("Heterodoxy" sounds like a term for a promiscuous 18th century woman, but is properly the opposite of "orthodoxy")The following pages are heterodox. They are intended to set out the counter-arguments to taken-for-granted wisdom in (post-compulsory) education.
I am fed up with students (and professionals who are not currently in the role of student) presenting me with submissions full of shoulds, oughts and musts in the spirit of "All right-thinking people will agree with me when I say that..." They are guilty of several solecisms:
- Go here for a more detailed account.Hume's original version of Moore's later naturalistic fallacy, which can be epitomised as, "You can't derive an 'ought' from an 'is'." The closest you can reasonably get is to say, "If you want to do so-and-so [which is where the value judgement lies] then you ought to do such-and-such [which then becomes a technical and instrumental procedure]" Hanging shoulds or other prescriptive injunctions are not acceptable.
- The lack of an appropriately sceptical or critical academic stance. Within the discourse of a profession it may be reasonable to appeal to consensually-held values, but the strength (and the weakness) of an academic stance is that such values need to be justified or explained.
- Perhaps most important from a pragmatic rather than pompously academic position, it makes no sense to be committed to a position unless you have taken account of the alternatives. OK, can't resist getting pompous again (and Milton does pomposity like no other):
Milton, J (1644) Areopagitica