Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: epistemology

50 Q-Test of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thought: Development and Testing of an Assessment of Scientific Epistemology

Authors: Matthew J. Zagumny

Abstract:

The QUEST is an assessment of scientific epistemic beliefs and was developed to measure students’ intellectual development in regards to beliefs about knowledge and knowing. The QUEST utilizes Q-sort methodology, which requires participants to rate the degree to which statements describe them personally. As a measure of personal theories of knowledge, the QUEST instrument is described with the Q-sort distribution and scoring explained. A preliminary demonstration of the QUEST assessment is described with two samples of undergraduate students (novice/lower division compared to advanced/upper division students) being assessed and their average QUEST scores compared. The usefulness of an assessment of epistemology is discussed in terms of the principle that assessment tends to drive educational practice and university mission. The critical need for university and academic programs to focus on development of students’ scientific epistemology is briefly discussed.

Keywords: scientific epistemology, critical thinking, Q-sort method, STEM undergraduates

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49 Epistemology in African Philosophy: A Critique of African Concept of Knowledge

Authors: Ovett Nwosimiri

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African tradition and what it entails are the content of African concepts of knowledge. The study of African concepts of knowledge is also known as African epistemology. In other words, African epistemology is a branch of African philosophy that deals with knowledge. This branch of African philosophy engages with the nature and concept of knowledge, the ways in which knowledge can be gained, the ways in which one can justify an epistemic claim or validate a knowledge claim and the limit of human knowledge, etc. The protagonists of African epistemology based their argument for a distinctive or unique African epistemology on the premise or proposition “that each race is endowed with a distinctive nature and embodies in its civilization a particular spirit”. All human beings share some certain basic values and perceptions irrespective of where you come from, and this idea actually fosters some forms of interaction between people from different nationality. Africans like other people share in some certain values, perceptions, and interaction with the rest of the world. These basic values, perceptions, and interaction that Africans share with the rest of the word prompted African people to attempt to “modernize” their societies or develop some forms of their tradition in harmony with the ethos of the contemporary world. Based on the above ideas, it would be interesting to investigate if such (African) epistemology is still unique. The advocates of African epistemology focus on the externalist notion of justification and neglect the idea that both the internalist and externalist notion of justification are needed in order to arrive at a coherent and well-founded account of epistemic justification. Thus, this paper will critically examine the claims that there is a unique African epistemology (a mode of knowing that is peculiar to Africans, and that African mode of knowing is social, monism and situated notion of knowledge), and the grounds for justifying beliefs and epistemic claims.

Keywords: internalist, externalist, knowledge, justification

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48 A Sustainable Society and Its Order Principles: Implications of Common Grace and the Man as the Image of God

Authors: Wenfu Zheng, Guanghe Zheng

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The discussion on the social sustainability in existing literature is limited to two-dimension epistemology space with only two elements: the human and nature. Using the revelation of the Bible God, the paper adds a moral component to the two-dimension space. With the new variable being introduced, the authors formulate a to three-dimension epistemology space and discuss its implications. Based on the space, the authors explore the hierarchical structure of order principles for a sustainable society. The social order principle system hierarchically consists of three principles: moral, relational, and rational. The justification of every principle is analyzed briefly. The paper concluded that all these order principles are necessary assurance of building a sustainable society.

Keywords: common grace, saving grace, sustainable society, the image of God

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47 Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology

Authors: Matthew J. Zagumny

Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Keywords: guided-inquiry learning, intellectual curiosity, psychometric assessment, scientific thinking

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46 Transformative Concept of Logic to Islamic Science: Reflections on Al-Ghazālī's Influence

Authors: Umar Sheikh Tahir

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Before al-Ghazālī, Islamic scholars perceived logic as an intrusive knowledge. The knowledge therefore, did not receive ample attention among scholars on how it should be adapted into Islamic sciences. General scholarship in that period rejects logic as an instrumental knowledge. This attitude became unquestionable to the scholars from different perspectives with diversification of suggestions in the pre-al-Ghazālī’s period. However, al-Ghazālī proclaimed with new perspective that transform Logic from ‘intrusive knowledge’ to a useful tool for Islamic sciences. This study explores the contributions of al-Ghazālī to epistemology regarding the use and the relevance of Logic. The study applies qualitative research methodology dealing strictly with secondary data from medieval age and contemporary sources. The study concludes that al-Ghazālī’s contributions which supported the transformation of Logic to useful tool in the Muslim world were drawn from his experience within Islamic tradition. He succeeded in reconciling Islamic tradition with the wisdom of Greek sciences.

