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Abstraction and finitude: education, chance and democracy

Smith, R.D.



Education in the west has become a very knowing business in which students are encouraged to cultivate self-awareness and meta-cognitive skills in pursuit of a kind of perfection. The result is the evasion of contingency and of the consciousness of human finitude. The neo-liberalism that makes education a market good exacerbates this. These tendencies can be interpreted as a dimension of scepticism. This is to be dissolved partly by acknowledging that we are obscure to ourselves. Such an acknowledgement is fostered by the mythic dimension of experience, which also recommends a degree of humility to the citizens of democratic states.


Smith, R. (2006). Abstraction and finitude: education, chance and democracy. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 25(1-2), 19-35.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2006-03
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2007
Journal Studies in Philosophy and Education
Print ISSN 0039-3746
Electronic ISSN 1573-191X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 1-2
Pages 19-35
Keywords Chance, Contingency, Democracy, Knowingness, Myth, Scepticism.