Pedagogies of Hopefulness and Thoughtfulness: The Social-Political Role of Higher Education in Contemporary Societies

  • Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen


This chapter argues that there is a link between critical thought and the ability to remain hopeful even under highly problematic conditions like the neoliberal environment of contemporary higher education. It discusses Hannah Arendt’s and Richard Rorty’s reflections on thinking and hope and suggests that despite their different starting points, the two authors share much. In particular, it is argued that both Arendt and Rorty reiterate the idea of Socratic irony and maieutic in a twentieth century context. Towards the end of the chapter, Rorty and Arendt are also brought into disagreement. Because of its adherence to facts and events, it is argued, Arendt’s thought is better able to produce meaningful criticism of existing conditions, accompanied with hope for changing them.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen
    • 1
  1. 1.Tampere UniversityTampereFinland

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