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Open SecretsLiterature, Education, and Authority from J-J. Rousseau to J. M. Coetzee$
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Michael Bell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208098

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208098.001.0001

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(p.235) Conclusion
Open Secrets

Michael Bell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

While the preceding chapters have stressed a tradition of radical scepticism about the effectiveness of educational authority, this concluding chapter redresses the emphasis by indicating that this scepticism is best employed not as an alibi for giving up on this responsibility but as a vital part of its internal dynamic. Just as the Nietzschean critique of Bildung could come only from a gebildete Mensch, so this critique is not offered in support of those who would abandon all initiation into artistic and cultural canons. An undirected, ‘student-centred’ conception is as wide of the mark as the naively instructional. In this respect, the chapter takes issue with Jacques Rancière's The Ignorant Schoolmaster, to affirm the continuing value of humanistic pedagogy on the Socratic model understood as a form of artistic dramatisation. Schiller's notion of the aesthetic remains powerful and pertinent with the further understanding that education should itself be conducted aesthetically.

Keywords:   Rancière, Socratic model, Nietzschean, Bildung, Schiller

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