Keywords: Al-Ghazālī, classical logic, epistemology, Islamdom and Islamic sciences

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45 Logic and Arabic Grammar Debates at Medieval Ages: A Quest for Muslim Contributions to Philosophical Development

Authors: Umar Sheikh Tahir

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This paper focuses on the historiography of the relationship between Logic and Arabic grammar in the Muslim Medieval Ages (a period between 750 and 1100/ 150 and 500 Ah). This sensation appears in the famous debate among many others between grammarians represented by abū Sa'id al-Sairafī and logicians represented by abū Bishr Mattā on Logic and its validity. This incident took place in Baghdad around 932 AD. However, this study singlehandedly samples these debates as the base for the contributions of Islamic philosophers to philosophy of language as well as Epistemology. The question that shapes this research is: What is the intellectual development for Muslim thinkers to philosophy of language in regards to this debate? The current research addresses the Arabic grammar and logical debates by conducting historiography to emphasize on Islamic philosophers’ concerns about this issue. Consequently, this debate generates philosophical phenomena and resolutions in deep-thinking. In addition, these dialogues create a language impression for Philosophy in Islamic world from the period under study. Thereupon, Islamic philosophers’ discourse on this phenomenon serves as contribution to the Philosophy of Language.

Keywords: debates, epistemology, grammar and grammarians, Islamic philosophy, philosophy language, logic

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44 Intersections and Consequences of the Epistemology and Methodology used in Equity-Related Chemistry Education Research

Authors: Vanessa R. Ralph, Kathryn N. Hosbein, Megan Y. Deshaye, Paulette Vincent-Ruz

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The language of the statement “persistent achievement gaps between demographic groups” communicates much about the philosophies inherent to the author. In this synthesis of two flagship journals of Chemistry Education Research: Chemistry Education Research and Practice and the Journal of Chemical Education, the use and investigation of equity was examined by the language, epistemology, and methodologies of the researchers. Findings include a considerable increase in the use and investigation of equity in these journals following the years 2012 and 2020. While an increase in consciousness of equity was apparent, epistemologies were stagnated. The majority reflects a deficit-oriented perspective wherein deficits are attributed to students as a “lack of achievement” inherent to specific “demographic groups” and minimized as “gaps” rather than systemic inequities. The lack of epistemological progress may be the result of reading and citing literature within discipline-based education research, failing to acknowledge the efforts propagated for decades by equity theory advancement in disciplines of sociology and psychology. To envision liberated educational systems across the globe, one must first contend with the biases within.

Keywords: liberating education research, philosophy of research, synthesis, review

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43 Investigation of the Physical Computing in Computational Thinking Practices, Computer Programming Concepts and Self-Efficacy for Crosscutting Ideas in STEM Content Environments

Authors: Sarantos Psycharis

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Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.

Keywords: arduino, computational thinking, computer programming, Labview, self-efficacy, STEM

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42 An Introduction to the Current Epistemology of Ethical Philosophy of Islamic Banking

Authors: Mohd Iqbal Malik

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Ethical philosophy of Quran pinnacled virtue and economics as the part and parcel of human life. Human beings are to be imagined by the sign of morals. Soul and morality are both among the essences of human personality. Islam lays the foundation of ethics by installation of making a momentous variance between virtue and vice. It suggests for the distribution of wealth in-order to terminate accumulation of economic resources. Quran claims for the ambiguous pavement to attain virtue by saying, ‘Never will you attain the good (reward) until you spend (in the way of Allah) from that which you love. And whatever you spend indeed, Allah knows of it.’ The essence of Quran is to eliminate all the deep-seated approaches through which the wealth of nations is being accumulated within few hands. The paper will study the Quranic Philosophy Of Islamic Economic System. In recent times, to get out of the human resource development mystery of Muslims, Ismail Al-Raji Faruqi led the way in the so-called ‘Islamization’ of knowledge. Rahman and Faruqi formed opposite opinions on this project. Al-Faruqi thought of the Islamization of knowledge in terms of introducing Western learning into received Islamic values and vice versa. This proved to be a mere peripheral treatment of Islamic values in relation to Western knowledge. It is true that out of the programme of Islamization of knowledge arose Islamic universities in many Muslim countries. Yet the academic programmes of these universities were not founded upon a substantive understanding and application of the tawhidi epistemology.

