To beat or not to beat? On music, violence, and education

Ethics and Education 17 (1):117-139 (2022)
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ABSTRACT In this article I venture the hypothesis that music confronts education with the possibility to think violence in ways that are both inherently educational and radically affirmative. Beginning with a reflection on a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, which emphatically evokes the violence within the genesis of music, I then move in a different direction in the second section, which surveys how extant (music-) educational has thematized violence so far. Concluding that this thematization, notwithstanding many nuances, invariably implies a negative validation of violence, I devote the third section to a search for more affirmative concepts of educational violence. Eventually, this culminates in a return to the issue of a possibly intrinsic, positive relation between violence and music education. I first discuss this possibility more generally, connecting the discussed affirmative concepts of violence to the antipodal music-educational ideas of Plato and Nietzsche. Finally, in the last section, returning to Browning’s poem, I specify it by reclaiming the particular violence of music’s instrumental aspects for music education.



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Critique of the power of judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Paul Guyer.
Anthropology, history, and education.Immanuel Kant - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Günter Zöller & Robert B. Louden.
The Parasite.Michel Serres - 2007 - Univ of Minnesota Press.

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