Robert Hattam
University of South Australia
This paper assumes that educators are now involved in a struggle for their souls and for the souls of their students. The idea of the soul in this case is not the religious one, but the soul invoked by Foucault to name that aspect of self, that ‘exists, or is produced … within the body … or born … out of methods of punishment, supervision and constraint’. Neoliberalising social policy not only aims to transform structures and enact new technologies of control but also involves the transformation of values and cultures, and hence the formation of new subjectivities. With that in mind this paper argues for an education understood as experiments with alternative modalities of self-formation that are responsive to the key challenges of our times. The paper experiments with as aphoristic style and hence is structured through six fragments that provide various takes on this problematic, including: an autobiographical moment; a brief rendering of Foucault’s genealogy of the relationship between truth and the subject; Hadot’s genealogy of philosophy; various definitions of spirituality; and an account of Buddhist epistemology that distinguishes knowing and realization. The paper concludes by arguing for a Buddhist inspired pedagogy that is defined in terms of the relationships between teacher, student and realization. From such a perspective, it is not identity work that is the ethico-political project of our times, but of learning how to quite literally get free of our self.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11217-020-09741-w
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,795
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Of Hospitality.Jacques Derrida - 2000 - Stanford University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Michel Foucault and the Politics of Freedom.Thomas L. Dumm - 2002 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Why Wild Pedagogies?Bob Jickling - 2018 - In Bob Jickling, Sean Blenkinsop, Nora Timmerman & Michael De Danann Sitka-Sage (eds.), Wild Pedagogies: Touchstones for Re-Negotiating Education and the Environment in the Anthropocene. Springer Verlag. pp. 1-22.
Freedom, Responsibility, and the ‘American Foucault’.Réal Fillion - 2004 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (1):115-126.
Technologies of Self and the Cultivation of Virtues.Robert Hattam & Bernadette Baker - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (2):255-273.


Added to PP index

Total views
5 ( #1,155,309 of 2,438,737 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #436,491 of 2,438,737 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes