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Moving on (part 1): the physics of power and curriculum history

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This is the first of two papers that map (dis)continuities in notions of power from Aristotle to Newton to Foucault. They trace the ways in which bio-physical conceptions of power became paraphrased in social science and deployed in educational discourse on the child and curriculum from post-Newtonian times to the present. The analyses suggest that, amid ruptures in the definition, role, location and meaning given 'power' historically in various 'physical' and 'social' cosmologies, the naming of 'power' has been dependent on 'physics', on the theorization of motion across 'Western' sciences. This first paper examines some (dis)continuities in regard to histories of motion and power from Aristotelian 'natural science' to Newtonian mechanics.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2001

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