Iain Thomson
University of New Mexico
Heidegger presciently diagnosed the current crisis in higher education. Contemporary theorists like Bill Readings extend and update Heidegger's critique, documenting the increasing instrumentalization, professionalization, vocationalization, corporatization, and technologization of the modern university, the dissolution of its unifying and guiding ideals, and, consequently, the growing hyper-specialization and ruinous fragmentation of its departments. Unlike Heidegger, however, these critics do not recognize such disturbing trends as interlocking symptoms of an underlying ontological problem and so they provide no positive vision for the future of higher education. By understanding our educational crisis 'ontohistorically', Heidegger is able to develop an alternative, ontological conception of education which he hopes will help bring about a renaissance of the university. In a provocative reading of Plato's famous 'allegory of the cave', Heidegger excavates and appropriates the original Western educational ideal of Platonic paideia, outlining the pedagogy of an ontological education capable of directly challenging the 'technological understanding of being' he holds responsible for our contemporary educational crisis. This notion of ontological education can best be understood as a philosophical perfectionism, a re-essentialization of the currently empty ideal of educational 'excellence' by which Heidegger believes we can reconnect teaching to research and, ultimately, reunify and revitalize the university itself.
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DOI 10.1080/002017401316922408
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References found in this work BETA

On the Essence of Truth.Martin Heidegger - 1998 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 9:274-287.
Traditional Language and Technological Language.Martin Heidegger & Wanda Torres Gregory - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Research 23:129-145.
The Principle of Reason: The University in the Eyes of its Pupils.Jacques Derrida - 1984 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 10 (1):5-29.

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Learning Professional Ways of Being: Ambiguities of Becoming.Gloria Dall’Alba - 2009 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (1):34-45.
Embodied Knowing in Online Environments.Gloria Dall’Alba & Robyn Barnacle - 2005 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 37 (5):719–744.
The Potentiality of Authenticity in Becoming a Teacher.Angus Brook - 2009 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (1):46-59.

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