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ERIC Number: EJ836726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
The Hypothesis of Incommensurability and Multicultural Education
McDonough, Tim
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v43 n2 p203-221 May 2009
This article describes the logical and rhetorical grounds for a multicultural pedagogy that teaches students the knowledge and skills needed to interact creatively in the public realm betwixt and between cultures. I begin by discussing the notion of incommensurability. I contend that this hypothesis was intended to perform a particular rhetorical task and that the assumption that it is descriptive of a condition to which intercultural interactions are necessarily subjected is an unwarranted extension of the hypothesis as originally conceived. After discussing the hypothetical nature of the notion of incommensurability and its critical role within the discourse of the human sciences, the article examines the usefulness of utopian narratives as examples of incommensurable systems that can be put to pedagogical work. I argue that the comparative study of utopian narratives can provide insight into possible means of creating passageways that lead not from one bounded system to another, but rather to mutually generated and generative pluralistic public cultures in which new norms can be articulated, shared and potentially legitimised. What is crucial to the point I am trying to make is that "incommensurability" was initially posed as a hypothesis that, while impossible to prove, still served a critical discursive or rhetorical function. This function is one that it can still serve and in an important educational manner, outside the discourse of the human sciences, within a larger, increasingly multicultural and global society.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A