Do ethics and morals really represent the best possible blueprints for the good life? Reflections on a possible pedagogy of discernment
Potgieter, Ferdinand Jacobus
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Making use of hermeneutic phenomenology and morality critique as methodological navigation points, this paper challenges the illusory prestige and power of normative orders in presenting themselves to every successive generation as the best possible likenesses of and most believable blueprint(s) for eudaimonia (the good life). By implication, it also challenges the education systems that are designed to keep these normative orders alive. It is suggested that what education needs is not morals and ethics, but a pedagogy of discernment that will teach pupils to keep their eyes open and to recognise the tragic truth that normative systems maintain themselves at the cost of wiping out the ontic truth of singularisation, mortality, as well as the ultimate non-normalisability of the human condition, namely that although we are capable of immense love and sensitivity, we are also capable of greed, hatred, brutality, rape, murder and war.
- Faculty of Education