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Michael Merry
University of Amsterdam
  1. Educational Justice and the Gifted.Michael S. Merry - 2008 - Theory and Research in Education 6 (1):47-70.
    In this article I examine two basic questions: first, what constitutes a gifted person, and secondly, is there justification in making special educational provision for gifted children, where special provision involves spending more on their education than on the education of ‘normal’ children? I consider a hypothetical case for allocating extra resources for the gifted, and argue that gifted children are generally denied educational justice if they fail to receive an education that adequately challenges them. I further argue that an (...)
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  2.  99
    Should Educators Accommodate Intolerance? Mark Halstead,1 Homosexuality, and the Islamic Case.Michael S. Merry - 2005 - Journal of Moral Education 34 (1):19-36.
    In this article, I will challenge the idea that Islam allows no place for homosexuality, and further explore the educational implications of this.
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  3.  65
    Can Intimacy Justify Home Education?Michael S. Merry & Charles Howell - 2009 - Theory and Research in Education 7 (3):363-381.
    Many parents cite intimacy as one of their reasons for deciding to educate at home. It seems intuitively obvious that home education is conducive to intimacy because of the increased time families spend together. Yet what is not clear is whether intimacy can provide justification for one’s decision to home educate. To see whether this is so, we introduce the concept of ‘attentive parenting’, which encompasses a set of family characteristics, and we examine whether and under what conditions attentive parents (...)
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  4.  57
    Cosmopolitanism and the Deeply Religious.Michael S. Merry & Doret J. De Ruyter - 2009 - Journal of Beliefs and Values 30 (1):49-60.
    In this paper we provide a defence of cosmopolitanism from a liberal perspective, examining its moral underpinnings, including moral obligations predicated on a belief in common humanity and the fundamental dignity of human people, cultural capacities that include an embrace of pluralism and a fallibilist disposition, and pragmatist resolve in finding humanitarian solutions to real problems that people face. We also scrutinise the ideal of cosmopolitanism by considering the ‘deeply religious’ as the sort of people about whom it may be (...)
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  5. Restricted Liberty, Parental Choice and Homeschooling.Michael S. Merry & Sjoerd Karsten - 2010 - Philosophy of Education 44 (4):497-514.
    In this paper we carefully study the problem of liberty as it applies to school choice, and whether there ought to be restricted liberty in the case of homeschooling. We examine three prominent concerns that might be brought against homeschooling, viz., that it aggravates social inequality, worsens societal conflict and works against the best interests of children. To examine the tensions that occur between parental liberty, children's interests, and state oversight, we consider the case of homeschooling in the Dutch context.
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  6. Why Education in Public Schools Should Include Religious Ideals.Doret J. de Ruyter & Michael S. Merry - 2009 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (4):295-311.
    In this article we aim to open a new line of debate about religion in public schools by focusing on religious ideals. We begin with an elucidation of the concept ‘religious ideals’ and an explanation of the notion of reasonable pluralism, in order to be able to explore the dangers and positive contributions of religious ideals and their pursuit on a liberal democratic society. We draw our examples of religious ideals from Christianity and Islam, because these religions have most adherents (...)
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  7. Indoctrination, Moral Instruction, and Nonrational Beliefs.Michael S. Merry - 2005 - Educational Theory 55 (4):399-420.
    The manner in which individuals hold various nonevidentiary beliefs is critical to making any evaluative claim regarding an individual's autonomy. In this essay, I argue that one may be both justified in holding nonrational beliefs of a nonevidentiary sort while also being capable of leading an autonomous life. I defend the idea that moral instruction, including that which concerns explicitly religious content, may justifiably constitute a set of commitments upon which rationality and autonomy are dependent. I situate this discussion against (...)
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  8.  62
    Is Diversity Necessary for Educational Justice?William S. New & Michael S. Merry - 2014 - Educational Theory 64 (3):205-225.
    In this article we challenge the notion that diversity serves as a good proxy for educational justice. First, we maintain that the story about how diversity might be accomplished and what it might do for students and society is internally inconsistent. Second, we argue that a disproportionate share of the benefits that might result from greater diversity often accrues to those already advantaged. Finally, we propose that many of the most promising and pragmatic remedies for educational injustice are often rejected (...)
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  9.  96
    The Well-Being of Children, the Limits of Paternalism, and the State: Can Disparate Interests Be Reconciled?Michael S. Merry - 2007 - Ethics and Education 2 (1):39-59.
    For many, it is far from clear where the prerogatives of parents to educate as they deem appropriate end and the interests of their children, immediate or future, begin. In this article I consider the educational interests of children and argue that children have an interest in their own well-being. Following this, I will examine the interests of parents and consider where the limits of paternalism lie. Finally, I will consider the state's interest in the education of children and discuss (...)
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  10.  35
    Islam Versus Liberal Pluralism?Michael S. Merry - 2004 - Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 24 (1):121-137.
