Category Archives: Philosophy

Ruse on Fodor, Nagel, Plantinga

This week’s Chronicle [of Higher Education] Review features a long piece by Michael Ruse with the title, “Philosophers Rip Darwin.” The occasion for Ruse’s article is  “the publication of a new book by Jerry A. Fodor, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers University, and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, a professor of cognitive science at the University of […]

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constructivism v. postpositivism

I am very interested in the general question of constructivism v. postpositivism, however, and I have a paper coming out soon that the reader would be interested in, I think. It should be published sometime this spring, and the citation will be: Whitson, James Anthony. “Education À La Silhouette: The Need for Semiotically-Informed Curriculum Consciousness.” Semiotica 164, no. 1/4 (2007): 235-329.

Distinctive value of the Poynter paper on Intelligent Design

The Poynter Center’s White Paper makes a number of other arguments that are being made by others, but I think this framing of the conflict over Intelligent Design in terms of civic education is the special and unique contribution from this paper.

A Rawlsian argument against ID in public schools

The White Paper extols the virtues of making and being open to public arguments on non-doctrinaire grounds, subject to the evidence. That’s exactly what ID proponents say that they are doing. Analysis that presupposes this not to be the case, rather than addressing those who believe this is the case with ID, does not clarify the central problem for those who do not already understand.

ID Creationism in schools – the “Rawlsian” argument

Reuland is correct to say that these people are not liberals, and can’t be heard to use Rawls’ theory as their own; but what they’re trying to argue is that liberals don’t have any possible position from which to justify not teaching ID, since they undermine their own principles, and the logical basis for any liberal argument, if ID is not included.