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Index: Psychology, Philosophy & Education

Why I am not a philosopher.

Alan Wall: ‘I do have a fondness for the philosophical miscreants, the delinquents of the humanities block. Kierkegaard is at his best when he is destroying the philosophical pretensions of Hegel.’

Bard-think.

Anthony O’Hear: ‘Can there be education without some aims (against which success is to be judged)? Without some sense of where the lesson might lead, even if we as teachers should be prepared to adapt the goal in the light of what happens as we teach? Can there be teaching without assessment of some sort? Isn’t assessment an integral part of teaching (as opposed to uncommunicative lecturing)?’

What Is Truth?

Alan Macfarlane: ‘I found that more than three-quarters of the world lives outside the modern Western world view and does not accept our divisions. People  have different concepts of truth and reality.’

“Customer” “Relationship” “Management”.

By SASCHA AKHTAR. Introduction By Simon Collings. ascha Akhtar’s “Customer” ”Relationship” ”Management” takes aim at the moral bankruptcy of a social-media industry which manipulates users’ data for commercial gain, and which fails to adequately control the spread of damaging misinformation. In a post-apocalyptic future, referred to as ‘The End Time’, a group of students are […]

Adjunct angst.

Christine Gallant: ‘Parents of college students, and those thinking of entering doctoral programs, should read these chapters for a cold, plain-spoken description of the reality. Most doctoral students serve as part-time Teaching Assistants or Instructors of undergraduates for the length of their graduate studies—they are adjuncts. They teach most of the freshman-sophomore courses.’

What good are you?

Anthony O’Hear: ‘Aristotle, who wrote as well about virtue as anyone, insists on the way that virtue depends on habits, and very largely on habits acquired in one’s upbringing, before one can begin to reason. If one is brought up rightly, then one’s love of the virtues, along with an appropriate sense of honour and its countervailing shame, will enable one to reason well about morality. Otherwise, if one is not already attracted to virtue, in moral matters one is in danger of reasoning cleverly, but badly, and also of acting badly and without shame. ‘

Gospel of honour.

Christopher Landrum: ‘Sommers asks important questions about the limits of honor in terms of quantity (or what he calls “escalation”) as well as quality (“moral content”) within an honor group. These limits are needed to balance a “well contained honor framework.” Still, it often seems as if Sommers wants this framework to be all-encompassing, and therefore, too disproportionate for my rural sensibility. He writes how “honor’s emphasis on reputation is crucial for building a cohesive and responsible community.” But there are times when he doesn’t seem to realize that what benefits a single town may not be beneficial for an entire country. ‘

On Simon Blackburn’s Truth.

Anthony O’Hear: ‘ In Blackburn’s book, short as it is, there are what among intellectuals and the like are the now ritual swipes at the election of President Trump, at Brexit, and even at the second Iraq war. No doubt it is good to get such things off one’s chest, but given that in the first two cases anyway electoral majorities went one way rather than the other, one wonders what has happened to the commonality of our common pursuit. Who are the “we” here?’

Jeffrey Kripal and the secret body.

A Fortnightly Review of Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions by Jeffrey J. Kripal University of Chicago Press 2017 | 448pp | $45.00 £34.50 By JAMES GALLANT. JEFFREY KIRPAL HAS devoted a substantial part of his academic career to what he sometimes calls, in ironic deference to modern skepticism, “impossible” […]

Dreaming of nerve cells.

Charles Vecht, MD: ‘Freud and Cajal had much in common and were close contemporaries. Both came from simple backgrounds out of the mainland of their country, and shared an early interest in neuroanatomy. Also, they were productive and creative writers. Nevertheless, the scientific rigor that Cajal attributed to reproducible observations made him critical of Freud’s theories.’

Zbigniew Jaroslaw Kotowicz.

Anthony Rudolf: ‘His untimely death saddens his circle of close friends, artists, writers, scholars and psychotherapists, to whom he remained fiercely loyal across time and space. We cherished his singularity, his depth, his kindness, his sardonic humour and his devotion to the values he held dear. In the words of a former associate of R.D. Laing, Leon Redler: “I didn’t know Zbigniew well but when he comes to mind now it’s with resonances of a critical intelligence, integrity and courage”. ‘

Six-way mirror.

Ed. Note — Robert Saxton’s ‘Six-Way Mirror’ is keyed from this page.

What are perversions?

Anthony Howell: ‘The text is appropriately supplied with examples from films, and Benvenuto makes interesting points about our propensity to seek out and happily identify with the perverse vicariously via fiction – drama and film enabling a catharsis similar to a positive outcome from analysis, though it appears that analysis has no obligation to come to a conclusion: one can go on seeing one’s analyst as one might any confessor. The devil ensures that temptation is an ongoing affair.’

Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Alan Wall: ‘Although many of the pieces published in these two impressive volumes would be known already to Wittgensteinians, many more would not. Unless you have not only bought anthologies like Rush Rees’s Recollections of Wittgenstein, but also followed such publications as Guy’s Hospital Reports and the Irish Medical Times, or Hermathena, then some of these essays will be new to you. Together they present a composite image of the man which is hugely impressive. Perhaps each century can produce one man like Wittgenstein; certainly not many more. ‘

‘Do you know Brunetière?’

Erik Butler: ‘When Brunetière wrote that “battle looms,” he was not exaggerating. Two World Wars, if nothing else, should have proven as much; the struggles for national liberation that emerged when European empires collapsed have dotted the globe with expanding theaters of conflict. The economic and cultural imperialism of gung-ho American capitalism has begotten a market that can operate perfectly well without its creator. Fundamentalism has only flourished in response to “progress” (including, not too long ago, the “scientific socialism” espoused by the Soviet Union).’