Keywords: ethical philosophy, modern Islamic finance, knowledge of finance, Islamic banking

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41 The Imperative for Disability Studies as an Independent Area of Enquiry in Indian Academia

Authors: Anita Ghai

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The present paper explores the imperative to establish disability studies as an independent area of academic inquiry in India through the establishment of specific programmes in disability studies. The case study of the efforts made by the Ambedkar University, Delhi, to develop such programs and courses shall be used to substantiate this imperative as well as to explore some of the challenges entailed. The paper shall explore the certain extent aspects of relevant scholarship in the area of disability studies in India today and critically reflect on the perspectives of disability in this scholarship. The study of disability in India has hitherto been the prerogative of special education, rehabilitation psychology, and social work departments. While instances of these departments adopting critical approaches to disability can be identified, their empirical focus has perpetuated the production of disability as the site of suffering and oppression. The complex cultural, phenomenological, historical and economic discourses within which disability is embedded can be better captured within distinctive programmes that have disability sui generis as their focus. Such programs would foreground disability as an epistemology, which universalizes the study of disability from disabled people alone to an analysis of various other groups who have been historically marginalized. It will also play an important role in recuperating disability from a state of alterity. The interdisciplinary nature of disability studies offers an opportunity to integrate perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences in the proposed programs. Some of the challenges or rather aspects of reflection that emerge in the course of developing these programs are the criteria for determining the suitability of faculty to teach these programs and the challenges in identifying faculty and in addressing any apprehensions about career prospects that prospective students might have. The manner in which these concerns are being addressed through the collaboration of expertise as well as through the interdisciplinary and flexible nature of the program shall be addressed in the course of the paper. In conclusion, the paper shall foreground the need for disability studies programs in India, the re-appropriation of existing scholarship in the process of formulation these programs, emerging concerns and the manner in which these concerns will be addressed.

Keywords: academia, disability studies, epistemology, India

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40 Refutation of Imre Hermann's Allegation: János Bolyai Was Not Insane

Authors: Oláh Gál Róbert, Veress Bágyi Ibolya

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The scientific public has relatively little knowledge about the Hungarian János Bolyai, one of the greatest thinkers of all times. Few people know that apart from being the founder of the non-Euclidean geometry he was also interested in sociology, philosophy, epistemology and linguistics. According to the renowned Hungarian psychoanalytic Imre Hermann, who lives in France, János Bolyai was mentally deranged. However, this is incorrect. The present article intends to prove that he was completely sane until the moment of his death.

Keywords: Imre Hermann, insane, János Bolyai, mathematics, non-Euclidean geometry, psyphoanalytic

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39 Sociology of Vis and Ramin

Authors: Farzane Yusef Ghanbari

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A sociological analysis on the ancient poetry of Vis and Ramin reveals important points about the political, cultural, and social conditions of the Iranian ancient history. The reciprocal relationship between the effect and structure of society helps the understanding and interpretation of the work. Therefore, informed by the Goldman genetic structuralism and through a glance at social epistemology, this study attempts to explain the role of spell in shaping the social knowledge of ancient people. The results suggest that due to the lack of a central government, and secularism in politics and freedom of speech and opinion, such romantic stories as Vis and Ramin, with a focal female character, has emerged.

Keywords: persian literature, Vis and Ramin, sociology, developmental structuralism

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38 On the Problems of Human Concept Learning within Terminological Systems

Authors: Farshad Badie

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The central focus of this article is on the fact that knowledge is constructed from an interaction between humans’ experiences and over their conceptions of constructed concepts. Logical characterisation of ‘human inductive learning over human’s constructed concepts’ within terminological systems and providing a logical background for theorising over the Human Concept Learning Problem (HCLP) in terminological systems are the main contributions of this research. This research connects with the topics ‘human learning’, ‘epistemology’, ‘cognitive modelling’, ‘knowledge representation’ and ‘ontological reasoning’.

Keywords: human concept learning, concept construction, knowledge construction, terminological systems

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37 The Impact of Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs and Metacognition on Their Use of Inquiry Based Teaching Approaches

