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Towards Immanence in Education: From Emancipation to Responsibility

  • Joris Vlieghe
  • Piotr Zamojski
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 11)

Abstract

In this chapter we develop further the shift from a transcendent to an immanent approach towards education introduced in Chap.  5. We take the dominant logic of emancipation as a clear example of a transcendent approach, and the much less obvious logic of responsibility as the example of an immanent approach. The logic of emancipation is reconstructed in reference to the origin of the notion of emancipatio in Roman Law, and to its use in critical pedagogy. This logic is based on the assumption that there exists oppression in the present order of things and that this should be overcome in the future. In this way, the logic of emancipation engenders a relation with the world under the form of a double struggle: a fight against the present world of oppression, injustice, and inequality which is simultaneously a struggle for the desired world to come. In that case education is regarded as a means for a political aim. Contrary to this, one can also follow a logic of responsibility. This offers the possibility to take a relation to the world that is immanent to education. We reconstruct this logic with reference to the philosophy of Hans Jonas and Georg Picht. Responsibility stems from the assumption that human beings always have a particular and limited room for free action, and that one is responsible precisely for what is in the range of this power to act. Jonas and Picht argue that it is the sheer existence of an entity being in the range of this power that makes us responsible. Hence, responsibility is an ontological – and not a normative – relation between humans and the world. It regards a relation of care and attention.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris Vlieghe
    • 1
  • Piotr Zamojski
    • 2
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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