Love and Hate for the World: The Educational and Its Relationship with the Political

  • Joris Vlieghe
  • Piotr Zamojski
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 11)


In this chapter we investigate – on an ontological level – the relation between the spheres of education and politics. The argument begins with an analysis of the critical pedagogue Elisabeth Ellsworth’s claim that education and politics are closely interwoven. But, we equally show – with Ellsworth – that following this idea to its last consequences entails an abandoning of education in favour of political action to be performed together with the new generation. In order to overcome this deadlock inherent to a critical position, we introduce a taxonomy regarding different understandings of politics and how they are related with education. This leads us to the conclusion that although the spheres of education and of politics are ontologically related, when this relation is reduced to functional terms, i.e. when education is viewed as a means for political aims, this leads to the end of education. Nonetheless, we hold that education can have a political significance, but only when education is taken as an autonomous sphere, i.e. as having its own intrinsic logic and autotelic value. Therefore, we conclude with an analysis of two distinct logics that steer politics and education. If the former always entails an attitude of hate for the world, an educational logic is uniquely based on an attitude of love. Moreover, it involves a particular kind of hope: hope in the present.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris Vlieghe
    • 1
  • Piotr Zamojski
    • 2
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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