Authors: Irfan Ahmed Rind

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Science education has recently become the top priority of government of Pakistan. Number of schemes has been initiated for the improvement of science teaching and learning at primary and secondary levels of education, most importantly training in-service science teachers on inquiry based teaching and learning to empower students and encourage creativity, critical thinking, and innovation among them. Therefore, this approach has been promoted in the recent continuous professional development trainings for the in-service teachers. However, the follow ups on trained science teachers and educators suggest that these teachers fail to implement the inquiry based teaching and learning in their classes. In addition, these trainings also fail to bring any significant change in students’ science content knowledge and understanding as per the annual national level surveys conducted by government and independent agencies. Research suggests that science has been taught using scientific positivism, which supports objectivity based on experiments and mathematics. In contrary, the inquiry based teaching and learning are based on constructivism, which conflicts with the positivist epistemology of science teachers. It was, therefore, assumed that science teachers struggle to implement the inquiry based teaching approach as it conflicts with their basic epistemological beliefs. With this assumption, this research aimed to (i) understand how science teachers conceptualize the nature of science, and how this influence their understanding of learning, learners, their own roles as teachers and their teaching strategies, (ii) identify the conflict of science teachers’ epistemological beliefs with the inquiry based teaching approach, and (iii) find the ways in which science teachers epistemological beliefs may be developed from positivism to constructivism, so that they may effectively use the inquiry based teaching approach in teaching science. Using qualitative case study approach, thirty six secondary and higher secondary science teachers (21 male and 15 female) were selected. Data was collected using interviewed, participatory observations (sixty lessons were observed), and twenty interviews from students for verifications of teachers’ responses. The findings suggest that most of the science teacher were positivist in defining the nature of science. Most of them limit themselves to one fix answer that is provided in the books and that there is only one 'right' way to teach science. There is no room for students’ or teachers’ own opinion or bias when it comes to scientific concepts. Inquiry based teaching seems 'no right' to them. They find it difficult to allow students to think out of the box. However, some interesting exercises were found to be very effective in bringing the change in teachers’ epistemological beliefs. These will be discussed in detail in the paper. The findings have major implications for the teachers, educators, and policymakers.

Keywords: science teachers, epistemology, metacognition, inquiry based teaching

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36 Critical Realism as a Bridge between Critical Pedagogy and Queer Theory

Authors: Mike Seal

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This paper explores the traditions of critical and queer pedagogy, its intersections, tensions and paradoxes. Critical pedagogy, with a materialist realist ontology, and queer theory, which is often post-modern, post-structural and anti-essential, may not seem compatible. Similarly, there are tensions between activist orientations, often enacted through essential sexual identities, and a queer approach that questions such identities and subjectivities. It will argue that critical realism gives us a bridge between critical and queer pedagogy in preserving a realist materialist ontology, where economic forces are real, and independent of consciousness and hermeneutic constructions of them. At the same time, it offers an epistemology that does not necessitate a binary view of the roles of the oppressed, liberator, or even oppressor. It accepts that our knowledge is contingent, partial and contestable, but has the potential, and enough validity, to demand action and potentially inform the actions of others.

Keywords: critical pedagogy, queer pedagogy, critical realsim, heteronormativity

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35 Big Data: Appearance and Disappearance

Authors: James Moir

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The mainstay of Big Data is prediction in that it allows practitioners, researchers, and policy analysts to predict trends based upon the analysis of large and varied sources of data. These can range from changing social and political opinions, patterns in crimes, and consumer behaviour. Big Data has therefore shifted the criterion of success in science from causal explanations to predictive modelling and simulation. The 19th-century science sought to capture phenomena and seek to show the appearance of it through causal mechanisms while 20th-century science attempted to save the appearance and relinquish causal explanations. Now 21st-century science in the form of Big Data is concerned with the prediction of appearances and nothing more. However, this pulls social science back in the direction of a more rule- or law-governed reality model of science and away from a consideration of the internal nature of rules in relation to various practices. In effect Big Data offers us no more than a world of surface appearance and in doing so it makes disappear any context-specific conceptual sensitivity.

Keywords: big data, appearance, disappearance, surface, epistemology

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34 The Arabian Financial Framework in the Pre-Islamic Times: Do We Need a New Paradigm

Authors: Fahad Ahmed Qureshi

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There were abundant renowned financial markets in Pre-Islamic Arabs. Most of those were patterned and settled during pre-particularized sunshine. Those markets were classified either as vernacular markets helping the neighboring clans, or habitual markets that people sojourned to from all articulations of the Arabian Peninsula, such as Okaz near Mecca. Some of those markets had leading significance due to their geographical positions, such as Prime market of Eden, because of their entanglement in international trade i.e. with the markets of Sub-Continent, Abyssinia, Persia and China. Other markets such as Market of Yamamah annex its gist from being situated on the caravan crossroads. Islamic worldview and Islamic epistemology base of Financial Market’s realistic theory, pragmatic model and operative approach is moderately constrained in terms of its growth. The existent situation only parasol the form of accommodative-modification and splendid-methodologies, which due to depleted and decorous endeavor in explaining Islamic financial market theoretically. This is the demand of time that particular studies should be conduct to magnify the devours in developing theoretical framework for Islamic Financial Market.

