H. Siegel

H. Siegel
University of Miami | UM · Department of Philosophy

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131
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Publications

Publications (131)
Article
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Can a teacher aim for students to believe evolution without indoctrinating them? Recent discussions of indoctrination in evolution education suggest that such teaching must inevitably indoctrinate but is “warranted” in some cases; while science educators concerned about teaching for belief argue that such teaching is indoctrinating and is thus to b...
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Many epistemologists and philosophers of science, especially those with “naturalist” inclinations, argue that if there is to be any such thing as normativity or rationality in these domains, it must be instrumental—roughly, a matter of goal satisfaction—rather than something involving normative “oughts” that are independent of the satisfaction of o...
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Wittgenstein famously introduced the notion of ‘hinge propositions’: propositions that are assumptions or presuppositions of our languages, conceptual schemes, and language games, presuppositions that cannot themselves be rationally established, defended, or challenged. This idea has given rise to an epistemological approach, ‘hinge epistemology’,...
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Is good reasoning in the moral domain different from its counterpart in non-moral domains? What counts as a good moral argument, or a valid moral assertion or claim? What does ‘validity’ mean in the moral realm? Lots of ink has been spilled on these and related questions in the past few decades, but not much has been settled. In what follows I will...
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Intervju je dostopen na spletni strani: http://www.delo.si/sobotna/bog-pri-pouku-naravoslovja.html
Book
This collection extends and further defends the “reasons conception” of critical thinking that Harvey Siegel has articulated and defended over the last three-plus decades. This conception analyzes and emphasizes both the epistemic quality of candidate beliefs, and the dispositions and character traits that constitute the “critical spirit”, that are...
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The issue of the proper goals of science education and science teacher education have been a focus of the science education and philosophy of science communities in recent years. More particularly, the issue of whether belief/acceptance of evolution and/or understanding are the appropriate goals for evolution educators and the issue of the precise...
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New Work on Critical Thinking: Comments on Frímannsson, Holma and Ritola
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It is true, as van Eemeren and Garssen say, that argumentation always occurs in context: to engage in argumentation, an arguer must be in some context or other. But are argument norms similarly contextual? That is, are the norms governing argument quality relative to or dependent upon the context in which the argument is either asserted or evaluate...
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“Epistemology” is a term encountered more and more frequently in the science educationliterature. Authors discuss “personal epistemology,” “practical epistemology,” “scientificepistemology,”“epistemicunderstanding,”“epistemicdiscourses,”“epistemologicalfram-ing,” etc. As a practicing epistemologist, I view this as a happy phenomenon, but also onein...
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John White offers a provocative characterization of philosophy of education. In this brief reaction, I evaluate the characterization and urge the maintenance of a strong connection between philosophy of education and philosophy.
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A long tradition in the philosophy of education identifies education’s most fundamental aim and ideal as that of the fostering or cultivation of rationality. In this article I relate this tradition in philosophy of education to recent work inspired by Wilfred Sellars on ‘the space of reasons’. I first offer a very brief overview of the tradition ju...
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This chapter is reprinted from the article with the same title in Educational Researcher 35(2):3-12, (2006). Research in education and the training of education researchers are often said to require attention to epistemological diversity: Researchers ought to be familiar with different ways of knowing and diverse epistemological perspectives. But t...
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The participants in this conversation are all philosophers or philosophers of education with different perspectives on the issues, and all (with the exception of Lynda Stone) have contributed other chapters to this volume. The substantive conversation opens with a statement by Code expressing discomfort with thinking of “multicultural epistemologie...
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While we applaud several aspects of Lilian Bermejo-Luque's novel theory of argumentation and especially welcome its epistemological dimensions, in this discussion we raise doubts about her conception of argumentation, her account of argumentative goodness, and her treatments of the notion of “giving reasons” and of justification. Aunque aprobamos...
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IntroductionArguments ConArguments ProAmbivalence Concerning Relativism? The Case of Richard RortyA Newer Argument Pro: Hales's Defense of RelativismReferences
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This article on critical thinking emphasizes its normative character. It explains what critical thinking is, why it is valuable, and why it is educationally basic. Being a critical thinker is a matter of degree. Critical thinking involves both skills and abilities of reason assessment, and the disposition to exercise those abilities; the critical t...
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Garssen and van Laar in effect concede our main criticism of the pragma-dialectical approach. The criticism is that the conclusions of arguments can be 'P-D reasonable' yet patently unreasonable, epistemically speaking. The concession consists in the claim that the theory "remains restricted to the investigation of standpoints in the light of parti...
Book
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education serves as a general introduction to key issues in the field, furthers the philosophical pursuit of those issues, and hopes to bring philosophy of education back into closer contact with general philosophy. Philosophy of education has an honored place in the history of Western philosophical thought. Its...
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This introductory article explains the coverage of this book, which is about the philosophical aspects of education. It explains that the philosophy of education is the branch of philosophy that addresses philosophical questions concerning the nature, aims, and problems of education. The book examines the problems concerning the aims and guiding id...
