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Educators Don't Care For Their Students

https://mariannetalbot.co.uk/2016/05/27/disability-rights/

Until I cared for my parents (both of whom had dementia), I had never given much thought to caring, or to those who do the caring. Having become a carer myself I realised that there was a whole wealth of experience to which I had previously been oblivious.

Twist: Talbot's job, as a Director of Studies, is basically to care for children [1]. She's never given this much thought. Maybe because she doesn't see the students as human beings.

Twist: Talbot's job, as a philosopher, is to think abstractly. her expertise is supposed to be something like not being oblivious without personal experience.

I admit to being glad my caring days are over. But I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.

It was so great that she'd never ever do it again. What a typical and transparent lie.


[1] her job is a lot more like "care for children" than a typical teacher. here is the intrusive and nasty stuff a "Director of Studies" does:

The job involves, "a level of academic support not routinely provided by [most] other universities." The whole description is a big "WE CARE!" (and therefore we meddle). It's paternalistic and overbearing (and disgusting and evil).

BTW, I tried to check what her job is (the linked description is from a different person with the same job title), but Talbot is too stupid to answer a simple, direct question. It's really fucked up – but typical – that an educator doesn't answer the question asked. How that frustrates students!

I asked if her job was like this description. (She has chosen not to explain her job on her website or on Oxford's website. Don't students need to know?) She didn't say anything meaningful about that question, and wrote back with a very vague statement about what her job is. She did use the phrase that she "makes sure" her will is done, though, which is a major red flag for authority and coercion.


on a related note, Talbot considers the children she deals with to be no more important than animals:

(b) Humans are no more important than other animals

why? relativism and skepticism. their claim is a lack of objective foundations for any knowledge of anything:

This means the claim that humans are more important than animals makes no sense because there is no standpoint from which to make such a claim.

as usual with these things, it applies to itself. by their standards, there is no standpoint from which to make the claim: "This means the claim that humans are more important than animals makes no sense because there is no standpoint from which to make such a claim."

How would we justify such a claim? We do not, and cannot, know how important animals’ lives are to animals.

no doubt they are grossly inconsistent. they demand justification (which is impossible – or in the alternative, assigned arbitrarily) when they want to reject something. but then they lower their standards at other times to accept ideas.

We know animals’ lives are important to animals. Animals will, for example, chew off their own limbs if caught in a trap.

in addition to anti-human, they are stupid. this is a pathetically stupid argument parading as prestigious intellectualism.

a robot could be programmed to perform that action. that wouldn't prove the robot cares about its life (or is alive).


Elliot Temple on August 3, 2016

Comments (17)

subjectivism

Also, an individual human is objectively important, an individual animal not so much.

Alan at 3:37 AM on August 3, 2016 | #6325
> Educators Don't Care For Their Students

This title generalizes from a specific educator to apply to all educators, without arguing for such a leap. Sloppiness? Hyperbole?

It's like someone says something like "Hillary wants to destroy the economy."

Well no, she doesn't want to destroy the economy, but her policies / poor thinking may lead to that. Seems wrong to word it that way.

Anonymous at 1:22 PM on August 6, 2016 | #6399
it's an example of a theme which has been explained at length for years on my sites.

are you familiar with Popper and TCS?

curi at 1:40 PM on August 6, 2016 | #6400
>are you familiar with Popper and TCS?

A little but probably best to start with the basics.

Anonymous at 7:13 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6420
start what? do you want to learn about Popper or TCS?


the point is the post is not saying "from this example, we learn [general point]".

it's saying here is an example of a general point Elliot's already been talking about for years.

Anonymous at 7:18 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6421
> start what?

curi asked "are you familiar with Popper and TCS?". Thinking about it more, I'm not sure why he was asking. Perhaps he was going to elaborate on something after I answer? Maybe I should I have answered with a similar yes/no.

> do you want to learn about Popper or TCS?

Sure!

Anonymous at 7:24 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6423
> the point is the post is not saying "from this example, we learn [general point]".

> it's saying here is an example of a general point Elliot's already been talking about for years.

Ah ok. I guess from a newcomer's perspective, the title can seem like sloppiness or hyperbole, without knowing the history. Not sure if that makes it a bad idea for a title or not.

Anonymous at 7:28 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6424
> > do you want to learn about Popper or TCS?

> Sure!

why? what do you want to know? do you have questions? why didn't you bring it up on your own initiative if you want to learn about it? how persistent are you going to be?


> I'm not sure why he was asking

he was asking about your familiarity with this site's themes.

Anonymous at 7:32 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6426
>>> do you want to learn about Popper or TCS?

>> Sure!

> why?

A lot of the ideas I've read here seem good, so if Popper and TCS are related, I'm interested.

