Subjective and objective elements in justice for education

[Abstract for an upcoming workshop] Recent political discussion in Australia regularly raises concern over State support for education, from early childhood through to University and institutions for vocational training. The main reference is Australia’s relative decline in benchmarks compared to other OECD countries. Debate often focuses on the “Gonski” report, the funding and implementation of… Continue reading Subjective and objective elements in justice for education

What social philosophy can learn from medieval history

One of my current writing projects looks at the historicist methodological principles in contemporary critical theory. With a colleague, we’re arguing that restricting one’s gaze to so-called “modern” forms of freedom contradicts the theory of freedom (insofar as it bids us recognise our equals wherever and whenever they may be), and in particular, ignores the… Continue reading What social philosophy can learn from medieval history

Diary of an ECR #9: Power

One element of power in the academic world is association or affiliation. Established researchers have it, and early career academics want it. But interestingly, Universities are the ones who really need it. They go about exerting their powers in order to obtain it: hiring this person (and their research), or creating this program or centre in… Continue reading Diary of an ECR #9: Power


I’m reading Honneth’s little book on Reification, his Tanner lectures from 2008. What began as a light skim through has gained interest for me. In particular, the transition between the logical level of the ’empathic’ engagement with the world (Heidegger, Dewey), and the empirical genesis from the point of view of developmental psychology – expressed… Continue reading Reification

Second Nature and Education

Here I want to summarise the work from the recent Hegel seminar taught by Italo Testa at UNSW, while also developing one theme that particularly interests me: education. The gambit of the seminar was the widely accepted assumption of recognition as the master concept of Spirit in Hegel’s philosophy, and some problems involved with this… Continue reading Second Nature and Education

Hegel workshop next week

‘SECOND NATURE – A HEGELIAN APPROACH’ A seminar course in philosophy by Professor Italo Testa (University of Parma, Italy) UNSW is hosting a 3 day Hegel workshop next week. Working through Hegel texts on habit and custom, ethical life, social embodiment, as well as papers by Pippin, Brandom and McDowell. With a few Hegel experts… Continue reading Hegel workshop next week

Recognition: memory and action

Honneth’s Struggle for Recognition this morning. For the purposes of sorting out the temporal aspects of the normative demand for recognition. The imperative of mutual recognition “provides the normative pressure that compels individuals to remove constraints” with respect to recognition relations (92). There is pressure because it draws upon a negative moment, in which recognition… Continue reading Recognition: memory and action