ERIC Number: EJ1048930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
A Figural Education with Lyotard
Ford, Derek R.
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v34 n1 p89-100 Jan 2015
While there was a flurry of articles throughout the 1990s in philosophy of education on Lyotard, there are still several key concepts in his "oeuvre" that have import for but remain largely underdeveloped or absent in the field. One of the most interesting of these absent concepts is Lyotard's notion of the figural. In this paper, I take the figural as an educational problematic and ask what new educational insights it can generate in regard to the existing literature. As such, this article begins with a survey and synthesis of educational literature on Lyotard and the primary work on which most of it is based, exploring the relationship between knowledge, performativity, the differend, and "the system." I then examine conceptions of education oriented toward defending the differend and disrupting the system and claim that, while helpful, these conceptions are limited in that they do not mention how educators and students might engage the alterity that the system seeks to repress. I believe that it is here that Lyotard's notion of the figural can be productively engaged. The next section of the paper performs a partial and educationally partisan reading of "Discourse, Figure". After this reading I move to formulate a figural education, which is composed of three educational processes and modes of engagement: reading, seeing, and blindness. A figural education, I argue, holds each of these practices in an uncertain and unsettling relation and, in so doing, can help educators defend the figural and the differend against the discursive demands of the system.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Correlation, Knowledge Level, Educational Attitudes, Educational Practices, Criticism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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