Barndom i Berlin

"Barndom i Berlin - Lesing, erfaring, danning", April 2008
("Berlin Childhood - Reading, Experience, and Education")
Replikk, april 2008

Words from Nowhere - Limits of Criticism

“Words from Nowhere - Limits of Criticism”
Philosophical Investigations (Vol. 31, Issue 2, Page 161-181, Apr 2008)

In the present essay, I aim to accentuate an analogy between the patterns of thought articulated by Berkeley’s Hylas and those of Nagel in his philosophy of bats and aliens. The comparison has a critical purpose, with Philonous playing a role similar to that of Wittgenstein. I argue that Nagel’s central claim comes down to statements that are marked by a peculiar form of emptiness. Towards the end, though, I will concede that this kind of Wittgensteinian criticism runs up against certain limits. The fantasies produced by Hylas or Nagel have as counterparts genuine philosophical expressions of experience, which are not vulnerable to the charges levelled at their theoretical parallels.

Political Theory of Education

“What is a Political Theory of Education”
Nordic Journal of Education 2008 ;Volum 2008.(1) p. 30-37

In the present essay, I attempt to develop a distinction between moral and political theories of education, inspired by the work of Amy Gutmann. The main idea is that whereas a moral theory of education gives an account of an ideal (or at least good) education, a political theory gives an account of how to structure education in a democracy where there is deep disagreement on what constitutes an ideal (or good) education. Unfortunately, we sometimes speak as though our moral theories can be unproblematically translated into the political realm, but in doing so, we are either being outright undemocratic or we underestimate the significance of the world-view pluralism in modern, liberal democracies. In order for a political theory of education to be democratically acceptable, it must fulfill the criterion of being capable of democratic translation into a society characterized by deep pluralism.

Key Words: education; democracy; politics; pluralism; Amy Gutmann.