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Abstraction and finitude : education, chance and democracy.

Smith, R. D. (2006) 'Abstraction and finitude : education, chance and democracy.', Studies in philosophy and education., 25 (1-2). pp. 19-35.


Education in the west has become a very knowing business in which students are encouraged to cultivate self-awareness and meta-cognitive skills in pursuit of a kind of perfection. The result is the evasion of contingency and of the consciousness of human finitude. The neo-liberalism that makes education a market good exacerbates this. These tendencies can be interpreted as a dimension of scepticism. This is to be dissolved partly by acknowledging that we are obscure to ourselves. Such an acknowledgement is fostered by the mythic dimension of experience, which also recommends a degree of humility to the citizens of democratic states.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Chance, Contingency, Democracy, Knowingness, Myth, Scepticism.
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Record Created:10 Jan 2007
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:26

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