School and the future of schole: A preliminary dialogue

Childhood and Philosophy 10 (19):199-216 (2014)

Walter Kohan
Rio de Janeiro State University
This conversation offers a discussion of the meaning, sense and social function of school, both as an institution and as a time-space for the practice of schole . It also discusses the different types of Greek time : Schole is, as aion or childhood, a further emergence, a radicalization of school as an experimental zone of subjectivity and of collectivity. Schole is, as aion or childhood, a further emergence, a radicalization of school as an experimental zone of subjectivity and of collectivity. The source of this radicalization is philosophy, to the extent that the philosophical impulse turns us inward upon ourselves in the interest, not of techniques for the enhancement of productive time, but of an emergent new brain: in the interest of new values, new sensibilities, new capacities, new connections, new centers of meaning, new bodies. Today we are in a global situation—the situation of late capitalism and late empire—in which school turns upon and ruthlessly suppresses schole, which distorts their relation almost beyond recognition. There is a struggle between school as a more efficient, far-reaching vehicle for the technical transformation of the chore curriculum, and schole as utopia. The paper also examines the place of childhood in educational discourse, and some critiques of the practice of community of philosophical inquiry in schools are considered as well as the role of questions and questioning in both philosophy and schooling. Finally, it problematizes the role of philosophy in school and in scholé: if the role of philosophy in schole is an active one, even an activist one, then the role of the child in producing dikaiosyne in school as scholé should be no less active. The conversation ends with some questions: in what way is the philosophical life preferable to the political life? Why are the politics of philosophy worth any more than the politics of the political order?
Keywords school  childhood  community of inquiry  schole
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