Between Remembering and Forgetting

Studies in Philosophy and Education 34 (5):489-503 (2014)
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Abstract

This essay seeks to add to a growing body of literature in philosophy of education that focuses on issues of historical consciousness and remembrance and their connections to moral education. In particular, I wish to explore the following questions: What does it mean to maintain a tension between remembering and forgetting tragic historical events? And what does an ethical stance that seeks to maintain this tension provide us? In what follows, I first describe two contemporary approaches to cultivating historical consciousness and advocate for the need to integrate the insights from both these strands rather than choosing between them. Based on some of the insights of Nietzsche, Arendt and other thinkers, I then explore the notion of forgetting while highlighting its educational and moral significance. In order to further explore the moral significance of forgetting, I highlight some of the similarities and differences between forgetting and the virtue of forgiving. Next, I consider the case of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa as a contemporary example of an attempt to strike a balance between remembering and forgetting. I conclude this essay by briefly outlining some of the advantages of an ethic of remembering and forgetting

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References found in this work

Can the Paradox of Forgiveness Be Dissolved?Oliver Hallich - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):999-1017.
Hannah Arendt and Collective Forgiving.Glen Pettigrove - 2006 - Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (4):483–500.
Montaigne, Nietzsche, and the Mnemotechnics of Student Agency.Charles Bingham - 2007 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (2):168–181.

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