Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0041-475120130004&lang=es vol. 53 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Voorwoord</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>What is happening to spirit in the meantime? Some exercises in the impossible</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In hierdie artikel word besin oor die lotgevalle van gees, geestelikheid en die geestelike soos dit oor eeue heen beslag gekry het. Die vanselfsprekendheid van gees en die aanvaarde manifestasies van gees in individuele en sosiale situasies was eeue lank die mees natuurlike houding. Hierna volg prosesse van despiritualisering wat lei tot die verdwyning, aftakeling, ontkragting, verplasing en vyandige vernietiging van gees. Die gewisse moontlikheid van katastrofale en nie onverwante barbaarse en in meer as een opsig vernietigende gevolge vir mens en samelewing, wat selfs die verdwyning van die mensheid mag behels, word geïdentifiseer. Hierdie besinning lei tot 'n hernieude besef, wat al hoe meer veld wen en bevorder word, dat gees tot ontwaking behoort te kom, herinventeer moet word vir huidige situasies en die hedendaagse wêreld volgens bepaalde denkmatige benaderingswyses, tot by die punt dat dit die mensheid van baie leed en selfs ondergang kan red en vrywaar, met die volle verwagting dat 'n nuwe toekoms blootgelê mag word.<hr/>This article reflects on the vicissitudes of spirit and spirituality during the course of time. In the early phases of human history until fairly recently, spirit and spirituality were essential to their history and shamelessly confessed and promoted. Examples of this attitude are apparent in the works of Aristotle, Augustine, Spinoza, Hegel, and the philosophers of the spirit, Bachelard and Gadamer. They generally see spirit as the organizing, fundamental and forceful principle that guides and inspires humans towards many great achievements, the principle responsible for organising all special attributes and qualities of humans such as psuche, phusis and logos -science, art and religion. Gradually this self-evident and taken for granted presence and force of human spirituality, responsible for making human history and establishing great and exciting human achievements, has been quietly but sometimes even ruthlessly eroded in diverse ways. Its fate is multi-faceted. It is either simply forgotten or pushed aside, or active efforts ofdespiritualisation became effective. From another perspective it becomes emasculated and loses its force, or becomes seconded to machines up to the point of complete elimination in the sciences of various kinds, until eventually, in some circles, an aggressive antagonism towards the idea of spirit and explicit rejection of this idea emerged. Merely mentioning spirit becomes a shameful event, a laughing matter, and even a subject of jokes. What goes relatively unnoticed in these processes is the extent to which these dismissive attitudes regarding spirituality bring about catastrophic and barbarous consequences, with devastating implications for human existence, human societies, scientific endeavours, social initiatives and aesthetic expressions. World wars, unbridled violence of humans against humans, exploitation of humans by humans, the absence and loss of meaningful human existence, the development of symbolic misery, the emergence of dis-affected individuals, the sociopathologies that reign in societies, the darkening of the world manifested in the flight of the gods, the celebration of mediocrity, the standardisation of humans and the destruction of the earth are some of the devastating and ruinous consequences. According to some these developments pose a serious threat to the future of the human race - humankind may be on the edge of disappearing. If this scenario is true and real, which clearly seems to be the case, deep and serious attention should be given to these developments in view of the future not only of specific individuals but of humankind as a whole. This creates the imperative that there needs to be a reawakening of spirit and spirituality; it should be reinvented for the contemporary milieu, circumstances and demands which differ extensively from previous times. What is required is the creation of a milieu that will facilitate this re-awakening and re-invention of spirituality: a deep rethinking of the notion of community; extensive efforts to pursue without hesitation the battle for intelligence; a serious embracement of comprehensive and compositional thinking; a rediscovery of the deepest possible understanding of what knowledge really means. The suggestion is that the re-invention and reawakening of human spirituality, through attentive thoughtful listening to Being, will enable human communities to deal constructively with the huge problems with their catastrophic proportions that threaten humankind, enabled by the concurrent re-awakening and re-invention of human attitudes of friendship, love and care with socio-therapeutic consequences on a wide scale and pertinent for our unique situations and conditions. This calls for the deliberate, explicit and communal development on a continuous basis of "the art of being" with Being. <![CDATA[<b>Monsters and humans: On the spritual and her contemporary absence</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In hierdie artikel word nagedink oor die verskynsel van die monsteragtige. In die hart daarvan staan die volgende vraag: Kan die denke op 'n gefundeerde wyse na bepaalde handelinge as "monsteragtig" verwys? In aansluiting by die tradisie van filosofiese denke word aangevoer dat die monsteragtige as 'n kontra-geestelike verskynsel verstaan moet word: Terwyl die geestelike in die tradisie van filosofiese en teologiese denke verbind word met die beweging van die gees tussen die immanente en die transendente geheel van dit wat is, hou die monsteragtige verband met 'n beweging ingevolge waarvan die aandag op die immanente (en in die besonder die strewe na selfbehoud) ingekort word. In plaas daarvan om sigself vir die transendente geheel oop te stel, keer die uitsluitlike fokus op selfbehoud (en die goeie wat dit in die tradisie verteenwoordig), om in sy negatiewe teendeel. Na laasgenoemde kan as die monsteragtige verwys word. In aansluiting hierby word aangevoer dat die monsteragtige, juis vanweë die reduksionistiese aard daarvan, nie 'n substantiewe mag is wat op ontologiese gewig kan aanspraak maak nie. Inteendeel, as reduksie van die werklikheid val dit met die "niks" saam. In die slotgedeeltes word stilgestaan by verskillende wyses waarop op die monsteragtige geantwoord kan word. Tydens die era van die modernisme is op die monsteragtige by wyse van die monsteragtige staat (Hobbes se Leviatan) en 'n ewe monsteragtige puristiese moralisme geantwoord. Daarmee het die modernisme 'n dialektiek van die monsteragtige op dreef gebring. Daarteenoor staan die tradisie van filosofiese en teologiese denke, wat nie aan die monsteragtige enige ontologiese substansie toeken nie, maar eerder die voorwaardes vir genoemde dialektiek bevraagteken.<hr/>This essay is a reflection on the phenomenon of the monstrous. It is underpinned by the following question: Can contemporary thought identify and judge certain phenomena in a well-founded manner as "monstrous " - given the modern tendency to condemn the negative in a dualist fashion, and the opposite tendency in postmodernism to question, even in a spirit of indifference, its very existence? By means of an appeal to traditional philosophy and theology it is argued that the monstrous can be understood as a contra-spiritual movement. In traditional thought the spiritual is not only experienced as a substantive entity, but also as a movement between body and spirit, between immanent and transcendent being. The aim of the spiritual movement is to have community with and participate in transcendent being. By contrast, it is argued that the monstrous can be associated with those movements of the spirit that is characterised by a reductive focus on immanent being (and more precisely, by a single-minded focus on survival, i.e. by the attempt of the subject to survive without taking cognisance of the inner tendency of the spirit to participate in being as such). The latter represents the monstrous moment: Instead of the subject opening itself for the spiritual movement toward being, the exclusive focus on survival (and the good that the latter represents in traditional thought) is accompanied by the paradoxical turn into its opposite. In short, being is henceforth experienced as monstrous. However, it is also argued that the monstrous cannot be seen as a substantial power, but rather as something that is without ontological substance. In fact, being nothing but a reduction of being, the monstrous can be experienced as a privation of being, i.e. as mere nothingness. In order to substantiate the argument, an appeal is made to natural law as understood by Aquinas (and the underlying idea that nature is marked by the spiritual desire to transcend the immanent in favour of contemplating being as such). In terms of Aquinas' understanding of natural law being is not only characterised by a tendency toward the good, but also - and more specifically - toward survival, community and contemplation. Seen from this perspective the monstrous represents in essence a forgetfulness of the spiritual desire for more than mere survival, i.e. for community and contemplation. In the concluding paragraphs the focus turns to different ways in which modernism has responded to its own understanding of being as a monstrous event. It is argued that modernism responded to the monstrous by means of monstrous instruments, namely the modern territorial state (Hobbes' Leviathan) and puritanical moralism. In responding to the monstrous by means of the monstrous the preconditions were laidfor what can be referred to as the modern dialectic of the monstrous. In other words, both the modern leviathan and puritanical moralism repeated the monstrous in the very attempt to transcend its violent implications. By contrast, traditional philosophy and theology point to ways in which