Upcoming Events

UJ Philosophy Colloquium Series

The Department hosts​ three Colloquia per term, where visiting speakers or members of the Department present work for discussion.

Colloquia generally take place 11.20am-12.50pm on Wednesdays of Weeks 2, 4 and 6 of term in the Philosophy Seminar Room (B-ring 611), unless otherwise indicated. All welcome. Philosophy postgraduate students are expected to attend. For enquiries, contact Chad Harris.

The next event takes place on:

Wednesday 25 March 2015, 11:20-12.50 
Philosophy Seminar Room 2 (B-Ring 610)

Paradigms and Theories for Practice in the South African and International Water Sectors

Dr Richard Meissner, CSIR


The purpose of this talk is to show how particular paradigms and theories have an influence on the knowledge generation and agency of water policies and programmes in the South African and international water sectors. I will discuss the PULSE3 framework for analysing water governance and water politics. The framework’s acronym means ‘people understanding and living in a sustained environment’. The cube denotes three forces: thinking, shaping and causing change. Individuals think, shape and cause changes in the environment in which they live and work. I used the framework to analyse South Africa's National Water Resource Strategy, Second Edition and the UNDP’s Water and Ocean Governance focus area. The analysis indicates that rationalism and rationalist type theories (e.g. rational choice theory, neoliberalism and neorealism) are driving the generation of knowledge and agency within the Strategy and focus area. The ‘over-reliance’ on rationalism and the rationalist theories is problematised and could be part of the problem the South African Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the UNDP and its partners are attempting to ameliorate. It is not impossible that the rationalist outlook is strengthening a certain top-down dynamic between the Department and citizens as well as the UNDP and its partners on developing countries to implement European practices that could be out of kilter with the reality of developing economies. Rationalism is, after all, a top-down and structuralist type of paradigm in the agency domain.


All welcome.​


Past Events

11 October 2014: World Philosophy Day Celebration

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