Keywords: Islam, financial market, history, research, product development

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33 The Role of Islam in the Political Thought of Muhammad Abduh

Authors: Mehdi Beyad

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Muhammad Abduh stands as a founding thinker of Islamic revivalism and modernism, the political phenomenon which began with him and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani in the 19th century which sought to address the perceived regression of Islamic societies in the face of western colonialism and the onslaught of modernity. The scholarship on Abduh and al-Afghani, and Islamic modernism in general, is vast. This paper, however, provides a critical approach to some of this scholarship and attempts to re-think the epistemic framework of Abduh's political thought and the place of Islam therein. Much of the current work on Abduh falls into the trap of seeing his task as one of "compromising" Islam for the values of European modernity. This paper argues that for Abduh, Islam was not just a compartmentalised theological framework: it was at the nexus of societal emancipation, intellectual and cultural rejuvenation, and political progress. Far from “modernising” and diluting Islam to the extent that it became irrelevant in the face of rationality as defined by European modernity, Islam remained central to Abduh’s political framework.

Keywords: Islamic political thought, Islamic revivalism, modernism, Muhammad Abduh, epistemology

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32 Welfare beyond the State: a Conceptual Discursive of an ‘Ihsani’ Societal-Based Welfare

Authors: Maszlee Malik

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If the contemporary notion of welfare arises from the horizontal material needs and to be structured by the vertical framework of the state, Islamic societal-based welfare is to be shaped by moral based and faith inspired ihsan (benevolence) culture in producing the ‘Ihsani’ version of the enhancement of the political participation, democratic culture, good governance and self-realisation, which eventually culminating towards the bigger picture of ‘development’. This paper will analytically investigate on how the over-arching principle of ‘ihsan’ could be an essential tool in harmonizing the social-based welfare instrument as another conceptual framework to formulate a conceptual approach towards development and poverty elevation beyond the state. Essentially, this research will employ the inductive method of exploration on Islamic epistemological sources and historical evidence, to formulate the discursive concept of non-state societal-based welfare based on the ‘ihsani’ framework.

Keywords: benevolent society, development, Hisbah, HomoIslamicus, Ihsani, islamic epistemology, state, social capital, societal-based welfare, zakat

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31 The Role of Humour as a Virtue: From the Perspective of the Sufi's Worldview

Authors: Mohamed Eusuff Amin

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In Sufi culture, humour in form of story, expressed as prose or poetry, is used to deliver moral lessons. However, this humour is not limited to telling stories as an educational program. In this paper, an idea is introduced to argue that humour is a virtue from the Sufis’ perspective. This understanding of humour is different than as what has been understood generally in the Western intellectual tradition. For the Western philosophers in general, humour is the indication of the soul’s position in relates to others that signify the relations between different individuals. But for the Sufis, it is more so as a tool for an individual to surpass his/her anger and encourage toleration with others; ultimately it is a form of ‘mercy’. In order to explain this idea, the paper will be worked into three parts as steps to construct the epistemic structure of this claim. The first part, the ethic philosophy of the Sufis will be discussed, and this will be done mostly based on the ideas on ethics that is related to the conception of existence. In the second part, few short Turkish Sufi stories will be looked at to find how the humour is applied in relation to the objective of the stories. After that, how humour can be a principle in ethic will be discussed by making some comparisons with what already taught as philosophy of humour in the West under the groups of incongruity, superiority, and relief theories. Therefore, in the end, we shall argue that to find humour in every situation is a recommended virtue for, providing that it surpassing anger of oneself and encourage toleration for others as an act of mercy.

Keywords: epistemology, ethic, sufism, virtue

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30 Theorization of Dalit Feminism: Critical Reflection on Caste

Authors: Sheetal Dinkar Kamble

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The philosophy of Dalit women revolves around the question of how gender and caste inequality manifest itself in social institutions such as the workplace, home, community, rural economy, and the public and private spaces. On the other hand, Dalit feminism explains the range of untouchability related discriminatory practices and how they incorporate the factor of gender in all social relationships. Gender theories are needed to explain how the caste system works on gendered assumptions and are selectively subject to the notion of caste in established ways of life and the punishments for deviating from them. Dalit feminists working in the field of traditional philosophy, from anthropology to epistemology, have introduced new concepts and approaches that would have to form the basis of their philosophy. It also presents philosophical knowledge of caste, gender, religion, class, and sexuality. They are bringing a particularly feminist lens on the issues of globalization, human rights, popular culture, and caste. Dalit women’s philosophy leads to Dalit feminism and knowledge creation. It is an analysis of caste history, contributions, and the challenges faced by Dalit women in rural India. The researcher claims that the method of the case study, to understand caste and gender involved in the discussion of Dalit feminist philosophy, is important. This study will contribute towards the development of dynamic theoretical frameworks directed towards social justice and equality.

