NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1086077
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Revitalising "Bildsamkeit"?
Saeverot, Herner
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v35 n1 p1-16 Jan 2016
In the book "Forgotten Connections. On Culture and Upbringing," originally from 1983, the late German educator Klaus Mollenhauer interprets Johann Friedrich Herbart's educational concept of "Bildsamkeit", i.e., the ability and willingness to be educated. Furthermore, Mollenhauer conceives "Bildsamkeit" as growing out of a primitive state towards a cultivated life. The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard, however, conceives the Christian concept of "primitiveness" as a growing in the opposite direction, i.e., as a growing out of a cultivated state towards a primitive one, in which the self shall let itself be invented by "God". Thus, I investigate whether the concept of primitiveness may enrich the reflection on the educational concept of "Bildsamkeit", as it is conceived by Mollenhauer. Towards the end of the paper I turn to Emmanuel Levinas, whose ethical reading of the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud may reveal a weakness in Kierkegaard's concept of primitiveness. But rather than rejecting the concept of primitiveness, I suggest that we re-consider the concept, with the help of Levinas's transcendental perspective of "God". Essentially, I try to address the following question: Can "Bildsamkeit" be something more than the ability to be educated? Can not "Bildsamkeit" also be defined as being susceptible to "God", who transcends our existence, after which we are lead towards a teaching and education otherwise?
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A