Exploring Ethical Relations to Self and New Ontologies

Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 16)


With the recent move towards activism and engagement with ethical issues through science education, it is more important than ever to examine the ethical dimensions of education and practice. In dealing with the issue of consumerism, and the economic regimes that challenge our ability to maintain healthy environments for community wellbeing, it is important to closely examine how students and teachers come to think of themselves as ethical subjects. In addition, it is important to understand that our social world has been bound by modern distinctions between what is human/non–human, biotic/abiotic, which may prevent communities from engaging ethically in issues of ecological and social justice. Using the work of Michel Foucault, Karen Barad, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, we argue for (a) a more complex understanding of the ethical subject in education through an understanding of relations of self along three axes: self to self, self to others, and self to the world; and (b) a reconsideration of the place of this ‘ethical subject’ by engaging social ontologies and new materialisms.


Ethics Subjectivity Foucault Ontology Science education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.University of Massachusetts DartmouthDartmouthUSA

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