On the prospects of Virilio’s pedagogy of the image

Educational Philosophy and Theory 53 (7):706-718 (2021)
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Abstract

Devoted to the late Paul Virilio (1932–2018) and in the advent of debates surrounding the Anthropocene and in light of corresponding changes to conceptions of scale and image, this paper attempts to extrapolate a Virilian pedagogy of the image. It is Virilio’s work which remains timely and singularly fecund in this area and it is for this reason that it may help to shape a new pedagogy of scale and image. This may allow us to better grasp the decentring of human conceptions of time and space as we come to better understand the vastness of cosmological space and time. To demonstrate this, his work is read in tandem with Félix Guattari’s work on ecosophy and Bernard Stiegler’s work on negentropy to show how Virilio’s critique of the diminishment of perspective diverges from their respective approaches to forge an arresting pedagogy of the image vis-à-vis geographical and ecological conceptions of Earthly spatial and temporal scale. The perceived poverty of Earthly perspective is read in the light of a scalar perspectivism which understands the enormity of the universe and humanity’s microscopic place within it. As Virilio is concerned with the changes in scale which manifest with the onset of globalization, the question arises as to how an applied dromology (that is the philosophy of speed) may work alongside both Guattari’s schizoanalytic and ecosophical research and Stiegler's pharmacology of the image in a way that mounts a robust and unique critique of the mental pollution of the image as such. Here the pedagogical implications are significant as the diminishment of world perspective for Virilio – a consequence of the singular global time of capital – devastates our understanding of the cosmos. This understanding of the poverty of scale and perspective is contrasted with a multiscalar approach to the world, which is itself searching for a philosophical and pedagogical response to the reduction of the world to nothing.

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Joff Bradley
Teikyo University

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References found in this work

The Question concerning Technology and Other Essays.Martin Heidegger & William Lovitt - 1981 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (3):186-188.
The Three Ecologies.Félix Guattari - 2000 - New York: Continuum.
Technics and Time, 2: Disorientation.Bernard Stiegler - 1998 - Stanford University Press.

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