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“This Truth That I Say to You, Well, You See It in Myself”: On Research As Education | As Philosophy | As a Way of Life

Abstract

The chapter develops a specific perspective for thinking about the educational potential of research, related precisely to a very specific conception of research that might be particularly important for educational research. In contrast to the common knowledge-oriented/based way of doing research, the existential-ethical oriented way of doing research is explored. In the latter type of research, the existential and ethical conditions of the researcher are always at stake, and precisely for that reason her research is always clearly a form of self-education, i.e. research as education. Due to an existential-ethical transformation, the researcher, when speaking about her research results, can claim: “This truth that I say to you, well, you see it in myself”. The knowledge-oriented researcher makes a different claim: “This truth that I say to you, well, the method and my disinterested research attitude prove it is based on true/valid knowledge.” Elaborating on the later work of Michel Foucault , we explore the value of the existential-ethical way of doing research, suggesting philosophy of education (as a way of life) as being part of education research, and finally we attempt to reformulate the Humboldtian idea of ‘education through research’.

Keywords

  • Educational research and research as education
  • Education through research,Humboldt
  • Ethics and research
  • Michel Foucault
  • Philosophy of education, philosophy as education, philosophy as a way of life

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This essay can be read as an attempt to apply Foucault ’s courses at the Collège de France, that are published as ‘L’herméneutique du sujet’, to educational research (Foucault 2001). In this essay we (mostly) refer to the original French version of the work of Foucault and use our own English translation.

  2. 2.

    For the ancient Greek the context of this idea of care of the self is the problem of finding and describing an ‘art of living’ or ‘technique of existence’ (tekhnê tou biou). Care of the self is a general principle to develop a kind of ‘tekhnê’ or art of mastering the self, others, or life as such. While initially this principle and the art of existence were located within the domain of education (the preparation of governing others and often to compensate for the lack of adequate education), in the Hellenistic period it gradually becomes a prescript for the whole of life (Foucault 2001, pp. 428–430). These ideas and their subtle transformations have been discussed in detail (cf. Adorno 1996, pp. 119–138; in the field of education: Peters 2003; Peters and Besley 2007). Here we focus on what is at stake in this caring relation of the self at a rather general level.

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Simons, M., Masschelein, J. (2014). “This Truth That I Say to You, Well, You See It in Myself”: On Research As Education | As Philosophy | As a Way of Life. In: Reid, A., Hart, E., Peters, M. (eds) A Companion to Research in Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6809-3_11

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