Turning the Table on the Subject of Learning: the Formative Power of the Aesthetic Experience
Eduardo Duarte (Hofstra University)
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Prof. Duarte also invites you to listen to some of his lectures exploring his project on aesthetic education here.
Foucault described how the ancient philosophical tradition of transcending towards the truth that exists beyond our world demanded a transformation. This transformation into the subject of learning, into the one capable of receiving truth, occurs by way of a ‘turning’ that takes a person away from their individual, private concerns and towards what today we might describe as global consciousness. In this project I explore this ‘turning’ by taking up Plato’s famous allegory of the cave from book 7 of his Republic. My reading of Plato’s allegory is situated within an attempt to describe the ‘turning’ of the subject as a philosophical education happening via the aesthetic experience/encounter with art. This education emerges out of phenomenological contemplation, which always involves a transcendental move ‘beyond’ the self and, as such, produces existential liberation: a freedom ‘beyond’ the self, or the freedom experienced in the place of ‘no self’.
Eduardo Duarte is a Professor at Hofstra University, teaching courses in philosophy in the department of Teaching, Learning, Technology. Duarte earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He is author of Being and Learning (Sense Publishers: 2012), and Beyond Fragmentation, Toward Polyphony (LAP: 2010). Duarte is also host and producer of The Dead Zone, aweekly radio program broadcast on 88.7FM WRHU.ORG (Radio Hofstra University) that is dedicated to exploring the live performances of Grateful Dead, as well as the music that influenced the band, viz., the existential and cultural implications of improvisational music that are rooted in African-American spirituals, blues and jazz music.
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