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ERIC Number: EJ1104263
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Aristotle's "homo mimeticus" as an Educational Paradigm for Human Coexistence
Scaramuzzo, Gilberto
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v50 n2 p246-260 May 2016
In the "Poetics" of Aristotle there is a definition of the human being that perhaps has not yet been well considered in educational theory and practice. This definition calls into question a dynamism that according to Plato was unavoidable for an appropriate understanding of the educational process that turns a human being into a beautiful, good and just citizen: "mimesis." The paper's intent is to reconsider the definition of the human being, centred on "mimesis", presented by Aristotle in the "Poetics" (4. 1448 b5-9) to demonstrate if, and how, it might establish new paradigms for human coexistence. Aristotle's anthropological statement is included in a much wider discourse concerning philosophy of art; but if isolated from the context, it is an essential definition of human beings that can be synthesised as follows: human beings are the mimetic animal par excellence, and their process of understanding (that distinguishes them from other animals) has a "fundamental" connection with such excellence. Ignorance and/or negligence of how relevant "mimesis" might be in the educational process may have decisively contributed to separate human beings from this core aspect of their humanity and therefore produced painful consequences in human coexistence. As long as education does not pay attention to the pedagogical implications of the definition taken from the "Poetics", how can human flourishing be safeguarded? I argue that recognition of the centrality of "mimesis" in the educational process allows human edification to proceed devoid of ideological basis, be it secular or confessional; and overcomes the risk of relativism. "Mimesis", formerly recognised by Plato as a link between what is "expressed" and what "really is", is masterfully reinterpreted by Aristotle. Aristotle recognised its positive pedagogic value in the "Poetics", and nowadays we can recognise how it offers existential dynamics that restore the vital human relationship between self and "other" (be it another human or other than a human being). The sense of this proposal lies in giving "mimesis" the role it deserves in education, by raising the significance of how coexistence might benefit from a vast human dimension, capable of recognising our humanity "beyond" our rational capacity.
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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