spiritual desire is redirected in such a manner that the monstrous itself is exposed as a being without substance. Instead of merely repeating the dialectic of the monstrous, traditional philosophy and theology can thus show the way beyond its violent circularity. <![CDATA[<b>The critique of tradition and the tradition of critique. A reconstruction of the debate between Habermas and Gadamer</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In hierdie bydrae word die bekende debat (1967-1971) tussen Jürgen Habermas en Hans-Georg Gadamer gerekonstrueer. Die debat word hier in noue samehang met die kwessie van die geesteswetenskappe gelees. Die bydrae val in vier dele uiteen. In die eerste afdeling word Habermas se opening tot die debat in vyf onderafdelings uiteengesit. Dit gaan hier oor Gadamer se verdediging van tradisie en Habermas se kritiek op die begrip (1.1). In antwoord op Gadamer se begrip van tradisie ontwerp Habermas sy begrip van kennisbelange wat hy aan drie menslike kennisvelde verbind: empiries-analitiese wetenskappe, histories-hermeneutiese wetenskappe en krities-sosiale wetenskappe. Habermas ken aan elkeen van hierdie kennisvelde 'n bepaalde belang toe (1.2). Die krities-sosiale wetenskappe word dan met die belang van emansipasie verbind wat verder aan die hand van die model van psigoanalise en ideologiekritiek uitgewerk word (1.3). In die vierde plek word Habermas se kritiek op die ontologiseringsmotief in Gadamer se filosofiese hermeneutiek verwoord (1.4). Laastens opper Habermas ook sekere punte van kritiek teen die gebruik van Aristoteles in eietydse debatte in die politiek (1.5). In die tweede gedeelte van die bydrae word Gadamer se antwoord aan Habermas gerekonstrueer. Hierdie rekonstruksie volg dieselfde tematiese opbou as by Habermas. Met ander woorde Gadamer se verweer word met verwysing na Habermas se kritiek op tradisie (2.1) die kwessie van selfrefleksie en die model van psigoanalise (2.2-2.3) die ontologiseringsmotief (2.4) en Aristoteles se praktiese filosofie in ons eie tyd uitgewerk (2.5). In die laaste twee afdelings word die loopbane van Gadamer en Habermas, ná hulle debat, verken (afdeling 3). Die punt hier is dat Habermas sy posisie meer as Gadamer verander het. In die laaste afdeling (4) word die debat binne die kader van die geesteswetenskappe geplaas met die vraag: het ons 'n kritiek van tradisie of 'n tradisie van kritiek nodig wanneer ons in die geesteswetenskappe werk?<hr/>In 1967 a debate started between Jürgen Habermas and Hans Georg-Gadamer that remains of academic importance for the humanities. One of the central issues in this debate revolves around the position of the humanities (geesteswetenskappe) in our time. In his famous work, Wahrheit and Methode (1960), Gadamer defended the role of the humanities with concepts such as play, tradition, working-historical consciousness, the hermeneutical circle and the melting of horizons. In a study on the logic of the social sciences, Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften (1967), Habermas criticised Gadamer 's work with concepts such as interests, self-reflection, and ideology critique. After a short biographical sketch of Gadamer (1900-2002) and Habermas (born 1929) the argumentative outline of the contribution is provided. The contribution consists of four parts. In the first part Habermas's critique of Gadamer is investigated. It consists of five aspects. In the first place Habermas criticises the concept of tradition in Gadamer (1.1). Against this background Habermas develops his alternative of knowledge interests (1.2). The concept of knowledge interests is linked to three fields of human knowledge: empirical-analytical sciences, historical-hermeneutical sciences, and critical-social sciences. Habermas connects each one of these fields of knowledge to an interest. In the case of empirical sciences the interest is technical, in the case of historical-hermeneutical sciences practical, and in the case of the critical-social sciences it is emancipatory. Habermas then connects the latter interest, which he prefers, with the model of psychoanalysis and the concept of ideology critique (1.3). In the fourth place Habermas provides a sharp critique of the idea of ontology in Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics - and by implication also Heidegger. Finally Habermas also challenges the use of Aristotle in contemporary social and political philosophy - and by implication the use of Aristotle in Gadamer's work (1.5). Gadamer's answer to the debate (section 2) follows the same thematic line as that offered by Habermas. Gadamer is not as critical about the role of tradition in philosophy and more particularly in the humanities (2.1). He does not put reason above tradition. In this process Gadamer emphasises the dynamic nature of tradition. Such a dynamic concept of tradition is further linked to a reciprocal relationship between the subject and object. Gadamer develops this idea in his major work Truth and Method in three directions. In the first part the reciprocal relationship between subject and object is explained through the ontological implications of the work of art. In the second part the concept of aesthetic play is linked to history (in the form of the working-historical consciousness), and in the third part to language as the medium of hermeneutical experience. This defence of the concept of tradition then allows Gadamer to criticise Habermas's use of the concept of self-reflection and his model ofpsychoanalysis and ideology critique (2.2 to 2.3). Against this background it comes as no surprise that Gadamer defends the ontological motif in his work (2.4). Finally Gadamer also defends the application of Aristotle's practical philosophy in the contemporary world - especially through the concept of phronesis. In the third section Gadamer and Habermas's careers after the debate are reconstructed. In the case of Gadamer he was obliged to look again at the critical potential of philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer still remained convinced that Habermas's use of critical reflection is too rationalisticfor the humanities. Habermas, on his part, made a more radical change than Gadamer after the debate. He left his model of self-reflection (and psychoanalysis and ideology critique) behind for the concept of communication. This move is worked out in Habermas's magnum opus, The Theory of Communicative Action, and subsequent work. Has Habermas, thus, moved nearer to hermeneutics? This question is answered in an ambigious manner at the end of this section. In the final section (4) the debate between Habermas and Gadamer is placed in the context of the humanities. This move opens questions such as: Do we need an interpretative or social critique in the humanities? What roles do reason and tradition play here? Do we need here a critique of tradition or a tradition of critique? What is meant with spirit in the humanities ("gees in die geesteswetenskappe")? Must we think about spirit in an ontological manner like Gadamer following Heidegger), or in a self-reflective way (the early Habermas), or in terms of the argumentative discourse of communicative action (the later Habermas)? <![CDATA[<b>Cyborgs and the future of the human spirit</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In hierdie artikel word die invloed van die projek van die bou van denkende masjiene of kuborge op die grondslag van menslike geestelikheid bespreek. Die idee van die kuborge word gebruik om die toekoms te bedink. Die kuborg as supermens word as mite uitgewys, terwyl die ontaarding van die mens as 'n realistiese moontlikheid geskets word. Mense, as geestelike wesens, kom noodgedwonge te staan voor die uitdaging om verantwoordelikheid te aanvaar en die toenemend moeilike balans te bewaar tussen die onmenslike en die supermens wat in ons sluimer. Die onmenslike moet in toom gehou word te midde van 'n openheid vir die radikale kreatiwiteit van die supermens. Dit blyk egter dat die gees verwond en aan bande gelê word deur die onderliggende metafore van meganisering en ontliggaming van die tegnologieë van ons tyd. Die gesprek sluit aan by die stryd om die heropluistering van die gees. Tegnologie kan gebruik word in hierdie stryd maar slegs as mense hulle eindigheid verstaan en aanvaar asook dié van tegnologie. Sodoende sal 'n ryker begrip van menslikheid vorendag kom wat betekenis in mense se lewens bring deur die ontwikkeling en gebruik van tegnologie sinvol te rig.<hr/>This article reports on the influence of an important project of our time, the creation of thinking machines or cyborgs, on the essence of human spirituality. The popular work of Kurzweil was used as a starting point. Kurzweil believes that the cyborgs or man-machine hybrids will not only be a simulation of human cognition but also of consciousness and spirituality. In fact, they will be more than a simulation; they will enhance and alter consciousness and spirituality in a radical, unfathomable way. The basis of Kurzweil's argument is his law of accelerating returns, which predicts such a progress in technology that, if an algorithm for the working of the brain can be formulated, it will be possible to develop software emulating the conscious brain. In this way, current limitations experienced by human beings, including mortality, will be overcome. This assumption was investigatedfrom an anthropological view using Janicaud's concepts. The cyborg is seen as an illustration of people's innate desire to overcome the human condition. Humanity is characterised by a constant struggle to find a balance between the superhuman and the inhuman as the extreme states of human spirituality. This also characterises human liberty - humans are free to choose. Given this characterisation of humanity, the nature of the cyborg as superhuman is then considered. Different possibilities are sketched: the superhuman who will exercise the pure will to power (awakening the inhuman) or a person with a complete naïve freedom. The future is not easy to predict. Janicaud considers the view of the cyborg as superhuman to be a myth. The real danger facing humanity is the