Studies in Philosophy and Education 23 (5-6):445-466 (2004)

This paper examines the consequences for agency that Foucault’s historiographical approach constructs. The analysis begins by explaining the difference between ‘legislative history’ and ‘exemplary history,’ drawing parallels to similar theoretical distinctions offered in the works of Max Weber, J.L. Austin, and Zygmunt Bauman. The analysis continues by reading Habermas’s critique of Foucault through the tropological lenses suggested by White [Metahistory. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973]; it argues that Habermas’s critique misrecognizes the tropes of Foucaultian genealogy. The paper draws implications for education by articulating possibilities for praxis and agency in terms of pedagogy specifically related to the distinction between didactics and modeling. The paper concludes by suggesting that genealogy does not ‘play by Hegel’s rules,’ but rather exemplifies agency in ways that are not recognizable from a modernist perspective.
Keywords agency  critical theory  didactics vs. modeling  exemplary history  Foucault  genealogy  Habermas  historiography  legislative history  postmodernism
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-004-4454-z
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