Keywords: caste, gender, class, religion

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29 The Ontological Memory in Bergson as a Conceptual Tool for the Analysis of the Digital Conjuncture

Authors: Douglas Rossi Ramos

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The current digital conjuncture, called by some authors as 'Internet of Things' (IoT), 'Web 2.0' or even 'Web 3.0', consists of a network that encompasses any communication of objects and entities, such as data, information, technologies, and people. At this juncture, especially characterized by an "object socialization," communication can no longer be represented as a simple informational flow of messages from a sender, crossing a channel or medium, reaching a receiver. The idea of communication must, therefore, be thought of more broadly in which it is possible to analyze the process communicative from interactions between humans and nonhumans. To think about this complexity, a communicative process that encompasses both humans and other beings or entities communicating (objects and things), it is necessary to constitute a new epistemology of communication to rethink concepts and notions commonly attributed to humans such as 'memory.' This research aims to contribute to this epistemological constitution from the discussion about the notion of memory according to the complex ontology of Henri Bergson. Among the results (the notion of memory in Bergson presents itself as a conceptual tool for the analysis of posthumanism and the anthropomorphic conjuncture of the new advent of digital), there was the need to think about an ontological memory, analyzed as a being itself (being itself of memory), as a strategy for understanding the forms of interaction and communication that constitute the new digital conjuncture, in which communicating beings or entities tend to interact with each other. Rethinking the idea of communication beyond the dimension of transmission in informative sequences paves the way for an ecological perspective of the digital dwelling condition.

Keywords: communication, digital, Henri Bergson, memory

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28 Legal Transplant in the Epistemology of Islamic Jurisprudence: Analysing the Orientalist Thought

Authors: Ariyanti Mustapha

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The development of Islamic jurisprudence since the first century of hijra has fascinated many orientalists to explore the historiography of Islamic legislation. The practice of usul fiqh began during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad and was continued by the companions as the legal reasoning due to the absence of the legal injunction in the Quran and Sunnah. The orientalists propagated that the Roman and Jewish legislation were transplanted in Islamic jurisprudence and it was the primary reason for its progression. This article focuses on the analysis of foreign elements transplanted in the usul fiqh as mentioned by Ignaz Goldziher and Joseph Schacht. They insisted the methodology of Sunna and Ijtihad were authentically from Roman and Jewish legislation, known as Mishnah and Ha-Kol were invented and transplanted as the principles in uÎËl fiqh. The author used qualitative and comparative methods to analyze the orientalists’ views. The result showed that many erroneous facts were propagated by Goldziher and Schacht by claiming the parallels between the principles, methodologies, and fundamental concepts in usul fiqh and Roman Provincial law. They insisted Sunna and Ijtihad as an invention from the corpus of Jewish Mishnah and Ha-kol and further affirmed by Schacht that Islamic jurisprudence began in the second century of hijra. These judgments are used by the orientalists to prove the inferiority of Islamic jurisprudence. Nevertheless, many evidences has proven that Islamic legislation is capable of developing independently without any foreign transplant.

Keywords: orieantalist, legal transplant, usul fiqh, ijtihad

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27 Islamic Research Methodology (I-Restmo): Eight Series Research Module with Islamic Value Concept

Authors: Noraizah Abu Bakar, Norhayati Alais, Nurdiana Azizan, Fatimah Alwi, Muhammad Zaky Razaly

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This is a concise research module with the Islamic values concept proposed to a group of researches, potential researchers, PhD and Master Scholars to prepare themselves for their studies. The intention of designing this module is to help and guide Malaysian citizens to undergone their postgraduate’s studies. This is aligned with the 10th Malaysian plan- MyBrain 15. MyBrain 15 is a financial aid to Malaysian citizens to pursue PhD and Master programs. The program becomes one of Ministry of Education Strategic Plan to ensure by year 2013, there will be 60,000 PhD scholars in Malaysia. This module is suitable for the social science researchers; however it can be useful tool for science technology researchers such as Engineering and Information Technology disciplines too. The module consists of eight (8) series that provides a proper flow of information in doing research with the Islamic Value Application provided in each of the series. This module is designed to produce future researchers with a comprehensive knowledge of humankind and the hereafter. The uniqueness about this research module is designed based on Islamic values concept. Researchers were able to understand the proper research process and simultaneously be able to open their minds to understand Islam more closely. Application of Islamic values in each series could trigger a broader idea for researchers to examine in greater depth of knowledge related to humanities.