    The aims of liberalism—which is often confused with value pluralism—are routinely challenged by persons whose primary commitments lie elsewhere. In his weighing the pros and cons of liberal democratic states versus an Islamic state, Ahmad Yousif has offered an impressive challenge to liberals, but in doing so has confused the aims of liberalism with the pre-liberal nation-state ideal. In this article, I will challenge his conclusions by demonstrating the competing aims of liberals without conflating them with the liberal state. Yousif (...)
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  11.  89
    Embedded Identities and Dialogic Consensus: Educational Implications From the Communitarian Theory of Bhikhu Parekh.Michael S. Merry - 2005 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 37 (4):495-517.
    In this article the author will investigate the extent to which Bhikhu Parekh believes that a person's cultural/religious background must be preserved and whether, by implication, religious schooling is justified by his theory. His discussion will explore—by inference and implication—whether Parekh's carefully crafted multiculturalism, enriched and illuminated by numerous practical insights, is socially tenable. The author will also consider whether, by extension, it is justifiable, on his line of reasoning, to cultivate cultural and religious understandings among one's own children. Finally, (...)
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  12.  47
    The Relevance of Cosmopolitanism for Moral Education.Michael S. Merry & Doret J. de Ruyter - 2011 - Journal of Moral Education 40 (1):1-18.
    In this article we defend a moral conception of cosmopolitanism and its relevance for moral education. Our moral conception of cosmopolitanism presumes that persons possess an inherent dignity in the Kantian sense and therefore they should be recognised as ends?in?themselves. We argue that cosmopolitan ideals can inspire moral educators to awaken and cultivate in their pupils an orientation and inclination to struggle against injustice. Moral cosmopolitanism, in other words, should more explicitly inform the work that moral educators do. Real?world constraints (...)
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  13.  49
    Should the Homeless Be Forcibly Helped?Bart van Leeuwen & Michael S. Merry - 2019 - Public Health Ethics 12 (1):30-43.
    When are we morally obligated as a society to help the homeless, and is coercive interference justified when help is not asked for, even refused? To answer this question, we propose a comprehensive taxonomy of different types of homelessness and argue that different levels of autonomy allow for interventions with varying degrees of pressure to accept help. There are only two categories, however, where paternalism proper is allowed, be it heavily qualified. The first case is the homeless person with severely (...)
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  14.  52
    Cultural Coherence and the Schooling for Identity Maintenance.Michael S. Merry - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 39 (3):477–497.
    An education for cultural coherence tends to the child’s well-being through identity construction and maintenance. Critics charge that this sort of education will not bode well for the future autonomy of children. I will argue that culturally coherent education, provided there is no coercion, can lend itself to eventual autonomy and may assist minority children in countering the negative stereotypes and discrimination they face in the larger society. Further, I will argue that few individuals actually possess an entirely coherent identity; (...)
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  15.  39
    Risk, Harm and Intervention: The Case of Child Obesity.Michael S. Merry & Kristin Voigt - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):191-200.
    In this paper we aim to demonstrate the enormous ethical complexity that is prevalent in child obesity cases. This complexity, we argue, favors a cautious approach. Against those perhaps inclined to blame neglectful parents, we argue that laying the blame for child obesity at the feet of parents is simplistic once the broader context is taken into account. We also show that parents not only enjoy important relational prerogatives worth defending, but that children, too, are beneficiaries of that relationship in (...)
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  16.  38
    Should the State Fund Religious Schools?Michael S. Merry - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (3):255–270.
    In this article, I make a philosophical case for the state to fund religious schools. Ultimately, I shall argue that the state has an obligation to fund and provide oversight of all schools irrespective of their religious or non-religious character. The education of children is in the public interest and therefore the state must assume its responsibility to its future citizens to ensure that they receive a quality education. Still, while both religious schools and the polity have much to be (...)
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  17.  66
    Libertarian Bioethics and Religion: The Case of H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.Michael S. Merry - 2004 - Bioethics 18 (5):387–407.
    In this article I offer a critique of certain moral perspectives that are found in the second edition of Engelhardt’s Foundation of Bioethics. These views are spelled out in explicit detail in his second edition, and follow on the heels of a profound religious conversion. I question some of the conclusions that Engelhardt reaches as they touch upon moral frameworks, pluralism, and a ‘secular’ bioethics.
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  18.  45
    Segregation and Civic Virtue.Michael S. Merry - 2012 - Educational Theory 62 (4):465-486.
    In this essay I defend the following prima facie argument: civic virtue is not dependent on integration and in fact may be best fostered under conditions of segregation. I demonstrate that civic virtue can and does take place under conditions of involuntary segregation, but that voluntary separation—as a response to segregation—is a more effective way to facilitate it. While segregation and disadvantage commonly coexist, spatial concentrations, particularly when there is a strong voluntary aspect present, often aid in fostering civic virtue. (...)
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  19.  47
    Equality, Self‐Respect and Voluntary Separation.Michael S. Merry - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (1):79-100.
    In this paper I argue that self respect constitutes an important value, and further, an important basis for equality. It also argues that under conditions of inequality producing segregation, voluntary separation in the educational sector may be more likely to provide the resources necessary for self respect. A prima facie case of voluntary separation for stigmatized minorities when equality as equal status and treatment is not an option under either the terms of integration or involuntary segregation is defended.
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