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Metastasis and Metastability

A Deleuzian Approach to Information

Series:

Kane X. Faucher

The word “information” carries a number of connotations depending on context, and can be said to be one of the most problematic words to define despite many efforts by statistical theorists, mathematicians, physicists, cyberneticians, communication theorists, computer scientists, and philosophers. Is information physical or non-physical? Is the universe digital, analog, or a “chaosmic” mixture of the two?
This book explores a Deleuzian way of understanding information by retracing Deleuze’s ontology of difference back to Gilbert Simondon’s concepts of transduction, metastability, and perpetual individuation as a source for Deleuze’s concept of the virtual. Although Deleuze did not address information specifically in his oeuvre, this book attempts to construct what a Deleuzian theory of information might look like as a consequence of his philosophical insights.
The reader is presented with a brief survey of information theories, capsule explanations of the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon and Gilles Deleuze, and a discussion on the roles of metastasis and metastability as a means of addressing the problematic known as information outside of computing regimes, and as a critique of cybernetics, informatics, and memetics. Can information be reconfigured as affirmative difference, transformed into a “nomad science,” or must it remain consigned to the realm of probabilism?

Raising the Alarm

An Examination of Innovation and Philosophical Denial

Series:

Robert Andrew Este

As the foundation of our modern world, innovation has generated a seemingly endless ocean of new products, new processes, new thoughts, and new ways of doing things. Every day, we enhance our innovation and its effects—and we advance, accomplish and constantly seek even more! Generally, we tend to live well based on our innovation outputs.
This suggests that we think we know what we are doing, and that we know where we are headed. We do know what we’re doing, don’t we? Most would say: yes, we do; indeed, we are inclined to be certain of it.
But, can we be certain about what we know about innovation?
To address this question, we search for evidence of any useful outputs of the work of philosophy. Such outputs should help us better understand if we can, indeed, be certain about what we do, and where we are going. Is there any evidence of this? Alas!—philosophy is nowhere to be found! As a tool of rigorous reflection and understanding, even where some of the most exciting and forward-looking innovation enterprise in science, engineering and organizational structuring takes place, philosophy seems to have vanished—if it was ever there in the first place.
Today, this seems somehow normal, and quite all right. But is it? Of course, we are aware that our history of philosophy illuminates the earlier pathways we once followed to achieve our modernity, and that is fine; but, where is philosophy and its work today? Where has philosophy gone?
In this book we explore these questions, and more: why is philosophy vanishing, or even entirely absent from our world today? What has happened? If, at one time, philosophy was so very important, why would it no longer be much in evidence, if it is there at all? Where is the work of philosophy today as we push forward with innovation in our astonishing, leading-edge realms? Do we really understand what we are doing? Do we have any idea where we are going? And, most chillingly, regardless of the answers—does it matter?
The claim is made in this book that the disappearance of philosophy does matter, and alarm bells ought to be ringing. Why? Because the work of philosophy, work we seem to have forgotten, is essential for us to know where we are going. If we are truly serious about surviving and thriving, especially by being so innovative in so many spectacular and challenging ways, we cannot afford to have philosophy and its works disappear and then be forgotten. Said plainly, we cannot deny and then lose the maps and compass of philosophy applied to the challenges of today and tomorrow. If we do, we lose any reason for any journey, anywhere. And, more broadly, we are in danger of losing reason generally.
To continue denying philosophy—and then, in the end, to deny that very denial—is a move with no hope of benefit. But, the lack of evidence for the work of philosophy indicates that move is underway. We are destroying any useful link between innovation and philosophy. In so doing, we are seriously reducing the value of innovation (no matter how wonderful we think it might be) while blindly forgetting the critical importance of philosophy and its work. This move will guarantee that the path to our future will be fraught with unnecessary hardship and difficulty, and then, if it is permanent, will deal a fatal blow.
If we truly wish to thrive and persevere, we are compelled to avoid the fatal error of philosophical denial. To do so, we must rediscover, revitalize and apply anew the rigorous work of philosophy to innovation in our modern era.