inhuman. The growth and progress of technology do not guarantee moral progress. Currently, technology seems to create a sharp divide between a privileged few and the rest. The two world wars in the previous century illustrated ways in which technology could be used to commit cold-blooded barbaric acts on a mass scale. In addition, biotechnology and other technological innovations could give rise to new forms of violence which can effectively be spread by new media. The inhuman is a place from where it is difficult to return. The challenge of our time is to carry the responsibility of our freedom in such a way that we can defend ourselves against our inhumanity; but in a manner that would enable us also to open up to the radical creativity and strangeness of superhumans lying dormant in us. It is clear that now, more than ever before, human spirituality needs to be as alive and rich as possible to rise to the challenge. However, the belief in technology as utopia enslaves the human spirit. We forget that we are the creators of technology and fabricate excuses for moral and intellectual abdications. Furthermore, the assumption that cognition can be mechanised or formalised leads to the disembodiment of intelligence and thought. Humans are placed outside of the world to which they belong. We become estranged from ourselves and each other. The human spirit seems to be wounded by the prevailing metaphors of disembodiment and mechanisation accompanying technological dominance. This article contributes to the call for the struggle for the re-enchantment of the human spirit. It is imperative that thinkers and innovators - leaders - create new metaphors to provide richer descriptions of humanity. Social sciences, having studied the human condition for centuries, might contribute valuable ideas. Technology can be used in this struggle, but only if human beings understand their own paradoxical nature as well as that of technology. The fortified spirit is one that accepts its mortality andfragility but takes responsibilityfor its freedom. In this way, meaning is re-introduced in the lives of human beings. <![CDATA[<b>Poetic thought: mind/consciousness, feeling, conscience</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die verhouding tussen gees en liggaam, en veral die verskynsel van poëtiese denke as 'n manifestasie van bewussyn, gevoel en (ge)wete, word bespreek na aanleiding van T.T. Cloete se besinning oor digterskap in Die ander een is ek (2013) en Marlene van Niekerk se jongste digbundel Kaar (2013; te verskyn).<hr/>In a recent publication, Die ander een is ek (2013) - translatable as "I am the other", or, more literally, "The other is I" - the renowned Afrikaans poet, T.T. Cloete, is ofthe opinion that man's ability to create words and poetry constitutes an exemplary activity ofthe mind. Following Cloete, it is argued in this paper that poetry, in its conscious exploitation of words and language, actualises a way of thinking, or uniquely demonstrates an intensified activity of the mind. A scrutiny of Cloete's sustained contemplation of poetic thought should reveal the relevance of literary studies in general and ofpoetic language in particular in keeping alive man's "faculty of wonder". The point of departure of Cloete's Die ander een is ek is grounded in personal convictions, and although the book was inspired by the suffering and death of his wife, whom he acknowledges as "the poet within himself", Cloete's views are substantiated throughout the study with reference to the meaning of philosophers, psychologists, or neurologists; the work of poets and other artists; or the lives of exemplary people such as Helen Keller. In this manner, the belief that man's creativity results in transcendence - that is, becoming "an other" by overcoming bodily limitations such as illness or old age - goes beyond personal experience or conviction only and attains a more universal attestation. To complement Cloete's views on poetic thought, reference is also made to a younger Afrikaans poet, Marlene van Niekerk. The detailed analysis of ekphrasis, the translation of image into word, in Marlene Dumas's "The painter" (depicting a young child besmudged with paint), would appear to substantiate Cloete's characterisation of ekphrasis as an instance of "multiple transcendence". At the same time, extracts of poems from her most recent anthology convincingly show how Cloete's definition of poetry as "unusual experience and non-routine language" ("ongeroetineerde ervaring en ongeroetineerde taal") is concretised in poems depicting both personal experience (poems on the beloved or the frailty of an aged father) and political criticism (poverty, crime or (inter) national corruption). The gist of the argument in this paper, that poetic thought (consciousness, feeling, conscience) constitutes an intensified activity of the mind, is therefore substantiatedfrom divergent points of view in Afrikaans poetry. Cloete explores the phenomenon of how disabled, crippled or frail bodies are apparently capable oftranscending able and healthy bodies in productivity - an inverse order of bodily strength and creativity. In this regard, Helen Keller remains the ultimate example of a disabled body (blind, deaf and mute) nevertheless being able to share her thoughts and feelings by means of "the language of her hands" - the only "language" available to her, according to Cloete. Artistic activity, both the act of creation by a poet, or the act of reception by a reader similarly results in transcendence. Cloete is, however, not only concerned with mind, as a distinguishing feature of man as "first primate", but also fascinated by the "miracle" of the body. In this regard every possible aspect of the body is scrutinised. Having first explored the miracle of old, sick or crippled bodies still being able to produce poetry or music, thus demonstrating man's ability to transcend bodily limitations, he argues that the body itself nevertheless is essential in enabling man to engage in activities such as writing poetry. In an, as yet, unpublished poem he stresses that every part of his body played an essential part in the creation of the poem - from his brain, his intestines, to his hand and fingers. It is hoped that poetry's unique contribution to the continuing debate about the necessity, or otherwise,of a sustained focus on the humanities and social studies (as opposed to the natural sciences, economics or technology) in tertiary education will become evident through a reading of both the theoretical probing and the poetic practice elaborately scrutinised in Cloete's remarkable book Die ander een is ek ("I am the other"). <![CDATA[<b>The weal and woe of the spirit: The ancient Greeks, the Church Fathers and modernity</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Op inleidende wyse word Pierre Hadot se beeld van die antieke en klassieke filosofie as omvorming van die self in die nastrewing van wysheid, waarin geestelike oefeninge 'n belangrike rol gespeel het, as normatief aangebied. Daarna word drie sake behandel. Eerstens word aandag geskenk aan die ontdekking en kultivering van die gees deur die antieke Grieke en die Kerkvaders. Tweedens word ingegaan op hoe hierdie Grieks-Christelike nalatenskap aan toenemende druk onderwerp is met die opkoms van die moderne territoriale staat, met besondere verwysing na die moderne opvatting van die filosofie binne die universiteit. Derdens word ingevra op hoe die gees vandag opnuut gekultiveer kan word en wat die implikasies vir 'n eietydse verstaan van die filosofie en die universiteit is.<hr/>In an introductory fashion Pierre Hadot's image of ancient and classical philosophy as self-transformation in the pursuit of wisdom, in which spiritual exercises played an important role, is presented as normative. The fact that Hadot himself, after a mystical experience, apparently in his own philosophical discourse - his written work - and his life practice rekindled the ancient philosophical life is interpreted as proof not only of the existence of the spirit, but also of the fact that cultivating the spirit need not lead to a pseudo-mystical alienation from the world. Then three matters are discussed successively. First, the discovery and cultivation of the spirit by the ancient Greeks and the Church Fathers are discussed. With reference to the examples of figures like Socrates and Aristotle it is argued that the cultivation of attention was a central aspect of the ancient philosophical life, and that a strict distinction between theology and philosophy did not occur in ancient philosophy. As far as the Church Fathers are concerned it is argued that notwithstanding their differences with the ancient Greeks, continuities occurred inasmuch as they also cultivated attention, the proto-monastic philosophical schools of antiquity found their Christian equivalent in monasteries and the ancient Greek view of the integration of spirit, reason and body was nuanced further by the Church Fathers. Secondly, the way in which this Greco-Christian legacy has been subject to growing pressure with the rise of the modern territorial state, with special reference to the modern conception of philosophy within the university is discussed. It is argued that where the relationship to the good was seen in antiquity and the classical era as erotic and to be cultivated with persuasion, modernity replaced the pursuit of the good with the pursuit of order, in which persuasion was replaced with enforcement and social control. The effect of all this on philosophy is considered, especially with reference to how philosophy came to be reduced to a mere cognitive activity, how the integrated image of the human being was lost, and how philosophy itself was fragmented into differentfields of specialisation. Thirdly, the question is asked how the spirit could be cultivated anew today and what the implications are for a contemporary understanding of philosophy and the university. Here three proposals are made. First, that philosophers need to rekindle the spiritual exercises of antiquity and the classical era. Secondly, that philosophers must contribute to an integrated