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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Witnessing Deconstruction in Education: Why Quasi-Transcendentalism Matters
Author(s): Biesta, G J J
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Issue Date: Jul-2009
Citation: Biesta GJJ (2009) Witnessing Deconstruction in Education: Why Quasi-Transcendentalism Matters, Journal of Philosophy of Education, 43 (3), pp. 391-404.
Abstract: Deconstruction is often depicted as a method of critical analysis aimed at exposing unquestioned metaphysical assumptions and internal contradictions in philosophical and literary language. Starting from Derrida's contention that deconstruction is not a method and cannot be transformed into one, I make a case for a different attitude towards deconstruction, to which I refer as 'witnessing'. I argue that what needs to be witnessed is the occurrence of deconstruction and, more specifically, the occurrence of metaphysics-in-deconstruction. The point of witnessing metaphysics-in-deconstruction is affirmative: it is an affirmation of what cannot be conceived in terms of the system and yet makes this system possible. To the extent to which education is concerned with the 'coming into presence' of new beginners and new beginnings, it shares an interest with deconstruction. Through a discussion of the role of communication in education I indicate how we might witness the occurrence of deconstruction in education. Through this we may be able to identify openings that can become potential entrances for the coming into presence of new beginnings and new beginners. Such an engagement with Derrida's work is more than the application of 'his' philosophy to the 'field' of education and therefore also has implications for how we think of the very idea of philosophy of education.
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