Edited by José Ignacio Galparsoro and Alberto Cordero

To naturalists, there is no such thing as complete justification for any claim, and so requiring complete warrant for naturalist proposals is an unreasonable request. The proper guideline for naturalist proposals seems thus clear: develop it using the methods of science; if this leads to a fruitful stance, then explicate and reassess. The resulting offer will exhibit virtuous circularity if its explanatory feedback loop involves critical reassessment as the explanations it encompasses play out. So viewed, naturalism is a philosophical perspective that seeks to unite in a virtuous circle the natural sciences and non-foundationalist, broadly-based empiricism.
Other common lines of antinaturalist complaint are that naturalization efforts seem fruitful only in some areas, also that several endeavors outside the sciences serve as sources of knowledge into human life and the human condition, especially in areas where science does not reach terribly far as yet. It seems hard not to grant some truth to many allegories from literature, art and some religions. Naturalism has room for knowledge gathered outside science, provided the imported claims satisfy also by naturalistic methods.
Naturalism and the debate about its scope and limits thrive on discrepancy. We hope that, collectively, the selected essays that follow will give a fair view of the vitality and tribulations of naturalism as a variegated contemporary philosophical perspective.

Being and Learning

A Poetic Phenomenology of Education

Eduardo M. Duarte

Winner! 2013 Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).
Education is not an art of putting sight into the eye that can already see, but one of turning the eye towards the proper gaze of Being. That’s what must be managed!” Plato insists.
This claim is the take-off point for Eduardo Duarte’s meditations on the metaphysics and ontology of teaching and learning. In Being and Learning he offers an account of learning as an attunement with Being’s dynamic presencing and unconcealment, which Duarte explores as the capacity to respond and attend to the matter that stands before us, or, in Arendtian terms, to love the world, and to be with others in this world.
This book of ‘poetic thinking’ is a chronicle of Duarte’s ongoing exploration of the question of Being, a philosophical journey that has been guided primarily through a conversation with Heidegger, and which also includes the voices of Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, Nietzsche, as well Lao Tzu and the Buddha, among others.
In Being and Learning, Duarte undertakes a ‘phenomenology of the original’: a writing that consciously and conspicuously interrupts the discursive field of work in philosophy of education. As the late Reiner Schurmann described this method: “it recalls the ancient beginnings and it anticipates a new beginning, the possible rise of a new economy among things, words and actions.”
Being and Learning is a work of parrhesia: a composition of free thought that disrupts the conventional practice of philosophy of education, and thereby open up gaps and spaces of possibility in the arrangement of words, concepts, and ideas in the field. With this work Eduardo Duarte is initiating new pathways of thinking about education.

Changes in Teachers' Moral Role

From Passive Observers to Moral and Democratic Leaders

Series:

Edited by Dorit Alt and Roni Reingold

Education for democratic citizenship encompasses cognitive as well as moral characteristics. The responsibility for cultivating these democratic virtues is placed upon the shoulders of educators who are required to create and encourage democratic social life. These characteristics are constantly challenged in present society, in which subject-matter goals and instrumental skills are gaining more importance than socially-valued goals, thus tipping the scales in favour of cognitive skills. Promoting cognitive skills by itself cannot sufficiently influence the formation of a social disposition and could ultimately create, in Dewey`s words, ‘egoistic specialists’ who lack the moral and democratic virtues needed for the creation of genuine social life. This book emphasizes the pedagogical task of education in this regard, and strives to pay greater attention to the obligations of education as a moral socializing agent. This book offers four perspectives on which the education system needs to focus its attention in order to enhance democratic and moral values: Teachers’ and students’ concepts of moral and democratic education; curriculum design; democratic teaching instructional methods; and teacher education. This volume provides a valuable text for a wide audience of students, teachers, policy-makers, curriculum designers and teacher educators to use as an updated reference book for pedagogical and research purposes.

Edited by Ali A. Abdi

Philosophy of Education basically deals with learning issues that attempt to explain or answer what we describe as the major questions of its domains, i.e., what education is needed, why such education, and how would societies undertake and achieve such learning possibilities. In different temporal and spatial intersections of people’s lives, the design as well as the outcome of such learning program were almost entirely indigenously produced, but later, they became perforce responsive to externally imposed demands where, as far as the history and the actualities of colonized populations were concerned, a cluster of de-philosophizing and de-epistemologizing educational systems were imposed upon them. Such realities of colonial education were not conducive to inclusive social well-being, hence the need to ascertain and analyze new possibilities of decolonizing philosophies of education, which this edited volume selectively aims to achieve. The book should serve as a necessary entry point for a possible re-routing of contemporary learning systems that are mostly of de-culturing and de-historicizing genre. With that in mind, the recommendations contained in the 12 chapters should herald the potential of decolonizing philosophies of education as liberating learning and livelihood praxes.

