This Is Simply What I Do Too: A Response to Paul Smeyers

Chapter

Abstract

This essay offers a response to Chap.  16 by Smeyers (2017), entitled: “This is simply what I do.” On the relevance of Wittgenstein’s alleged conservatism and the debate about Cavell’s legacy for children and grown-ups. It answers to Smeyers’ critique of what he identifies as a trend in the reception of Stanley Cavell’s work in the philosophy of education , especially in terms of the bearing this has on the understanding of Wittgenstein . Through their preoccupation with the themes of practising freedom differently and departure, and through unrealistic characterisations of the relationship between adults and children , Smeyers claims, authors such as Naomi Hodgson, Stefan Ramaekers, Naoko Saito, and Paul Standish have generated confusions that do justice neither to Wittgenstein nor to Cavell . In particular, they have failed to understand the nature and importance of cultural initiation . The present response takes issue with these claims. It agrees with Smeyers about the importance of cultural initiation but—revisiting questions of authority , training , childhood , and community—argues for a reading of Wittgenstein , in part informed by Cavell , that more accurately accounts for the relationships involved. It also indicates ways in which Cavell moves beyond Wittgenstein and thereby revisits the question of what it is to be a grown-up.

Keywords

Authority Conservatism Initiation Training Cavell Wittgenstein 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationLondonUK

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