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William Hare has made fundamental contributions to philosophy of education. Among the most important of these contributions is his hugely important work on open-mindedness. In this paper I explore the several relationships that exist between Hare's favored educational ideal (open-mindedness) and my own (critical thinking). I argue that while both a...
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In this review of Christopher Winch's new book, Education, Autonomy and Critical Thinking (2006), I discuss its main theses, supporting some and criticising others. In particular, I take issue with several of Winch's claims and arguments concerning critical thinking and rationality, and deplore his reliance on what I suggest are problematic strains...
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A major virtue of the Pragma-Dialectical theory of argumentation is its commitment to reasonableness and rationality as central criteria of argumentative quality. However, the account of these key notions offered by the originators of this theory, Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst, seems to us problematic in several respects. In what follows w...
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In this paper we defend a particular version of the epistemic approach to argumentation. We advance some general considerations in favor of the approach and then examine the ways in which different versions of it play out with respect to the theory of fallacies, which we see as central to an understanding of argumentation. Epistemic theories divide...
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Critical ThinkingCritiques of ReasonThe Fundamental Reply to All Critiques of Reason
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Summary 10.1002/9780470996294.ch11.abs This chapter contains sections titled: * The Nature of Critical Thinking * Critical Thinking: Skills/Abilities and Dispositions * Critical Thinking and the Problem of Generalizability * The Relationship Between Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking * “Critical Thinking” and Other Terms Referring to Thinking...
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L'A. se demande si, comme l'affirme Quine, le naturalisme est la seule option viable pour l'epistemologie. Il examine le rejet de la conception de la philosophie des sciences comme philosophie premiere qui en decoule a partir d'une analyse des conceptions de Quine et Gibson
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Do cultures differ with respect to judgments of rationality? If so, does it follow that rationality is culturally specific, or that cultures have their own `rationalities'? If so, does it further follow that the philosophical status or worthiness of multiculturalism as a social value or ideal varies from culture to culture? In this article I consid...
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In his recent work in social epistemology, Alvin Goldman argues that truth is the fundamental epistemic end of education, and that critical thinking is of merely instrumental value with respect to that fundamental end. He also argues that there is a central place for testimony and trust in the classroom, and an educational danger in over-emphasizin...
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This paper is a response to van Haaften's attempt to build ‘a natural bridge from “is” to “ought”’ and in doing so to provide a general account of how, in developmental theory, a claim that ‘a later stage in conceptual development is somehow better or more adequate than preceding ones’ can itself be justified. The account by van Haaften violates th...
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Research in education and the training of education researchers are often said to require attention to epistemological diversity: Researchers ought to be familiar with different ways of knowing and diverse epistemological perspectives. But the notion is unclear. What is “epistemological diversity”? What exactly is epistemological about it? Why is i...
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Do children have the right to education for critical thinking? Do we as educators have a corresponding obligation to help students become capable, independent, autonomous thinkers? Why?
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In this interview with Harvey Siegel, Israel Scheffler reflects on his career in philosophy of education. Beginning with his unusual entry into the field, he discusses the connections between his own early projects and that of R. S. Peters and Paul Hirst to make philisophy a central part of teacher education programmes, and articulates his view of...
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In this paper I reply to Stefaan Cuypers' explication and critique of my views on rationality and critical thinking (Cuypers, 2004). While Cuypers' discussion is praiseworthy in several respects, I argue that it (1) mistakenly attributes to me a Humean view of (practical) reason, and (2) unsuccessfully argues that my position lacks the resources re...
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School and government officials, system administrators and other policymakers offer a variety of reasons for engaging in high stakes testing: to monitor student performance, to measure teacher and/or school effectiveness, to ensure accountability, etc. Some of these reasons are good; others not. But the best reason - one that is never offered, beca...
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Research Article Epistemology and Education: An Incomplete Guide to the Social-Epistemological Issues • Article author query • siegel h [Google Scholar] Harvey Siegel Recent work in epistemology has focused increasingly on the social dimensions of knowledge and inquiry. Education is one important social arena in which knowledge plays a leading r...
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Philosophical/epistemic theories of rationality differ over the role of judgment in rational argumentation. According to the “classical model” of rationality, rational justification is a matter of conformity with explicit rules or principles. Critics of the classical model, such as Harold Brown and Trudy Govier, argue that the model is subject to i...
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What is a teacher to do when confronted with a student who says “I understand that theory (e.g., evolution), but I don't believe it”? The purpose of this article is to provide a rationale for answering this question. First we describe the various ways in which the terms know/knowledge and believe/belief are used and summarize the distinctions commo...
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Michael Hand’s pithy and challenging essay (Hand, 2003) offers a neat, clear and powerful argument against ‘faith schools’. I am in considerable sympathy with Hand’s position. However, I think his argument can be strengthened, and weaknesses in it remedied or avoided. In this brief note, I offer some modest suggestions, which are intended as ‘frien...
