The End of Education: Toward Posthumanism

Overview

In this groundbreaking work, William V. Spanos offers a powerful contribution to the impassioned debates about the crisis of the humanities. Drawing from various discourses of contemporary theory primarily from Heidegger and Foucault, The End of Education constitutes a deconstruction of the discourse and practice of the modern humanist university. Spanos uses and transforms Heidegger's critique of the centered circle of Being in metaphysical, scientific, and humanist discourses and Foucault's critique of the ...
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Overview

In this groundbreaking work, William V. Spanos offers a powerful contribution to the impassioned debates about the crisis of the humanities. Drawing from various discourses of contemporary theory primarily from Heidegger and Foucault, The End of Education constitutes a deconstruction of the discourse and practice of the modern humanist university. Spanos uses and transforms Heidegger's critique of the centered circle of Being in metaphysical, scientific, and humanist discourses and Foucault's critique of the panoptic gaze of disciplinary society to disclose the interplay between ontology and sociopolitics and between the so-called disinterested pursuit of Truth and the development of an ideological state. Spanos argues that both the left "liberal" and the right "conservative" are in complicity in appropriating emergent and different texts and social groups in such a way as to reaffirm the validity of the humanist tradition and thereby the validity of the universalist logic of the project of the Enlightenment that continues to govern our idea of politics and social transformation.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Spanos (English and comparative literature, SUNY at Binghamton) warns that the turmoil in higher education will either reformulate itself according to the dominant culture paradigm or result in intellectual discourse that will take into account such issues as core curriculum, the humanities, political correctness, and the new world order. His highly academic and heavily documented discussion draws on the ideas of Martin Heidegger and Michel Foucault, as well as a number of known theorists, philosophers, and critics. Spanos projects the end of humanistic education, given events since the Vietnam War. Although written in postmodern academic language, this book pulls together many of the events and intellectual ideas of the 20th century and offers a new perspective. What it doesn't offer is a vision of higher education in a posthumanist context. Recommended for academic libraries.-- Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.
Booknews
The University of Minnesota Press is to be commended for its critical perceptiveness and its courage in inaugurating its new series with this brilliant critique of liberalism, humanism, and the university. Spanos holds that the events culminating in the Vietnam War revealed the essential contradiction inherent in the discourse and institutional practices of humanism: that its principle of disinterested inquiry is in fact an agency of disguised power. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816619559
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Series: Pedagogy and Cultural Practices Series
  • Pages: 277
  • Sales rank: 1,024,640
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Humanistic Understanding and the Onto-theo-logical Tradition: The Ideology of Vision 1
2 Humanistic Inquiry and the Politics of the Gaze 25
3 The Apollonian Investment of Modern Humanist Educational Theory: The Examples of Matthew Arnold, Irving Babbitt, and I. A. Richards 65
4 The Violence of Disinterestedness: A Genealogy of the Educational "Reform" Initiative in the 1980s 118
5 The University in the Vietnam Decade: The "Crisis of Command" and the "Refusal of Spontaneous Consent" 162
6 The Intellectual and the Posthumanist Occasion: Toward a Decentered Paideia 187
Notes 223
Index 271
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