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News: Summer 1994

Royal News

The Royal Institute of Philosophy will acquire a new Director over the Summer. Professor Phillips-Griffiths is standing down and will be replaced by Anthony O’Hear of Bradford University. Professor O’Hear, who frequently writes newspaper articles on educational matters, will be keen to extend the Institute’s efforts to promote philosophy in schools.

Unholy Row

Various teachers’ organisations continued to contest Education Secretary John Patten’s views on moral and religious education in schools. David Hart of the National Association of Head Teachers said on Radio 5 that he didn’t see the need for an act of collective worship based on Christianity to be held in every school every day. He said that this statutory requirement caused logistical problems for schools and was inappropriate anyway in schools with a non- Christian majority. He also said he didn’t think there need necessarily be a link between religious education and moral teaching.

The First Man

A previously unpublished novel by the French-Algerian writer and philosopher Albert Camus went on sale in France in April. Camus, one of the greatest literary exponents of existentialism, was killed in a car crash in 1960, and the unfinished manuscript of the novel was found in his briefcase in the car. His wife and friends decided not to publish it at the time, partly because Camus himself had expressed dissatisfaction with it before his death. Le Premier Homme is an autobiographical novel. In it Camus describes a search for his own identity in terms of his efforts to find out more about his father, killed in the trenches in 1914 when Camus was still an infant.

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