Chapter
Epistemological1 relativism may be defined as the view that knowledge (and/or truth or justification2) is relative — to time, to place, to society, to culture, to historical epoch, to conceptual scheme or framework, or to personal training or conviction — in that what counts as knowledge (or as true or justified) depends upon the value of one or mo...
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Jim Garrison’s recent criticisms of what he refers to as ‘dangerous dualisms’ in my theory of critical thinking are unsuccessful. They fail, in large part, because of misinterpretations of my view, but also because of Garrison’s systematic reliance on problematic aspects of Dewey’s terminology and philosophy.
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Multiculturalism's proper place in science education has been the subject of considerable controversy in the recent science education literature. It is the theme of a recent symposium in this journal, which raises and treats a wide range of issues with important ramifications for science education. A key issue—and the one on which I focus—is whethe...
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In this paper I revisit some of the old debates concerning incommensurability, rationality and relativism, and argue that no relativistic or irrationalistic conclusions can be legitimately drawn from the ur-arguments concerning incommensurability. I then consider incommensurability understood more broadly than it is usually understood in philosophy...
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How should we think about the interrelationships that obtain among Philosophy, Education, and Culture? In this paper I explore the contours of one such interrelationship: namely, the way in which educational and (other) philosophical ideals transcend individual cultures. I do so by considering the contemporary educational and philosophical commitme...
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Central to argumentation theory is a concern with normativity. Argumentation theorists are concerned, among other things, with explaining why some arguments are good (or at least better than others) in the sense that a given argument provides reasons for embracing its conclusion which are such that a fair- minded appraisal of the argument yields th...
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In Biro and Siegel (1992) we argued that a theory of argumentation mustfully engage the normativity of judgments about arguments, and we developedsuch a theory. In this paper we further develop and defend our theory.
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In this paper, I first explore the reasons for embracing multiculturalism, arguing that multiculturalism is best conceived and defended in universalistic moral, rather than epistemic, terms. I then criticize the common view that multiculturalism is incompatible with a universalistic conception of science, and argue that multiculturalism is compatib...
Book
Israel Scheffler is the pre-eminent philosopher of education in the English-speaking world today. This volume collects seventeen original, invited papers on Scheffler's philosophy of education by scholars from around the world. The papers address the wide range of topics that Scheffler's work in philosophy of education has addressed, including the...
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In two recent papers, I criticized Ronald N. Giere's and Larry Laudan's arguments for 'naturalizing' the philosophy of science (Siegel 1989, 1990). Both Giere and Laudan replied to my criticisms (Giere 1989, Laudan 1990b). The key issue arising in both interchanges is these naturalists' embrace of instrumental conceptions of rationality, and their...
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Many defences of multiculturalist educational initiatives conjoin a‘liberal’ or ‘radical’ moral/political view—that education should endeavour to treat students with respect, and that respecting non-dominant,‘marginalised’ students requires protecting them from the hegemonic domination of the dominant culture—with what appears to be an equally radi...
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There is a great need for effective evolution education. This paper reviews some of the evidence that demonstrates that need and analyzes some of the foundational semantic, epistemological, and philosophical issues involved. This analysis is used to provide a functional understanding of the distinction between science and non-science. Special empha...
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In this article I first examine the nature of the case for regarding inclusion as a conversational and theoretical ideal. I argue that inclusion is best understood as a moral rather than an epistemological virtue. I then try to show that embracing inclusion as a conversational and theoretical ideal does not require either the rejection of the unive...
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A concern about objectivity and rationality has been a major impetus to the development of philosophy in the West. Students of Greek philosophy are well aware of the effect that new currents of thinking about custom, knowledge, and belief had in motivating the inquiries that Socrates first undertook, inquiries about objectivity and truth that were...
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In his recent book Rationality, Nicholas Rescher offers a provocative attempt to justify rationality. In this paper I critically assess that attempt. After clarifying the philosophical problem at issue, I examine Rescher's effort to solve it. I argue that Rescher's justification succeeds, but that he mistakenly characterizes it as pragmatic. It suc...
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Unlike more standard non-normative naturalizations of epistemology and philosophy of science, Larry Laudan's naturalized philosophy of science explicitly maintains a normative dimension. This paper critically assesses Laudan's normative naturalism. After summarizing Laudan's position, the paper examines: (1) Laudan's construal of methodological rul...
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Relativism and the Problem of Incoherence.- The Incoherence Argument and the Notion of Relative Truth.- Frameworks, Conceptual Schemes, and "Framework Relativism".- Relativism and the Philosophy of Science.- Kuhn and Relativism: Is He or Isn't He?.- The Kuhnians.- The Kuhn-Inspired New Philosophy of Science.- The Un-Kuhnians: Relativism via the Pro...
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This paper considers two philosophical problems and their relation to science education. The first involves the rationality of science; it is argued here that the traditional view, according to which science is rational because of its adherence to (a non-standard conception of) scientific method, successfully answers one central question concerning...

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Project
A collection of essays to be published by OUP.