ontology and anthropology in order to overcome modern fragmentation. Thirdly, that the university and philosophy as university subject need to be rethought, both inside and outside the university. <![CDATA[<b>Nihilism and morality</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Veelal wordt het begrip "nihilisme" gebruikt als een beschuldigende term, doelend op en gericht tegen mensen die "om geen God of gebod" lijken te geven, of met betrekking tot een cultuur of samenleving die goddeloos en immoreel zou zijn. Wanneer de term op die manier gebruikt wordt, bevat de tegenstelling "nihilisme en moraal" misschien een praktisch, maar zeker geen theoretisch probleem. Fr. Nietzsche presenteert een ander en rijker begrip van nihilisme. Volgens hem staat het nihilisme niet slechts tegenover de moraal, maar zit het erin. Die samenhang tussen moraal en nihilisme neemt niet weg dat de moraal door de ontwikkeling van het nihilisme ondermijnd wordt. De vraag van dit artikel is hoe dat kan: hoe kan moraal bestaan in het nihilisme en wat betekent dat voor de moraal? Om die vraag op de spits te drijven concentreer ik me op een expliciet christelijk aspect van de moraal, de zogenaamde christelijke deugden. Veelal wordt het begrip "nihilisme" gebruikt als een beschuldigende term, doelend op en gericht tegen mensen die "om geen God of gebod" lijken te geven, of met betrekking tot een cultuur of samenleving die goddeloos en immoreel zou zijn. Wanneer de term op die manier gebruikt wordt, is de titel van deze bijdrage een simpele tegenstelling, die misschien een praktisch, maar zeker geen theoretisch probleem bevat. In deze bijdrage wil ik - op geleide van Fr. Nietzsche - een ander begrip van "nihilisme" presenteren (§ 2). Nietzsche beweert dat de hedendaagse samenleving door en door nihilistisch is, en dat dat niet in tegenstelling staat tot haar koestering van morele overtuigingen en idealen, maar zich ook daarin juist uitdrukt. Die samenhang tussen moraal en nihilisme neemt niet weg dat de moraal door de ontwikkeling van het nihilisme ondermijnd wordt. Daardoor ontstaat de vraag waar het mij in deze bijdrage om gaat: niet hoe moraal zich opstelt tegenover het nihilisme, alsof het om twee partijen zou gaan die buiten en tegenover elkaar staan, maar hoe moraal kan bestaan in het nihilisme. Ik concentreer me daarbij op een bepaald en beperkt aspect van de moraal, een aspect waarin het probleem dat ik aan de orde wil stellen wel het scherpst tot uitdrukking komt. Het betreft een aspect dat sterker dan andere gebonden is aan de christelijke wortel¹ van de Westerse cultuur en moraal: de christelijke deugden (§ 1). Misschien vermag de filosofie niet veel meer dan problemen die doorgaans worden verborgen onder een deken van vanzelfsprekendheid en pragmatiek, zichtbaar te maken en ons bewust te maken van de problematische conditie waarin we verkeren. Niettemin wil ik (§ 3) een kleine suggestie doen voor de mogelijkheid van een ("christelijke") moraal onder nihilistische condities.<hr/>The term "nihilism" is often used as an invective to blame a person or a way of thinking. If used in that way there would be a simple opposition between "nihilism and morality"'. That opposition could maybe point to a practical problem, but certainly not to a theoretical one. If, however, we follow Fr. Nietzsche's analysis of what he calls "the European nihilism" we must conclude that morality is not so much the opposite of nihilism, but rather itself nihilistic. The inescapable nihilistic "catastrophe" (Nietzsche is never afraid of big words) arises as soon as morality discovers its own nihilistfeatures, which - according to him - is happening at present. The problem indicated in the title refers to the question what could be the result of this self-undermining discovery; and if morality survives - as it seems to be the case - how is this at all possible? In my elaboration ofthis problem I focus on a particular element ofour moral tradition. That tradition can in general be summarized in the three well-known ethical positions: utilitarianism or consequentialism, Kantianism or duty-ethics and eudaimonism or virtue-ethics. In the historical development of the latter, the introduction of Christianity in Western culture was responsible for some additional virtues that were strongly different from the Greek ones. These explicitly religious virtues seem - strangely enough - nevertheless to survive in our present secular context. The question how this survival is possible is being stressed in the article by describing our contemporary situation in the light of Nietzsche's analysis of nihilism. For Nietzsche "nihilism" refersfirst andforemost to the platonic-christian tradition in which reality is denied or "annihilated" through the fictitious construction of a "true world". This annihilated world can, however, also itself be called "nihilistic", in the sense that this world (this "reality" which is denied by the platonic construction) is characterized by chaos and absurdity. The event of the so-called "death of God" is the collapse of the imaginary construction of the Christian-platonic world. This event characterizes the present age according to Nietzsche. Literary imagination since the 19th century gives us a picture ofwhat it would mean to live in this situation. If we cannot live without morality, what would living under these nihilistic conditions mean? Nietzsche explains why nihilism is a catastrophe, but nevertheless, at least for the time being, remains unnoticed to most people. In a certain sense God seems to survive his own death: platonic philosophy survives in the sciences as Christian morality does in contemporary humanism. But this survival is only relative and temporal. Sooner or later, the catastrophe will break through. Although Nietzsche sometimes speaks of an overcoming of nihilism, he does not seem to be able to conceptualize what that would consist of. Nihilism is, according to him, the inevitable result of a process in which the platonic-Christian structure (most clearly in the form of its "will to truth") undermines itself. The philosopher who understands and describes or even promotes this process cannot get any further than becoming himself the incarnation of the problem that he describes. But Nietzsche's self-descriptions seem to show that this paradoxical or even contradictory identity of the philosopher has a positive reverse side. On the one hand it is the untolerable aporia of not being able to believe in those fictions that one needs in order to live. On the other hand, however, it appears as the continuing attachment to those values and virtues that were undermined. Maybe we can still adhere to even the Christian virtues in a kind of parasitic attitude. <![CDATA[<b>Being Church in a post-secular paradigm</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In 'n televisiedebat in 2004 tussen die Duitse filosoof Habermas en kardinaal Ratzinger, die voormalige Pous van die Rooms-Katolieke Kerk, is die term post-sekulêr aan die orde gestel. Met hierdie term het Habermas gepoog om 'n nuwe paradigma in die Westerse denke en sosiale ontwikkeling, waarin 'n nuwe belangstelling in religie en metafisika na vore kom, te identifiseer. Verskeie kontemporêre gevallestudies bevestig hierdie aanname. Zieberts & Riegel (2009:300), onder andere, beweer dat 'n nuwe vorm van religie besig is om te ontwikkel waarin religie gesien word as 'n onmisbare relevante bron van moreel-gefundeerde sosiale betrokkenheid. Dit is so omdat religie in 'n tyd van morele verwarring gevestigde waardestelsels bied. Hulle kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat hierdie proses nie noodwendig 'n nuwe belangstelling of herlewing van die hoofstroom-tradisionele kerke impliseer nie. Die sentraal-teoretiese argument van hierdie artikel is dat sodanige herlewing van Westerse Christelike kerke in die nuwe opkomende paradigma wel moontlik kan wees. Kerke uit die Westerse Protestantse tradisie in Suid-Afrika kan by die herlewing van godsdiens baat vind indien die belydenis van die kerk as "gemeenskap van gelowiges" weer aan die orde gestel en uitgebou word as 'n sentrale aspek in die verskillende kerkmodelle wat in hoofstroomkerke gehandhaaf word. Die aandag word op die betekenis van die volgende Bybelse metafore gevestig: "Volk van God; Liggaam van Christus en Tempel van die Heilige Gees". Daaruit word afgelei dat die kerk primêr 'n gemeenskap van mense is. Hierdie gemeenskapskarakter moet ontwikkel word sodat die kerk onderskeidelik kan funksioneer as 'n getuigende gemeenskap in dialoog met ander; as 'n terapeutiese gemeenskap met 'n helende bediening; en as 'n morele gemeenskap wat as voorbeeld kan dien van versoening wat bo sosiale verskille uitreik. Dialoog, 'n helende bediening en versoening kan die relevansie van bogenoemde kerke in die post-sekulêre paradigma verhoog.