth which creativity lacks. That is, discoveries are characteristically products of often long historical processes.