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Aversive education: Emersonian variations on 'Bildung'
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0253-6426
Number of Authors: 12019 (English)In: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 51, no 5, p. 488-497Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper discusses Ralph Waldo Emerson's thought in relation to the German Bildung tradition. For many, Bildung still signifies a valuable achievement of modern educational thought as well as a critical, emancipatory ideal which, frequently in a rather nostalgic manner, is appealed to in order to delineate problematic tendencies of current educational trends. Others, in an at times rather cynical manner, claim that Bildung through its successful institutionalization has shaped vital features of our present educational system and has thus served its time and lost its critical potential. When thinking through Emerson's variations on Bildung I argue against the nostalgic appeals to Bildung that the criticism against it has to be taken seriously. Against the cynical assessment of Bildung having run its course, I will hold that with Emerson we can develop the idea of an 'aversive education' as a call for Bildung to be turned upon itself, allowing to revive it as a conceptual tool for transformation, drawing particular attention to its political dimension.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 51, no 5, p. 488-497
Keywords [en]
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bildung, aversive democracy, Stanley Cavell, educational politics, perfectionism
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167558DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2017.1385456ISI: 000460515000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-167558DiVA, id: diva2:1304440
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved

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