<hr/>The term "post-secularism" was introduced in a 2004 Television debate between the German philosopher Habermas and Cardinal Ratzinger, the former Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. With this term Habermas ventured to identify a new paradigm in Western thought and social development which testifies to a renewed interest in religion and metaphysics. Several contemporary case studies reaffirm this notion. Zieberts & Riegel (2009:300), amongst others, say that a new, relevant kind of religion is emerging where religion is seen as a source of socio-moral commitment, because it proposes an ethical orientation. According to Cliteur (2010:1) religions are growing. Sigurdson (2010:177) identifies this phenomenon as a "re-enchantment" of society possibly with a reference to the view of the philosopher Taylor (2007:21) that secularism brought about "disenchantment" in the modernist society. In his recent empirical research Martin (2011:105) concludes that this revitalisation of religions is also evident in the Christian religion with certain exceptions in Western Europe. However, he adds that this resurgence does not necessarily imply a new interest in the main ecclesiastical traditions. This new development follows an era in Western Europe where the validity of Theology as a science, the authority of the Bible and ecclesiastical Creeds and Confessions have been questioned to a large extent. Post-Apartheid society in South Africa seems to follow the same route. The attempt by the Theologies of Secularism initiated by Cox (1967) and the Political Theologies of the seventies and eighties of the previous century to address the decline of Christianity did not stem the flow of secularism. How valid is it then to take the notion of an emerging post-secular paradigm seriously and to expect a revitalisation of Churches of the European Protestant tradition in South Africa? And, if so, what are the prerequisites for such a revitalisation? The central-theoretical argument of this research article is that such a change is possible. Churches in South Africa can be enriched by the post-secular paradigm when the confession of the church as the community of believers is revisited and explored in the various major ecclesiastical traditions. The emergence of post-secularism is a valid point of view and can be seen as a result of the post-modernist condition that Lyotard (1991:XXIII) identified in Western culture. Postmodernism scrutinised the dominance of reason and the existence of absolute truths. Spirituality became a plausible feature in modern life as well as the role of religions and religious experience. Postmodernism brought people and their deeper emotional and spiritual needs into view and created the humus for the development of personal identity, deep relations and true humanity. Western Christian Churches in South Africa are thus confronted by a new post-secular reality where people are in search of new answers, forms of worship, ways of relating and experiencing. Institutionalism, formalism and traditions are no longer answering the needs of the new spiritual environment proposed by post-modernism and post-secularism. This research proposes that the communion character of the church should be revisited and utilised in order to create a plausible religious climate for the post-secular society and its needs. The biblical metaphors of the church as the people of God; the body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit provide the foundation for such a climate. These metaphors emphasise the relational character of the church where people can experience a deep spiritual relation with God and with others. As a witnessing community the church can engage in dialogue with other moral agents in solving the major problems of the modern environment. As a communion of believers the church can function as a therapeutic community where the destitute, the poor and the suffering can find healing and hope by way of entering into living relationships. Furthermore, the church as a community of believers should act as a community of character (Hauerwas 1981:42), which, by way of example, can give moral guidance in the process ofstrengthening the moralfibre of the post-secular society. It may be possible that a re-assessment of the church as a community can provide the keys to open a new dynamic future for the church. As long as the church can nurture such a sense of community it will be relevant in the post-secular society. <![CDATA[<b>A postmodern empowerment approach in social group work with previously disadvantaged individuals from underprivileged communities</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Hierdie artikel fokus daarop om maatskaplike werkers toe te rus met insig rakende die bemagtiging van persone vanuit 'n voorheen benadeelde gemeenskap deur gebruik te maak van 'n literatuurstudie oor 'n narratiewe benadering tot maatskaplike groepwerk binne 'n postmodernistiese konteks. Die narratiewe benadering breek weg van 'n outoritêre vorm van gespreksvoering en die verhalende benadering is gepas vir alle kulture. Die narratiewe benadering wag op die ontvouing van die verhaal (wat die persoon se interpretasie is) en die herskryf van die vasgeloopte verhale. Tydens die hulpverleningsproses, behoort gemeenskappe gemotiveer te word om 'n aktiewe rol te vertolk in hul eie ontwikkeling. Die outeurs is van mening dat die gemeenskap se aktiewe deelname aan die identifisering van hulle behoeftes 'n positiewe uitwerking op hul motivering en bemagtiging sal hê. Alhoewel die narratiewe benadering hoofsaaklik gebruik word in terapie, kan dieselfde aannames en beginsels toegepas word binne 'n groepwerk-konteks. Die uitgangspunt van die sosiale konstruksieteorie waarop narratiewe terapie gebaseer is, is dat die "self binne sosiale interaksie gekonstrueer word. Gemeenskapslede word binne die groepwerk-konteks die geleentheid gebied om sin te maak van hul lewens deur lewenservaringe oor te vertel. Maatskaplike groepwerk bied vir die "self'' 'n gedeelte van sy/haar groter sosiale netwerk waarbinne die "self" kan figureer en ontwikkel. Maatskaplike groepwerk met 'n narratiewe grondslag, word verder ook deur 'n postmoderne (eerder as moderne) benadering bestudeer, wat desnieteenstaande meen dat daaglikse gebeure en ervaringe 'n direkte invloed het op die "self en die gemeenskap word dus in verhouding met 'n ingewikkelde netwerk van verhoudings tot ander en die "self beskou. Met self-ontwikkeling en self-bemagtiging in gedagte, word die effek van 'n narratiewe benadering tot maatskaplike groepwerk binne in die maatskaplike werksomgewing gevolglik bestudeer.<hr/>By means of a literature study, this article focuses on providing social workers with insight regarding the process of empowering people from previously disadvantaged communities through a narrative approach to social group work. Communities ought to be motivated to play a role in their own development and be guided beyond their negativity and helplessness. The researchers believe that the community's active participation during the identification of their own needs, as well as their own subsequent real-life experiences and achievements, will lead to further motivation and empowerment. Although the narrative method is primarily used in therapy, the same assumptions and principles can also be applied in the context of group work. The hypothesis of the social construction theory on which narrative therapy is based, theorises that the "self is constructed within social interaction. Community members are given the opportunity to make sense of their lives through the relation of their life experiences. Social group work gives the "self a piece of the bigger social network in which the "self can develop. Social group work with a narrative base is furthermore also studied through a postmodern (rather than modernistic) approach, which similarly advocates the belief that events and experiences in everyday life have a direct influence on the development of the "self". In contrast with modernism which assumes single truths, postmodernism is founded upon the assumption that there are no absolute truths and that the world is a subjective experience. Community members are thus seen in relation to their complex network of relationships with others and the "self". Empowerment starts with the relevant party, the way in which he/she gives meaning to it as well as the way in which he/she wants to approach it. Complementing the narrative approach, postmodernism regards language as fundamental, seeing that language constructs meaning and also influences the way in which reality is viewed. The "self is seen as a continuously evolving and developing entity. Through postmodernism, the question of "how" the "self plays a role in the way the relevant party creates sense and meaning for himself, is addressed. The "self is seen as a system which seeks and creates meaning through dominant beliefs about the "self (Monk, Windslade, Crocket & Epston,1997:33-34; White, 2007:137). These thoughts place individuals in charge of their own lives by creating alternative ways to understand their "self". Individuals thus create the meaning of their own lives. During therapy, new meanings with regard to the "self" are formed by constructing alternative stories. Individuals make sense of their lives by relating life experiences within their context and relationships with others. Meaning is therefore attached to their lives through the stories they construct about their lives. Thus, life and stories are recursive in relation to each other; each influencing the other. Through interaction and the relaying of narratives, the relevant individual's life develops - which incorporates the idea of empowerment. The construction of a self-narrative contributes to the therapeutic task, the redevelopment ofpersonal narratives and the reconstruction of identity (White & Epston, 1990:15). Therapeutic social group work thus provides individuals with an opportunity to develop their lives through the construction of alternative stories and new meanings. The "self" is described by the researchers as a construct existing of a dynamic self, a social self as well as a preferred self, which are used in combination to attempt a richer description of the way in which individuals make life choices. These three selves influence each other continuously and reciprocally while the circumstances within which a person functions also has an influence. Although the accountability of self-narratives depends on the interpretation thereof by others, the researchers add that the "self" for the individual is dependent on what he/she experiences in different situations. Social work requires an awareness of the developing social self of others, but also carries an awareness of his/her own "self". The "self"of the social worker will have an influence on a relevant empowerment process, but the researchers also describe how the worker's own "self" will simultaneously be influenced. By using the narrative approach, the involved parties are thus given an opportunity of personal empowerment which refers to the individual's own ability to generate development. The immediate needs of the individuals are identified through the intense reality described by the individuals' stories. If social workers consider and manage these descriptions seriously, it equips the relevant individuals with a feeling of control over their lives - with a subsequent increased quality of life. The researchers strongly believe that this experience empowers community members. The narrative approach challenges the social worker to overcome the client's social construction of his situation and needs. By use of externalisation, the individual gets the opportunity to investigate these needs intensely, while he/she is assisted through the process to explore new and unique outcomes. These outcomes for inspired empowerment might be lodged within an individual's skills, talents, work opportunities, values and hopes. The social worker can assist in identifying these outcomes through facilitation of a group of individuals; and by so doing, leading them to improved social functioning. The effects of a narrative approach on social group work within the social work environment are thus studied with the intention of self-development and self-empowerment. