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Bildung as Democratic Opinion and Will Formation. Habermas Beyond Habermas

Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT,volume 16)

Abstract

Considering citizenship education specifically in relation to deliberative politics, first, I focus on the role that Habermas in Between Facts and Norms allots to opinion and will formation as a kind of Bildung, emphasizing the collective aspect of discursive formation in the state as well as in civil society. Secondly, even though I have stressed the crucial role of deliberation in the formation to virtue, I recognize that Habermas attempts to combine the republican call for civic virtue with the liberal claims to have rights. Thirdly, I emphasize that also for Habermas Bildung in some sense constitutes the truth of human being , although it is not specified in detail. Fourthly, I argue that democratic citizenship education would benefit from a substantial notion of Bildung, but that Habermas does not support such an argument. Recognizing that Habermas’s idea of collective formation is restricted to providing justice in terms of politics and law, and bearing in mind the alienation in fact produced within the multitudes of modern capitalist and militarist society, I conclude by expressing the fear that Habermas’s account of democratic formation will not be sufficiently attractive to contemporary democratic citizens and thus unable to function as a normative ideal.

Keywords

  • Deliberate democracy
  • Jürgen Habermas
  • Citizenship education
  • Bildung
  • Socialism

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For a critical discussion of the way alienation is dealt with by contemporary critical theorists, see my (Sørensen 2019a).

  2. 2.

    See, e.g., my analysis of neo-liberalism in the Postscript of (Sørensen 2019b).

  3. 3.

    A first attempt is provided in my (Sørensen 2020).

  4. 4.

    Remember that Habermas, following Kant and Hegel, use the words ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’ in an almost inverse sense of what is usual in the Anglosphere (see (Habermas 1991), 7).

  5. 5.

    For an account of Habermas in relation to classical Critical Theory, see section D of the Interlude in (Sørensen 2019b).

  6. 6.

    Again, my first sketch will appear in (Sørensen 2020).

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Sørensen, A. (2020). Bildung as Democratic Opinion and Will Formation. Habermas Beyond Habermas. In: Strand, T. (eds) Rethinking Ethical-Political Education. Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education, vol 16. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49524-4_9

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