Keywords: Eight Series Research Module, Islamic Values concept, Teaching Methodology, Flow of Information, Epistemology of research

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26 Applying Critical Realism to Qualitative Social Work Research: A Critical Realist Approach for Social Work Thematic Analysis Method

Authors: Lynne Soon-Chean Park

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Critical Realism (CR) has emerged as an alternative to both the positivist and constructivist perspectives that have long dominated social work research. By unpacking the epistemic weakness of two dogmatic perspectives, CR provides a useful philosophical approach that incorporates the ontological objectivist and subjectivist stance. The CR perspective suggests an alternative approach for social work researchers who have long been looking to engage in the complex interplay between perceived reality at the empirical level and the objective reality that lies behind the empirical event as a causal mechanism. However, despite the usefulness of CR in informing social work research, little practical guidance is available about how CR can inform methodological considerations in social work research studies. This presentation aims to provide a detailed description of CR-informed thematic analysis by drawing examples from a social work doctoral research of Korean migrants’ experiences and understanding of trust associated with their settlement experience in New Zealand. Because of its theoretical flexibility and accessibility as a qualitative analysis method, thematic analysis can be applied as a method that works both to search for the demi-regularities of the collected data and to identify the causal mechanisms that lay behind the empirical data. In so doing, this presentation seeks to provide a concrete and detailed exemplar for social work researchers wishing to employ CR in their qualitative thematic analysis process.

Keywords: critical Realism, data analysis, epistemology, research methodology, social work research, thematic analysis

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25 DNA as an Instrument in Constructing Narratives and Justice in Criminal Investigations: A Socio-Epistemological Exploration

Authors: Aadita Chaudhury

Abstract:

Since at least the early 2000s, DNA profiling has achieved a preeminent status in forensic investigations into criminal acts. While the criminal justice system has a long history of using forensic evidence and testing them through establish technoscientific means, the primacy of DNA in establishing 'truth' or reconstructing a series of events is unparalleled in the history of forensic science. This paper seeks to elucidate the ways in which DNA profiling has become the most authoritative instrument of 'truth' in criminal investigations, and how it is used in the legal process to ascertain culpability, create the notion of infallible evidence, and advance the search for justice. It is argued that DNA profiling has created a paradigm shift in how the legal system and the general public understands crime and culpability, but not without limitations. There are indications that even trace amounts of DNA evidence can point to causal links in a criminal investigation, however, there still remains many rooms to create confusion and doubt from empirical evidence within the narrative of crimes. Many of the shortcomings of DNA-based forensic investigations are explored and evaluated with regards to claims of the authority of biological evidence and implications for the public understanding of the elusive concepts of truth and justice in the present era. Public misinformation about the forensic analysis processes could produce doubt or faith in the judgements rooted in them, depending on other variables presented at the trial. A positivist understanding of forensic science that is shared by the majority of the population does not take into consideration that DNA evidence is far from definitive, and can be used to support any theories of culpability, to create doubt and to deflect blame.

Keywords: DNA profiling, epistemology of forensic science, philosophy of forensic science, sociology of scientific knowledge

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24 Not Three Gods but One: Why Reductionism Does Not Serve Our Theological Discourse

Authors: Finley Lawson

Abstract:

The triune nature of God is one of the most complex doctrines of Christianity, and its complexity is further compounded when one considers the incarnation. However, many of the difficulties and paradoxes associated with our idea of the divine arise from our adherence to reductionist ontology. In order to move our theological discourse forward, in respect to divine and human nature, a holistic interpretation of our profession of faith is necessary. The challenge of a holistic interpretation is that it questions our ability to make any statement about the genuine, ontological individuation of persons (both divine and human), and in doing so raises the issue of whether we are, ontologically, bound to descend in to a form of pan(en)theism. In order to address the ‘inevitable’ slide in to pan(en)theism. The impact of two forms of holistic interpretation, Boolean and Non-Boolean, on our concept of personhood will be examined. Whilst a Boolean interpretation allows for a greater understanding of the relational nature of the Trinity, it is the Non-Boolean interpretation which has greater ontological significance. A Non-Boolean ontology, grounded in our scientific understanding of the nature of the world, shows our quest for individuation rests not in ontological fact but in epistemic need, and that it is our limited epistemology that drives our need to divide that which is ontologically indivisible. This discussion takes place within a ‘methodological’, rather than ‘doctrinal’ approach to science and religion - examining assumptions and methods that have shaped our language and beliefs about key doctrines, rather than seeking to reconcile particular Christian doctrines with particular scientific theories. Concluding that Non-Boolean holism is the more significant for our doctrine is, in itself, not enough. A world without division appears much removed from the distinct place of man and divine as espoused in our creedal affirmation, to this end, several possible interpretations for understanding Non-Boolean human – divine relations are tentatively put forward for consideration.