> what do you want to know?

Hmm, what are the most important ideas from Popper and TCS?

> why didn't you bring it up on your own initiative if you want to learn about it?

I didn't really want to learn about it until moments ago when reading the comments here.

> how persistent are you going to be?

I'm not sure. Why do you ask?

Anonymous at 7:38 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6427
> I'm not sure. Why do you ask?

lots of people say they want to learn this stuff, then they find out it's substantial and quickly quit.

---

a big idea from popper is that induction is false.

a big idea from TCS is that children are people and deserve the same rights, freedom, respect, etc, as other people. and, like with other people, they shouldn't be made to do things against their will. also punishments hurt people and that is not educational.

---

are you right or left wing? pro or anti capitalism? why?

Anonymous at 7:42 PM on August 8, 2016 | #6428
> a big idea from popper is that induction is false

Many years ago I read some Popper but haven't thought about it much for awhile. Maybe I can attempt to summarize to see if I have it right...

Induction (aka inductive reasoning) is the mistaken notion as you make more and more observations, or as you gather more and more evidence to support a theory, it establishes the theory as true or otherwise more likely to be true.

This doesn't work because 1) you can't assume the past will predict the future, 2) there could be an unconsidered variable or an future observation will end up falsifying the theory. I've also read that inductive reasoning is "circular" but I don't get that one.

Popper also had some great ideas about how knowledge is actually created. Instead of via induction, ideas are proposed and we use criticism to refute them. An idea with no known criticisms can be treated as if true (although still tentative).

Anonymous at 7:18 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6429
that focuses on a fraction of induction. it's sometimes called "enumerative induction".

there are a variety of other inductive ideas including "the future resembles the past", "data points us in the direction of scientific laws", "correlation hints at causation", "supporting evidence exists", "a good scientist observes with an open, unbiased mind".

you also focused on saying induction isn't strictly true. you argue induction won't be right 100% of the time. people reply "inductive arguments are fallible but they are still usually right".

you don't speak of induction being literally impossible to do, and that no one has ever done an induction ever, so there's no issue of how reliable inductive conclusions are since they don't exist.

curi at 7:25 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6430
Thanks, that's helpful.

> that focuses on a fraction of induction. it's sometimes called "enumerative induction".

I googled enumerative induction...it seems to relate to generalization. E.g. I observe 100 white swans, so I "infer" all swans are white.

> there are a variety of other inductive ideas including "the future resembles the past", "data points us in the direction of scientific laws", "correlation hints at causation", "supporting evidence exists", "a good scientist observes with an open, unbiased mind"

Makes sense, I can see how those are related.

> you also focused on saying induction isn't strictly true. you argue induction won't be right 100% of the time. people reply "inductive arguments are fallible but they are still usually right".

Hmm...I guess my response to such people would be: whether inductive arguments are "usually" right is irrelevant/coincidental because no one as ever done induction. There's also the issue of no way to know if something is "right" in the ultimate sense.. E.g. all swans are white until one day they aren't (you see a black swan).

Is that right?

> you don't speak of induction being literally impossible to do, and that no one has ever done an induction ever, so there's no issue of how reliable inductive conclusions are since they don't exist.

Good point.

Anonymous at 7:52 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6431
> Hmm...I guess my response to such people would be: whether inductive arguments are "usually" right is irrelevant/coincidental because no one as ever done induction. There's also the issue of no way to know if something is "right" in the ultimate sense.. E.g. all swans are white until one day they aren't (you see a black swan).
>
> Is that right?

no, you seem confused. you seem to regard "all swans are white" as a conclusion of an inductive thought process. that is, someone did use induction to get an idea (they just got the wrong answer).

Anonymous at 7:54 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6432
> no, you seem confused. you seem to regard "all swans are white" as a conclusion of an inductive thought process. that is, someone did use induction to get an idea (they just got the wrong answer).

I guess I meant that if you believe a theory is true (e.g. "all swans are white"), regardless of why you think it's true (e.g. you fooled yourself into thinking you did induction and that some observations support your theory), all knowledge is fallible (e.g. you see a black swan). So, to say induction is "usually right" doesn't make sense because you can't judge which theories are right (in the future, they may not be).

But that's kind of secondary to the more central problem of induction having never happened / being a myth. So perhaps not worth saying...shrug.

Anonymous at 8:05 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6436
shrugging isn't how you learn things better.

Anonymous at 8:24 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6439
>shrugging isn't how you learn things better.

The shrug was meant to express the doubt / uncertainty about whether the point was worth bringing up in the original hypothetical response to the pro-induction people.

Did you read it a different way?

Anonymous at 8:47 PM on August 9, 2016 | #6440

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)