The Impossibility of Education

  • Stephen J. Ball
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


This chapter explores education as one nexus of Foucault’s three vectors of analysis or ‘aspects of experience’—truth, power, and subjectivity. It further considers how the changing emphases between these vectors in Foucault’s oeuvre can enable us to think about education differently. I put these vectors to work in relation to a exploratory and very provisional genealogy of pedagogy and the school. Finally, the chapter discusses what such analyses mean in terms of education as a philosophical practice, and suggests, as far as the early and mid period work of Foucault is concerned, in relation to his strident anti-humanism, that education is impossible.


Truth Subjectivity Power Pedagogy Anti-humanism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesInstitute of Education University of LondonLondonUK

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