Philosophical Education

"The Concept of Philosophical Education"
Educational Theory, 60 (5), pp. 543-559, 2010 .

Strangely, the concept of philosophical education is not much in use, at least not as a philosophical concept. In the present essay, I attempt to outline such a philosophical concept of philosophical education. I will use Plato’s allegory of the cave, Descartes’ life of doubt, and Kant’s criticism of metaphysics as paradigms or defining examples of the concept. My aim is not exegetical. Rather, I hope to describe these examples in a way that will let their character as conceptions of philosophical education show forth. The underlying aim will be to show which forms such conception may take and also why philosophical education is or should be an important topic for both philosophy and education.

Keywords: philosophy; education; Plato; Descartes; Kant.

Å vite hva man tror

"Å vite hva man tror - Selverkjennelse og førstepersonautoritet hos Davidson, Hacker og Wittgenstein"
("Knowing your beliefs - Self-knowledge and first-person authority in Davidson, Hacker and Wittgenstein")
Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift (Norwegian Journal of Philosophy), Vol. 44, Nr. 1, s. 66-77, 2009.

First person authority has become a main philosophical topic the last decades. The current paper examines Peter Hacker’s criticism of two classic articles by Donald Davidson on first person authority. It also discusses Hacker’s use of some remarks from Wittgenstein in the course of this criticism. It is argued, first, that both Hacker and Davidson disregard how questions of self-knowledge are both central to and pervasive in human life. Second, Hacker’s position leads to a fairly typical philosophical quandary: we run into a position where we are forced to choose between the false and the weird (moreover, it just this hovering between falsity and weirdness that creates the illusion of substantial truth in Hacker’s view). Third, Hacker and Davidson have more in common than Hacker acknowledges, but the features that unite them separate them from Wittgenstein’s view of philosophy.

Key words: first person authority, self-knowledge, Hacker, Davidson, Wittgenstein

Ei Offentleg Stemme

"Ei offentleg stemme - Estetikk og Politikk hjå Rawls og Cavell"
("In a Public Voice - Aesthetics and Politics in Rawls and Cavell")
Agora, 1-2/2008, s. 84-102

I shall propose the following: The aesthetic judgement, as laid out by Kant, provides a regulative idea of public reason in a liberal democracy. Thus using Kantian aesthetics in political philosophy is a move usually associated with Hannah Arendt. Yet I shall now argue that the later thought of John Rawls brings us into the same region, even though his conception of public reason will be modified in order to allow for such a development (whether that will amount to a modification beyond recognition is a question I will have to avoid). This modification (or transformation) is at each step influenced by Stanley Cavell, but it is not intended as a representation of his thought. It is, rather, an articulation of my response to Rawls, though conditioned by some of Cavell’s typical themes, starting with his interpretation of Kant’s aesthetic judgement.

Philosophical Experience

“The Concept of Philosophical Experience”
Metaphilosophy, 2008 ;Volum 39.(3) p. 265-281

We often speak about religious experience, and sometimes we speak about metaphysical experience. Yet we seldom hear about philosophical experience. Is philosophy purely a matter of theories and theses, or does it have an experiential aspect? In this paper, I shall argue for the following three claims. First, there is something we might call philosophical experience, and there is nothing mystical about it. Second, philosophical experiences are expressed in something quite similar to what Kant called aesthetic judgements. Third, philosophical experiences are expressed by using words in what Wittgenstein called secondary sense. Finally, I try to show the educational significance of pursing philosophical experiences. Through articulating them one might find one’s ground, and through articulating them in a less private and more universal form one might raise oneself to universality. Thus, in expressing philosophical experiences one aspires to speak in a universal voice.

Keywords: aesthetic judgement, Kant, philosophical experience, secondary sense, universality, Wittgenstein