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis of remuneration trends in the South African civil service, 2005 to 2012</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Hierdie artikel ontleed onlangse vergoedingsneigings in die Suid-Afrikaanse staatsdiens (sentrale regering en provinsiale regerings) om redes vir die nominale toename van 145,6 persent in die vergoedingsrekening van die Suid-Afrikaanse staatsdiens vanaf 2005 tot 2012 te bepaal. Die artikel is aanvullend tot navorsing wat in 2010 in hierdie tydskrif gepubliseer is (Padayachee & Rossouw 2010). Die fokus verskil egter van die vorige navorsing. Die artikel toets vyf hipoteses, naamlik (i) vergoeding word met inflasie vir die betrokke tydperk vergelyk om te bepaal in watter mate inflasie en reële aanpassings die toename verklaar; (ii) op grond van 'n vergelyking van die vergoeding van twee poste in die staatsdiens in 2005 en in 2012 word getoets of struktuurveranderings in vergoeding plaasgevind het; (iii) indiensneming in die staatsdiens word ontleed as 'n moontlike verklaring vir die toename in die vergoedingsrekening; (iv) hoër vergoedingsvlakke vir bestaande personeel weens kerfverhogings binne dieselfde posvlak, bevorderings van bestaande personeel en nuwe aanstellings (m.a.w. personeelgroei) op meer senior vlakke word ontleed as moontlike verklarings vir die groei in die vergoedingsrekening; en (v) die moontlikheid dat die skepping van nuwe staatsdepartemente op nasionale vlak tot die groei in die vergoedingsrekening bygedra het, word ontleed. Al die hipoteses word aanvaar. Vergoeding wat bo die inflasiekoers aangepas is en 'n skerp styging in indiensname is redes vir die toename in die staatsdiens se vergoedingsrekening. Staatsdiensvergoeding toon ook 'n struktuuraanpassing oor die tydperk van vergelyking, hoewel nie op middelbestuurvlakke tot onder direkteure nie, maar op topbestuurvlakke. Meer personeel, kerfverhogings, bevorderings en nuwe senior aanstellings het ook tot die toename in die vergoedingsrekening bygedra, asook meer staatsdepartemente. Laasgenoemde aspek is nie direk kwantifiseerbaar nie, maar word deur bevorderings en nuwe senior aanstellings weerspieël. 'n Verdere bevinding is dat die voortsetting van onlangse neigings in die staatsdiens se vergoedingskoste onvolhoubaar en onbekostigbaar is.<hr/>This paper disaggregates reasons for recent growth in civil service (central government and provincial governments) remuneration in South Africa. This paper draws on an earlier paper published in this journal in 2010 (Padayachee & Rossouw 2010), but has a different emphasis. Padayachee & Rossouw (2010) assessed the relative remuneration levels of two civil service positions in comparison to one another and compared the nominal purchasing power of the remuneration of one of these positions over time, compared to the nominal prices of items purchased by households. This paper reports a first dissemination of the reasons for the overall increase in the civil service remuneration bill over the period of comparison (2005 to 2012); something that has not been done in South Africa before. The selection of civil service positions used for comparative purposes in this paper was determined by the availability of historic and current remuneration information over the period of comparison, as well as the remuneration structures applicable to these positions. The available information made possible a comparison on the basis of cost-to-company remuneration. This is the only suitable approach, given the introduction of amendments to tax legislation and other changes in remuneration practices, rendering salaries of positions as a basis of comparison obsolete. The main objective of this paper is to disaggregate reasons for South Africa's growing public sector remuneration bill over the period 2005 to 2012. To this end this paper tests five hypotheses, namely (i) remuneration is compared with inflation over the period 2005 to 2012 to ascertain the degree in which inflation and real adjustments explain the increase in the remuneration bill; (ii) in comparing remuneration in 2005 and in 2012, possible structural remuneration changes are assessed; (iii) civil service employment figures are analysed as a possible explanation of the increase in the remuneration bill; (iv) higher remuneration levels for existing staff owing to notch adjustments, promotions and new appointments (i.e. employment growth) at more senior levels are analysed as possible contributors to the growth in the remuneration bill over the period of comparison; and (v) the creation of new government departments at national level is considered as a possible factor contributing to the growth in the remuneration bill over the period of comparison. All the hypotheses are confirmed. The analysis shows that the nominal remuneration bill in the civil service increased by 145,6 per cent over the period 2005 to 2012. Adjustments to compensate for inflation, changes in remuneration notches, promotions and appointments at more senior levels, and a structural adjustment in remuneration in favour of more senior staff in the civil service all made contributions to the increase in the remuneration bill. The relative contributions of these aspects can be expressed as: ΔL = f(II. ΔS, ΔW, ΔPV, ε)................................................................................................................(1) with ΔL = change in civil service remuneration; ƒ = a function of (or is determined by); Π = inflation; ΔS = structural changes in civil service remuneration; ΔW = changes in civil service employment at national and provincial level; ΔPV = changes owing to notches, job level increases and promotions (including senior appointments from outside the civil service); and ε = stochastic residual to account for possible unidentified factors that could have influenced the change in remuneration. The contribution of each component in equation (1) is used in equation (2) to assess the increase in remuneration. The relevant values are: ΔW = 145,6 per cent, the increase in remuneration between 2005 and 2012; Π = 53,9 per cent, the rate of inflation between March 2005 and March 2012; ΔS = 26,8 per cent, the structural increase in remuneration between 2005 and 2012; ∆W = 27,3 per cent, the percentage increase in civil service employment between 2005 and ∆PV = 39,1 per cent, the contribution to the increase in civil service remuneration emanating from notches, job level increases and promotions. 145,6 = (53,9 + 26,8 + 27,3 + 36,4 + ε) (2) => 145,6 - 53,9 - 26,8 - 27,3 - 39,1 = ε The analysis shows that the variables identified by the hypotheses explain some 101 per cent (i.e. more than 100 per cent of the total increase) of the change in civil service remuneration over the period 2005 to 2012. This implies that one or more of the variables have been marginally overestimated, as is reflected in the residual (-1,5 per cent). The analysis in this paper shows possible steps that the government can take to limit the growth in civil service remuneration. Inflation should be contained, changes in remuneration notches, job levels and promotions should be limited, and structural adjustments should be avoided. If these aspects are not controlled, a moratorium on new appointments will at best only make a marginal difference to the growing civil service remuneration bill. It is also shown that recent growth trends in civil service remuneration are unsustainable, as similar future growth will not be affordable from an economic perspective. A continuation of the recent growth trend will "crowd-out" other public sector spending priorities. <![CDATA[<b>A student feedback perspective on the teaching of "top" university lecturers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die gehalte van onderrig aan hoëronderwysinstellings word deur 'n velerlei faktore beïnvloed. Dit sluit die kenmerke van dosente en studente, die institusionele kultuur, dissiplinêre en klaskontekste en individuele benaderings tot onderrig en leer in. Dit is dus nie ongewoon dat onderwysnavorsers dikwels uitwys hoe die gehalte van onderrig verband hou met die eienskappe en optrede van uitstekende dosente en hul studente se beoordeling daarvan nie. Hierbenewens word studenteterugvoer oor onderrig as een van die aanwysers van onderriggehalte wyd aanvaar as 'n geldige wyse om elemente van effektiewe onderrig te beoordeel. Studente is aan die ontvangkant van dosente se onderrig en derhalwe sou dit irrasioneel en onverantwoordelik wees om hul menings te negeer. Hierdie artikel handel oor 'n analise van studenteterugvoer aan 'n universiteit waar goeie onderrig dikwels onderwaardeer en soms misken word. Terugvoer oor die drie dosente wat, volgens hul studente, die beste gevaar het in elk van nege fakulteite is ontleed en kenmerke wat gehalte in die onderrig van hierdie topdosente aandui, is uit die terugvoer afgelei. Vanuit die analise was dit moontlik om generiese faktore oor onderriggehalte aan te dui, wat vir leiers en bestuurders in hoër onderwys, praktiserende dosente, studente, professionele onderigontwikkelaars en selfs ouers van studente van belang mag wees. Die ondersoek toon egter ook dat daar kontekstuele veranderlikes binne fakulteite en dissiplines is wat nie veralgemeenbaar is nie en unieke vorme van onderriggehalte verteenwoordig.