Psychoanalysis and Pedagogy

Lifelong Unlearning
This essay looks at unlearning as the 'other' of learning and offers a preliminary typology of the ways in which we unlearn things. It has some rude things to say about the ideology of 'lifelong learning'.

Hysteria as a confusion of occurent and dispositional states
Uses Wittgenstein's distinctions between occurrent (mood) and dispositional (belief, feeling) states to re-think the nature of hysteria

How to do things in dreams
This essay presents Freud's theory of dream meaning as a pragmatic theory about the meaning of symbols in use, rather than a semantic (dictionary) theory of the kind which led to the production of the dream books and dream dictionaries and which Freud criticises in The Interpretation of Dreams. Ideas from contemporary philosophical and linguistic pragmatics are used to re-present Freud's theories. So too is Chomsky's distinction between linguistic competence and performance

What I tell my students about Noam Chomsky and Seymour Papert  
An overview, written in 1981, of different versions of the developing "Cognitive Paradigm", with special reference to issues in developmental psychology, learning theory and including emphasis on the concepts of competence & performance; underdetermination & abduction; learnability & accessibility.

Can Schools Educate?  
A lecture given, at the invitation of Professor R S Peters, to the Easter School of Philosophy of the University of London Centre for Teachers, 1980. It begins with a review of the book "Fifteen Thousand Hours" by Michael Rutter and others, criticising its statistical approach to social life and its behaviourist social psychology. The concepts of communicative (agent-agent) action and strategic (agent-patient) action are introduced from the work of Jurgen Habermas and in the context of a discussion of relationships of Trust. The concepts of "programme", "technology" and "strategy" are introduced from the work of Michel Foucault and used in a critique of schools. An ideal of an educated person is developed from the liberalism of J S Mill and the difficulties of realising such an ideal in schools is discussed.

Psychoanalysis and Socratic Education  
A range of concepts are introduced to argue similarities between Socratic Education and Freudian psychoanalysis. The concepts are these: the talking cure; floating attention; knowledge and acknowledgment; judgment and intuition; (prior) theoretical understanding; attending for truth; acting in role; play; negative dialectics; the training of the self.

Communicating with Computer Programs: The Pragmatics of Human-Computer Interaction
Gives an account of human-computer interaction using concepts from pragmatics (Grice, Watzlawick) and Bateson's concept of play. Argues that the impersonality of computer programs has advantages in relation to learning and creativity. Connections are made to the philosophy of science (Feyerabend, Popper) and to Habermas.

The Subject and the Speaking Subject
This paper schematizes with the aid of Venn diagrams possible relationships between the subject (the self, the agent, the person) and the speaking subject (the speaker, the linguistic subject) and comments on the character and sources of plausibility of each conception of the relationship. Key words: Identity, Subjectivity, Person, Speaker, Linguistic subject, Constitution of the subject, Sujet, Sujet parlant, le hors langage

1968: Student Revolt and the Making of a Course-Critic  
A 1971 autobiographical essay on the origins and character of the 1960s student movement in the United Kingdom, especially as it related to the criticism of what was then being taught across a range of University disciplines.

R. D. Laing: Sanity, Madness and the Problem of Knowledge  
A reading of one case study in R D Laing and A Esterson, Sanity Madness and the Family, trying to highlight the cognitive (epistemological) aspects of the schizophrenic predicament.

Play: Children's Play and Adult's Play from the standpoint of Gregory Bateson and Donald Winnicott.  
No abstract

Battle for the Mind: Jerry Fodor, Howard Gardner, John Searle  
An introduction to cognitive science/cognitive psychology presented through a review of the work of J A Fodor, Howard Gardner and John Searle. The writing dates from 1984. Topics treated include the idea of the modularity of mind (as opposed to the idea of general purpose intelligence); Nature vs Nurture controversies; the positions of Chomsky and Piaget in these debates; the importance of naturally occurring deprivation experiments (the worlds of deaf and blind children).