Studies in Philosophy and Education 22 (6):439-474 (2003)
AbstractThis paper analyzes how the figure of the childhas been used to authorize a series ofboundaries that have constituted thelimit-points of educational theories orphilosophies. Limit-points are the conceptualboundaries that educational theories produce,move within, respond to, and make use ofbecause the perception is that they cannot beargued away or around at the time. A method ofcomparative historico-philosophy is used tocontrast limit-points in Platonic figurationsof the child and education with childcenteredand eugenic theories of the late nineteenth andtwentieth century West. The figuration of thechild in both periods is imbricated in formingboundaries around a power-motion-reason nexusand in delineating what necessity and justicemean. The meaning-space that the child canoccupy in relation to such concepts has shiftedwith them and has been important to depictingUtopian and cosmological imaginings atdifferent historical moments and forauthorizing in turn what counts as anappropriate and/or realistic educationalphilosophy
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