Keywords: holism, individuation, ontology, Trinitarian relations

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23 Sociology Curriculum and Capabilities Formation: A Case Study of Two South African Universities

Authors: B. Manyonga

Abstract:

Across the world, higher education (HE) is expanding rapidly and issues of curriculum change have become more contentious and political than ever before. Although research informing curricula review in social sciences and particularly sociology has been conducted, much analysis has been devoted to teaching and transmitting disciplinary knowledge, student identity and epistemology, with little focus on curriculum conceptualisation and capability formation. This paper builds on and contributes to accumulating knowledge in the field of sociology curriculum design in the South African HE context. Drawing from the principles of Capabilities Approach (CA) of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, the paper argues that sociology curriculum conceptualisation may be enriched by capabilities identification for students. Thus, the sociological canon ought to be the vehicle through which student capabilities could be developed. The CA throws a fresh light on how curriculum ought to be designed to offer students real opportunities, expanding choices for individuals to be what they want to be and do. The paper uses a case of two South African universities to present analysis of qualitative data collected from undergraduate sociology lecturers. The major findings of the paper indicate that there is no clear philosophy guiding the conceptualisation of curriculum. The conceptualisation is based on lecturer expertise, carrying out research, response to topical and societal issues. Sociology lecturers highlighted that they do not consult students on what they want to do and to be as a result of studying for a sociology degree. Although lecturers recognise some human development capabilities such as critical thinking, multiple perspectives and problem solving as important for sociology students, there is little evidence to illustrate how these are being cultivated in students. Taken together, the results suggest that sociological canon is being regarded as the starting point for curriculum planning and construction.

Keywords: capabilities approach, graduate attributes, higher education, sociology curriculum

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22 Geographic and Territorial Knowledge as Epistemic Contexts for Intercultural Curriculum Development

Authors: Verónica Muñoz-Rivero

Abstract:

The historically marginalized indigenous communities in the Atacama Desert continue to experience and struggle curricular hegemony in a prevalent monocultural educational context that denies heritage, culture and epistemologies in a documented attempted knowledge negation by the educational policies, the national curriculum and educational culture. The ancestral indigenous community of Toconce demands a territorial-based intercultural education and a school in their ancestral land to prevent the progressive cultural loss as they reclaim their memory and identity negated. This case study makes use of the intercultural theoretical framework and open qualitative methodology to analyze local socio-educational reality integrating aspects related to the educational experience, education demands for future generations and importance given to formal education. The interlocutors: elders, parents, caretakers and former teachers raised the educational experience for the indigenous childhood as an intergenerational voice that experienced discrimination, exclusion and racism on their K-12 trajectories. By center, the indigenous epistemologies, geography and memory, this research proposes a project-based learning approach anchored to the Limpia de Canales ceremony to develop a situated territorial intercultural curriculum unpacking from the local epistemology and structure thinking. The work on terraces gives students the opportunity to co-create a real-life application with practical purpose and present the importance of reinforcing notions related to the relevance of a situated intercultural curriculum for social justice in the formative development of prospective teachers.

Keywords: cultural studies, decolonial education, epistemic symmetry, intercultural curriculum, multidimensional curriculum

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21 Beyond Baudrillard: A Critical Intersection between Semiotics and Materialism

Authors: Francesco Piluso

Abstract:

Nowadays, to restore the deconstructive power of semiotics implies a critical analysis of neoliberal ideology, and, even more critically, a confrontation with materialist perspective. The theoretical path of Jean Baudrillard is crucial to understand the ambivalence of this intersection. A semiotic critique of Baudrillard’s work, through tools of both structuralism and interpretative semiotics, has the aim to give materialism a new consistent semiotic approach and vice-versa. According to Baudrillard, the commodity form is characterized by the same abstract and systemic logic of the sign-form, in which the production of the signified (use-value) is a mere ideological mean for the reproduction of the signifiers-chain (exchange-value). Nevertheless, this parallelism is broken by the author himself: if the use-value is deconstructed in its relative logic, the signified and the referent, both as discrete and positive elements, are collapsed on the same plane at the shadows of the signified forms. These divergent considerations lead Baudrillard to the same crucial point: the dismissal of the material world, replaced by the hyperreality as reproduction of a semiotic (genetic) Code. The stress on the concept of form, as an epistemological and semiotic tool to analyse the construction of values in the consumer society, has led to the Code as its ontological drift. In other words, Baudrillard seems to enclose consumer society (and reality) in this immanent and self-fetishized world of signs–an ideological perspective that mystifies the gravity of the material relationships between Northern-Western World and Third World. The notion of Encyclopaedia by Umberto Eco is the key to overturn the relationship of immanence/transcendence between the Code and the economic political of the sign, by understanding the former as an ideological plane within the encyclopedia itself. Therefore, rather than building semiotic (hyper)realities, semiotics has to deal with materialism in terms of material relationships of power which are mystified and reproduced through such ideological ontologies of signs.

Keywords: Baudrillard, Code, Eco, Encyclopaedia, epistemology vs. ontology, semiotics vs. materialism

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