Openness, newness and radical possibility in Deweyan work: a response to Jasinski

Ethics and Education 13 (2):234-250 (2018)
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Abstract

In his article Potentialism and the experience of the new, Jasinski argues for the use of a potentialist approach in education by relating it to a line of thought that starts with Dewey and is fulfilled by Agamben and Lewis. Although the reading that Jasinski offers on potentialism is interesting, his understanding of Dewey is problematic. In this paper, I argue that much of what Jasinski claims as worthy of pursuit in education is already contained in the Deweyan questions of newness, openness, and radical possibility. Even the Agambenian notion of ‘coming community’ falls under a Deweyan understanding of society and democracy, which, in Deweyan thought, always exist in suspension and connectedness. Given such premises, the idea of education that emerges from Deweyan thought is that of a leap. The question regarding what education is and entails is left radically open by Dewey, for education belongs to the not-yet.

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