<hr/>Teaching in higher education is influenced by multiple factors, including the characteristics of students and lecturers, disciplinary contexts, institutional cultures and approaches to teaching and learning. Various studies have shown that knowledge of the university lecturer attributes most closely associated with the quality of lecturers' teaching performance is valuable in making decisions about staff and investment in the professional development of university lecturers. There are various methods to evaluate teaching effectiveness, such as peer ratings, self-evaluation, employer ratings and teaching portfolios. Research also suggests that student feedback on teaching and courses represents a simple and practical method of assessing strong and weak elements of teaching. However, not everybody agrees that student ratings of teaching are valid and useful because they believe that students should not be evaluating the teaching effectiveness of university courses or lecturers due to their lack of educational and theoretical background. Most researchers differ from this view and concur that while student perceptions of courses and teaching may be subjective, they are important in explicating the expectations of those who learn from such courses and lecturers. As an important indicator, student feedback can clearly be used to assist in identifying salient qualities of effective teaching and lecturers. It may therefore be useful to determine what students regard as valuable and strong elements in the practices of university lecturers across disciplinary learning environments. Research indicates various variables that can be related to lecturer and teaching effectiveness. Such variables include characteristics such as enthusiasm, subject knowledge, humour, clarity, caring, friendliness, accessibility, teaching skills and innovation. The attributes that students view as indicators of effective lecturers overlap in the literature, which indicates that most students agree on the characteristics of effective lecturers. There is, however, no universally agreed upon definition of an effective lecturer or effective teaching. This article reports on an analysis of student feedback at a research-oriented university in South Africa. The analysis includes student feedback on the three top-rated lecturers (per their student feedback forms) across nine faculties in 2011. The student feedback forms consisted of closed questions whereby students had to rate the module taught and the lecturer on two separate Likert-type scales; open-ended questions on both the module and the lecturer and a section in which an overall percentage mark for both the module and the lecturer was to be awarded. The results of the student feedback forms were analysed and compared to the literature. The results were also compared for different disciplines. By analysing student feedback for top-rated lecturers it was possible to isolate quality indicators as experienced by students. It was found that (a) course and top-rated lecturer evaluations by students provide useful information towards generic indicators of educational excellence and (b) that there are similarities and differences in ratings among disciplines. The findings revealed that the main characteristics of top-rated university lecturers are enthusiasm, accessibility, friendliness and excellent teaching styles. It was also found that there are substantial differences between student evaluations among disciplines. This phenomenon could possibly be ascribed to the inherent characteristics of the field, different class sizes or the students' level of studies. In this study, the lecturers in the "soft" disciplines (e.g. social and human sciences) were rated more highly than in the "hard" disciplines (e.g. natural sciences) and it is clear that discipline-specific student feedback may be more valid and reliable than generic feedback. The article highlights findings that identified elements contributing to excellence in teaching and effectiveness of lecturers within the context of a university. The reported study may indicate to lecturers what students regard as of particular value in their courses and the teaching thereof. It also points out the strong elements of teaching which may be promoted, based on the feedback of students - an important, but not the only, information source. <![CDATA[<b>The use of network theory in a system-theoretical approach to Afrikaans literature: A theory overview</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die studie van komplekse sisteme het oor die afgelope twee dekades 'n gewilde toepassing in verskeie dissiplines gevind, maar bestaan as ondersoekraamwerk natuurlik reeds heelwat langer, ook tot die literatuurstudie. Sedert die laat negentigerjare het die netwerkteorie egter opgang as 'n benaderingswyse binne die studie van komplekse sisteme gemaak en neerslag in verskeie dissiplines gevind. Die netwerkteorie word byvoorbeeld aangewend in die bestudering van metaboliese prosesse, ekosisteme, netwerke binne die brein, kommunikasienetwerke en terroristenetwerke. Diverse studies in verskeie dissplines het bevind dat die netwerkteorie 'n nuttige benaderingsraamwerk tot die ondersoek van komplekse sisteme bied, veral aangesien dit die sisteemteorie se basiese uitgangspunt deel, naamlik dat verhoudings tussen entiteite 'n deurslaggewende rol in die algehele funksionering van die sisteem vertolk. Alhoewel literatuurnavorsers deeglik met die sisteemteorie vertroud is, is die netwerkteorie 'n bykans onbekende veld. Hierdie artikel toon aan hoe die netwerkteorie by die sisteemteorie inskakel, ook in terme van die letterkunde, en voer aan dat dit tot 'n beter begrip van die literêre netwerk kan lei, veral deur die netwerkteorie se vermoë om 'n groter aantal verhoudings deur middel van wiskundige berekenings en grafiese voorstellings in ag te neem. As raamwerk vir die studie van komplekse sisteme is die netwerkteorie onmisbaar in ander dissiplines; die voorstel word in hierdie artikel gemaak dat die netwerkteorie ook binne die literatuurstudie nie geïgnoreer moet word nie.<hr/>Over the past two decades, the study of complex systems has become an increasingly popular scientific paradigm in various disciplines (although it has been in existence for some time), even within the study of literature. Complex systems theory posits that an understanding of the relationships between entities is the key to understanding the dynamics of the system and that the functioning of a system is the result of these relationships, and thus the emphasis falls on relationships rather than on individual characteristics of entities within the system. Furthermore, complex systems utilise these relationships to become highly adaptable, both meeting the challenges of a changing environment, and adapting to the system's own dynamism. Since the late nineties, however, network theory has become one of the popular approaches in the study of complex systems, along with nonlinear dynamics, agent based models, and statistical mechanics (Ottino 2005:1843), and has found applications in several disciplines, ranging from the study of metabolic processes, ecosystems, networks within the brain, climatology, and communication networks, to terrorist networks. Several studies in various disciplines found that network theory is a useful and essential approach to complex systems, especially since network theory shares system theory's basic premise, namely that relationships between entities play a crucial role in the overall functioning of the system. Strogatz (2001:268) writes that the recent interest in networks is directly related to a general interest in complex systems; Maslov, Sneppen, and Zaliznyak (2004:529) write that networks "have emerged as a unifying theme in complex systems research," and Amaral and Ottino (2004:147) argue that network theory, "has become one of the most visible pieces of the body of knowledge that can be applied to the description, analysis, and understanding of complex systems". Network theory moves beyond verbal description (the way systems theory is currently applied to the study of literature) to mathematical modelling, which allows the network approach to take into account all the relationships within a network, and take into account vast numbers of entities, which is currently impossible within the systems theory approach to the study of literature. The practical implication of this approach within the study of complex systems is that network theory realises systems theory's basic premise that entities cannot be studied in isolation, but must be studied within the networks of relationships that sustain them. Although literary studies is thoroughly familiar with systems theory, network theory, however, is an almost unknown field, and this article describes how network theory can be integrated with systems theory in terms of the study of literature, and argues that this integration can lead to a better understanding of the literary network, especially through network theory's ability to take into account a greater number of relationships through mathematical calculations and graphical representations. Network theory has become indispensable in the study of complex systems; the proposal in this article is that network theory not be ignored in the study of literature as well. In this regard, following Ottino (2005), Brownlee (2007), Bullmore and Sporns (2009), Nitschke (2009), Sheard and Mostashari (2009), Luke and Stamatakis (2012) and others, this study in addition argues for the application of the network approach to the study of the literary system. Suggestions for future research are put forward. <![CDATA[<b>Deelstad - 'n Boek oor Berlyn (2013)<i> - Karel Schoeman</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die studie van komplekse sisteme het oor die afgelope twee dekades 'n gewilde toepassing in verskeie dissiplines gevind, maar bestaan as ondersoekraamwerk natuurlik reeds heelwat langer, ook tot die literatuurstudie. Sedert die laat negentigerjare het die netwerkteorie egter opgang as 'n benaderingswyse binne die studie van komplekse sisteme gemaak en neerslag in verskeie dissiplines gevind. Die netwerkteorie word byvoorbeeld aangewend in die bestudering van metaboliese prosesse, ekosisteme, netwerke binne die brein, kommunikasienetwerke en terroristenetwerke. Diverse studies in verskeie dissplines het bevind dat die netwerkteorie 'n nuttige benaderingsraamwerk tot die ondersoek van komplekse sisteme bied, veral aangesien dit die sisteemteorie se basiese uitgangspunt deel, naamlik dat verhoudings tussen entiteite 'n deurslaggewende rol in die algehele funksionering van die sisteem vertolk. Alhoewel literatuurnavorsers deeglik met die sisteemteorie vertroud is, is die netwerkteorie 'n bykans onbekende veld. Hierdie artikel toon aan hoe die netwerkteorie by die sisteemteorie inskakel, ook in terme van die letterkunde, en voer aan dat dit tot 'n beter begrip van die literêre netwerk kan lei, veral deur die netwerkteorie se vermoë om 'n groter aantal verhoudings deur middel van wiskundige berekenings en grafiese voorstellings in ag te neem. As raamwerk vir die studie van komplekse sisteme is die netwerkteorie onmisbaar in ander dissiplines; die voorstel word in hierdie artikel gemaak dat die netwerkteorie ook binne die literatuurstudie nie geïgnoreer moet word nie.