Unusual suspects: Essays on Social Learning Disabilities By Gilles Paquet

This book looks into the forces at work that have undermined critical thinking and sound intellectual inquiry in the world of public affairs in Canada.

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ISBN: 978-1-927465-14-1
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Information about the author

Gilles Paquet

Table Of Content

Introduction: On Social Learning Disabilities           


A new twist to the entitlement mentality      

Unfinished business: an attack on the pneumopathological  

The general line of argument 


Part I: On Liberating Learning          

Chapter 1   On Critical Thinking       


Defining critical thinking       

Critical description for critical thinking         

Exorcizing mental prisons to avoid crippling epistemologies

Preventing asocial and unethical conduct and outcomes      

Triangulation I: to undo harms          

Triangulation II: to design new alternatives  


Chapter 2   On Inquiring        


Inquiring into the practice of administration 

Delta knowledge        

Professional practice, transduction and connoisseurship       

The social practitioner as inquirer and explorer         

Conflicting frames and circumscribed settings          

Delta knowledge and exploration capabilities           


Part II: On Exorcizing Pathologies    

Chapter 3   On Quantophrenia           


Crippling epistemologies and policy pseudo-sciences           

Words of caution about the quantophrenic cosmology         

The danger of an overly sanitized stylization of the public policy process   

The seduction of quantophrenia        

The quagmire of performance evaluation      

The crippling potentialities of quantophrenia

Uniformization in the face of pluralism and change  

Steering effects          

Management Accountability Framework (MAF) as an innocuous illustration          

The unintended costs of quantophrenia         

The ergonomics of the public policy process: focus on affordances 


Chapter 4   On Disloyalty      


Loyalty and disloyalty as different nebulas  

Some basic points      

Shades of disloyalty  

Setting and source of our hypothesis 

Is disloyalty increasing?         

Disloyalty as akin to the underground economy phenomenon          

Analytical framework

Disloyalty is growing: some conjectures        

Some things to keep in mind 

Mechanisms at work  

In praise of anecdotal evidence         

Four clarifying vignettes        

The virtue of dissent  


Affectio societatis      

The myth of the state clergy  


Part III: On The Canadian Scene      

Chapter 5   On The Canadian Malaise           


A sample of sources of concern         

Why such cognitive-dissonance-cum-inertia?

Culture of entitlement

The demise of critical thinking          

Cult of atonement      

Political correctness   

Failure to confront     

Unreasonable accommodation           

A perfect quiet cultural capitulation  

What to do?   


Chapter 6   On Tom Courchene as savanturier          


Canadian economics and a prudent heretic   

Une connaissance charnelle of the Canadian socio-economy

Quebec and Ontario   

Community of the ‘Canadas,’ First Nations’ province, and a state of mind 

Auspices, futuribles and the viewpoint from a crane

The new frontier for a market populist          


Conclusion: On synthesis and reasonableness           


Blending of perspectives in a chaotic age      

Synthesis as conduit, and reasonableness as guidepost         

Four challenges