More Thoughts on Knowledge and Higher Education

by Mark English Last month I wrote a short piece on what I see as a rapidly developing crisis in the education sector and beyond. Open-ended and exploratory, my observations were part of an ongoing attempt to articulate and defend a basically knowledge-centred view of learning and culture. I referred briefly to the arts, but not specifically to arts education. […]

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Theory and Practice

by Mark English ____ Disruptions to business as usual, such as we have been experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, inevitably raise questions regarding which activities are essential or important for a good or fulfilling life, and which may be happily dispensed with. Answers to such questions will, of course, often be very subjective, influenced by personal histories […]

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Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: The Scientific and Manifest Images

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I’ve characterized contemporary philosophy as beset by a number of “intellectually desperate” views that have come not just to mar the discipline but have led too many outstanding philosophers to waste their time and considerable talents. Of course, philosophy has always entertained views that when subjected to sober reflection and good sense are revealed to […]

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The Mysteries of Scooby Doo

by E. John Winner ___ Part One We will first consider the Scooby Doo phenomenon in terms of its original appearance in the series Scooby Doo! Where Are You? (1969). The artwork is crude, the animation sloppy, and the music and laugh-track are downright annoying. The show won its audience (loyal to this day) with its narrative formula and with […]

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Destroying the University

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ We are witnessing a transformation of the University in the United States, the result of which will be its destruction, at least as the institution has been understood since the Second World War. Similar developments are afoot in other Western nations. Some of the changes I will describe are at my own university, but Missouri […]

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Time and Language

by Mark English ____ There is the physics of time, and then there is time as we experience it. Natural languages provide quite complex mechanisms for expressing the latter, but it would be a mistake to think that they could ever provide adequate tools for dealing with the former. Physicists cannot dispense with ordinary language, of course, but any satisfactory […]

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Random Reflections on Intellectual History, Abstraction and Social and Political Values

by Mark English Complexities Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views of individuals are often difficult […]

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