<hr/>Over the past two decades, the study of complex systems has become an increasingly popular scientific paradigm in various disciplines (although it has been in existence for some time), even within the study of literature. Complex systems theory posits that an understanding of the relationships between entities is the key to understanding the dynamics of the system and that the functioning of a system is the result of these relationships, and thus the emphasis falls on relationships rather than on individual characteristics of entities within the system. Furthermore, complex systems utilise these relationships to become highly adaptable, both meeting the challenges of a changing environment, and adapting to the system's own dynamism. Since the late nineties, however, network theory has become one of the popular approaches in the study of complex systems, along with nonlinear dynamics, agent based models, and statistical mechanics (Ottino 2005:1843), and has found applications in several disciplines, ranging from the study of metabolic processes, ecosystems, networks within the brain, climatology, and communication networks, to terrorist networks. Several studies in various disciplines found that network theory is a useful and essential approach to complex systems, especially since network theory shares system theory's basic premise, namely that relationships between entities play a crucial role in the overall functioning of the system. Strogatz (2001:268) writes that the recent interest in networks is directly related to a general interest in complex systems; Maslov, Sneppen, and Zaliznyak (2004:529) write that networks "have emerged as a unifying theme in complex systems research," and Amaral and Ottino (2004:147) argue that network theory, "has become one of the most visible pieces of the body of knowledge that can be applied to the description, analysis, and understanding of complex systems". Network theory moves beyond verbal description (the way systems theory is currently applied to the study of literature) to mathematical modelling, which allows the network approach to take into account all the relationships within a network, and take into account vast numbers of entities, which is currently impossible within the systems theory approach to the study of literature. The practical implication of this approach within the study of complex systems is that network theory realises systems theory's basic premise that entities cannot be studied in isolation, but must be studied within the networks of relationships that sustain them. Although literary studies is thoroughly familiar with systems theory, network theory, however, is an almost unknown field, and this article describes how network theory can be integrated with systems theory in terms of the study of literature, and argues that this integration can lead to a better understanding of the literary network, especially through network theory's ability to take into account a greater number of relationships through mathematical calculations and graphical representations. Network theory has become indispensable in the study of complex systems; the proposal in this article is that network theory not be ignored in the study of literature as well. In this regard, following Ottino (2005), Brownlee (2007), Bullmore and Sporns (2009), Nitschke (2009), Sheard and Mostashari (2009), Luke and Stamatakis (2012) and others, this study in addition argues for the application of the network approach to the study of the literary system. Suggestions for future research are put forward. <![CDATA[<b>Karretjiemense - <i>Roman</i> - <i>Carol Cambell </i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0041-47512013000400015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Die studie van komplekse sisteme het oor die afgelope twee dekades 'n gewilde toepassing in verskeie dissiplines gevind, maar bestaan as ondersoekraamwerk natuurlik reeds heelwat langer, ook tot die literatuurstudie. Sedert die laat negentigerjare het die netwerkteorie egter opgang as 'n benaderingswyse binne die studie van komplekse sisteme gemaak en neerslag in verskeie dissiplines gevind. Die netwerkteorie word byvoorbeeld aangewend in die bestudering van metaboliese prosesse, ekosisteme, netwerke binne die brein, kommunikasienetwerke en terroristenetwerke. Diverse studies in verskeie dissplines het bevind dat die netwerkteorie 'n nuttige benaderingsraamwerk tot die ondersoek van komplekse sisteme bied, veral aangesien dit die sisteemteorie se basiese uitgangspunt deel, naamlik dat verhoudings tussen entiteite 'n deurslaggewende rol in die algehele funksionering van die sisteem vertolk. Alhoewel literatuurnavorsers deeglik met die sisteemteorie vertroud is, is die netwerkteorie 'n bykans onbekende veld. Hierdie artikel toon aan hoe die netwerkteorie by die sisteemteorie inskakel, ook in terme van die letterkunde, en voer aan dat dit tot 'n beter begrip van die literêre netwerk kan lei, veral deur die netwerkteorie se vermoë om 'n groter aantal verhoudings deur middel van wiskundige berekenings en grafiese voorstellings in ag te neem. As raamwerk vir die studie van komplekse sisteme is die netwerkteorie onmisbaar in ander dissiplines; die voorstel word in hierdie artikel gemaak dat die netwerkteorie ook binne die literatuurstudie nie geïgnoreer moet word nie.<hr/>Over the past two decades, the study of complex systems has become an increasingly popular scientific paradigm in various disciplines (although it has been in existence for some time), even within the study of literature. Complex systems theory posits that an understanding of the relationships between entities is the key to understanding the dynamics of the system and that the functioning of a system is the result of these relationships, and thus the emphasis falls on relationships rather than on individual characteristics of entities within the system. Furthermore, complex systems utilise these relationships to become highly adaptable, both meeting the challenges of a changing environment, and adapting to the system's own dynamism. Since the late nineties, however, network theory has become one of the popular approaches in the study of complex systems, along with nonlinear dynamics, agent based models, and statistical mechanics (Ottino 2005:1843), and has found applications in several disciplines, ranging from the study of metabolic processes, ecosystems, networks within the brain, climatology, and communication networks, to terrorist networks. Several studies in various disciplines found that network theory is a useful and essential approach to complex systems, especially since network theory shares system theory's basic premise, namely that relationships between entities play a crucial role in the overall functioning of the system. Strogatz (2001:268) writes that the recent interest in networks is directly related to a general interest in complex systems; Maslov, Sneppen, and Zaliznyak (2004:529) write that networks "have emerged as a unifying theme in complex systems research," and Amaral and Ottino (2004:147) argue that network theory, "has become one of the most visible pieces of the body of knowledge that can be applied to the description, analysis, and understanding of complex systems". Network theory moves beyond verbal description (the way systems theory is currently applied to the study of literature) to mathematical modelling, which allows the network approach to take into account all the relationships within a network, and take into account vast numbers of entities, which is currently impossible within the systems theory approach to the study of literature. The practical implication of this approach within the study of complex systems is that network theory realises systems theory's basic premise that entities cannot be studied in isolation, but must be studied within the networks of relationships that sustain them. Although literary studies is thoroughly familiar with systems theory, network theory, however, is an almost unknown field, and this article describes how network theory can be integrated with systems theory in terms of the study of literature, and argues that this integration can lead to a better understanding of the literary network, especially through network theory's ability to take into account a greater number of relationships through mathematical calculations and graphical representations. Network theory has become indispensable in the study of complex systems; the proposal in this article is that network theory not be ignored in the study of literature as well. In this regard, following Ottino (2005), Brownlee (2007), Bullmore and Sporns (2009), Nitschke (2009), Sheard and Mostashari (2009), Luke and Stamatakis (2012) and others, this study in addition argues for the application of the network approach to the study of the literary system. Suggestions for future research are put forward.