ERIC Number: EJ1019472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
The Welcoming of Levinas in the Philosophy of Education--At the Cost of the Other?
Theory and Research in Education, v11 n3 p250-268 Nov 2013
This article focuses on the turn towards the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas's (1906-1995) ethical perspective in educational philosophy, which many theorists promise can promote an educational practice that is more sensitive of the diversity of teaching and learning, and the uniqueness of students and teachers. I call this into question by asking for whom is the Levinasian ethics for the better? In the article I discuss this question in the light of Levinas's insistence on the deposition of the autonomous and knowing subject, and his embracing of a subject who is always already for the Other and who welcomes the Other before any assessments of the Other and of his own capabilities of being responsible for the Other. The article is divided into two parts. The first part explores what has been welcomed in the welcoming of Levinas through a critical reading of some educational philosophical publications on Levinas's ethics. I argue that Levinas's idea of welcoming the Other in many cases has been displaced to a welcoming of Levinas. This shift appears to have created a reception context where Levinas's uncritical approach to the Other has been transferred to an uncritical approach to Levinas's ethics. Thus, it seems as if this lack of critical commentators has caused a lack of attention to other subjects and other Others whom Levinas does not see. The second part focuses on possible costs of the welcoming of Levinas for these other subjects and other Others. The discussion adopts a stance inspired by semiotics and French psychoanalysis.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Ethics, Semiotics, Psychotherapy, Social Justice, Educational Environment, Responsibility, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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