South East Branch Seminar
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This paper will extend Michel Foucault’s analysis of ancient Cynicism to the critique of education. Foucault understands the Cynic scandal as an attempt to transgress the world of convention and truth in favor of an other life, a life which the Cynic begins to improvise. Since education helps orient our current existence, it too must be scandalized. This paper explores how Cynicism challenges a set of ideas and attachments central to education. Most notably: the role of the teacher as guide; the function of education in encouraging self-mastery and the pursuit of the ‘true’ life; the relation between education and the development of the conscience; the object and aims of educational critique; and finally, most strikingly, the presence and refinement of aggression in educational relationships.