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Education in ideology

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There is a thought that stops all thought. That is the thought that ought to be stopped. (Chesterton, 1952, p.?58)In this paper I distinguish between two sorts of ideologies, moral (or ethical) ideologies that embrace the conceptual condition of human agency: free will, moral intelligence, and fallibility; and amoral (or non-ethical) ideologies that do not. Initiation into the former, which are suited to open societies, is best accomplished through education, whereas transmission of the latter, which are preferred in closed societies, is most often achieved through indoctrination. It follows that the difference between education and indoctrination is first ethical and only secondarily epistemological, or, in other words, that ethics should be understood as first philosophy in education. Human agency, I argue further, is lived in particular ‘norming' communities with visions of a higher good. It follows that education in open societies requires a ‘pedagogy of difference' according to which learning to respect the distinctiveness of others requires acquiring an appreciation for one's own uniqueness as a member of such a community.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Haifa Israel

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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