Financial Literacy Education

Neoliberalism, the Consumer and the Citizen

Series:

Chris Arthur

Consumer financial literacy education often appears as a helpful, commonsense solution to neoliberalism and the individualization of responsibility for economic risk. However, in Financial Literacy Education: Neoliberalism, the Consumer and the Citizen this particular literacy is argued to be both ineffective and unjust. Socially created poverty, unemployment and economic insecurity require more than individual consumer solutions; they require collective responses by engaged, critical citizens. Utilizing concepts from Marx, Foucault, Bourdieu and Baudrillard this book challenges those who claim that ‘there is no alternative’ to neoliberal insecurity and reduce education to a consumerist training of entrepreneurial consumer-citizens who can continually invest in themselves and the market. Through an analysis of consumer financial literacy education’s present and historical supports, as well as its likely effects, this book argues that the choice before us is not financial illiteracy or financial literacy. Rather, the choice is between subjugation to the requirements of perpetual competition or overcoming alienation, insecurity and exploitation, aims the critical financial literacy education outlined at the end of this book supports. This book will appeal to those interested in understanding the conditions of our freedom in an increasingly financialized world—critical educators, philosophers and sociologists of education and financial literacy researchers.

From West to East and Back Again

An Educational Reading of Hermann Hesse’s Later Work

Series:

Peter Roberts

Of all the great Western novelists of the twentieth century, the German writer Hermann Hesse is arguably one of the most important for educationists. Paying particular attention to Hesse’s last novel, The Glass Bead Game, and its immediate predecessor, The Journey to the East, this book suggests that Hesse was a man of the West who turned to the idea of ‘the East’ in seeking to understand himself and his society. From these later texts a rich, complex theory of educational transformation emerges. From West to East and Back Again examines the role of dialogue and uncertainty in the transformative process, considers utopian and ritualistic elements in Hesse’s work, and explores the notion of education serving as a bridge between life and death. Hesse’s novels address philosophical themes and questions of enduring significance, and this book will appeal to all who share an interest in human striving and growth.

Obama and the End of the American Dream

Essays in Political and Economic Philosophy

Michael A. Peters

The American Dream that crystallized around James Truslow Adams’ The Epic of America originally formulated in the early 1930s and was conditioned by a decade of complexity and contradiction, of big government projects, intensely fierce nationalism, the definition of the American way, and a distinctive collection of American iconic narratives has had the power and force to successively reshape America for every new generation. Indeed, Adam’s dream of opportunity for each according to ability or achievement shaped against the old class culture of Europe emphasizes a vision of social order in which each person can succeed despite their social origins. Barack Obama, a skillful rhetorician and intelligent politician, talks of restoring the American and has used its narrative resources to define his campaign and his policies. In a time of international and domestic crisis, of massive sovereign debt, of the failure of neoliberalism, of growing inequalities, the question is whether the American Dream and the vision of an equal education on which it rests can be revitalized

Policy, Discourse and Rhetoric

How New Labour Challenged Social Justice and Democracy

Series:

Edited by Marie Lall

This is not yet another book on New Labour and neoliberalism - but the only book which uses policy case study evidence to show the rhetorical nature of the commitment New Labour appeared to have been making to education. Unlike other books on that era, this one aims to review New Labour’s time in government through specific policy texts. This book reviews some of the major policy shifts in the education sector, analysing selected case study policies in order to articulate dominant discourses in recent policy-making which have helped establish a particular hegemony. The book’s originality lies in its policy analysis and case study base, whereby key policy texts across different sectors are dissected using the 'policy cycle' framework, allowing for an in depth analysis of the policy discourse as well as a discussion on how the neoliberal agenda was reflected and /or promoted. Education is often only perceived as limited to policies relating to schools and higher education. However the book seeks to demonstrate that education as a sector is a much broader field and therefore the areas covered include key policies in citizenship and youth work, widening participation in higher education, the place of inclusive education in the curriculum, the undergraduate medical curriculum, and the effect of the Cox review on creativity. In effect the broad selection of sectors demonstrates that New Labour’s education policies were not only detrimental in traditional education settings, but also affected areas such as medicine and the media which are of importance to those who no longer are affected by what happens in institutions of learning and teaching. The book is consequently relevant for a much wider audience beyond the education community.
Cover art by Terence Edmonds, Artist