Beyond Metaphysical Instrumentalism in Curriculum Theory: The Poietic and Painterly in Pinar’s “Abstract Expressionist” Scholarship

  • James M. Magrini
Part of the Curriculum Studies Worldwide book series


The argumentation in this chapter unfolds in four sections: (1) I introduce William Pinar’s reading of Jackson Pollack’s abstract painting, The White Cockatoo in its connection to curriculum theorizing. This section unpacks the crucial difference between “representational” scholarship and “abstract expressionist” scholarship. I introduce the understanding of what I term “re-presentational research”; (2) I present a critique of technology found in Martin Heidegger’s later writings (the “Turn”—Kehre) concerned with science and research, which includes a critique of curriculum research grounded in concept empiricism. The analysis of modern technology sets the stage for the understanding of an age where art’s ability to gather and reveal “truth” is impeded; (3) building on the interpretation of Heidegger I turn to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological account of art as a form of expression that dynamically combines the pre-theoretical sectors of bodily experience, i.e., the visual and motor field of the artist, who, through engagement with the canvas, leaves phenomenological “traces” that speak a new (“painterly”) language that is beyond the technical and instrumental language of psychology, anthropology, or the sciences.


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Copyright information

© James M. Magrini 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Magrini
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy/Liberal ArtsCollege of DuPageUSA

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