Abstract
Within educational philosophies that utilise the Heideggerian idea of ‘authenticity’ there can be distinguished at least two readings that correspond with the categories of ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ utopianism. ‘Strong-utopianism’ is the nostalgia for some lost Edenic paradise to be restored at some future time. Here it is the ‘world’ that needs to be transcended for it is the source of our inauthenticity, where we are the puppets of modernist-capitalist ideologies. ‘Authenticity’ here is a value-judgment, understood as something that makes you a better person. The ‘inauthentic’ person is simply deceived. ‘Weak-utopianism’ is recognising the forces for change in the ‘everyday-immanent’ where we do not look to overcome the world but own it as ‘heritage’. ‘Authenticity’ here is an ontological choice, a modification of inauthenticity, not its opposite. The ‘cult of the authentic’ relates to the ‘strong utopianism’ where ‘authenticity’ has become fetishized, harking back to a purer, pre-modern state, untainted by the ideals of the Enlightenment and ethos of capitalism. ‘Authentic education’ is the overcoming of our environments and socio-historical contexts, opening up new horizons of meaning. The radical notion of freedom that this implies, where one is free from rather than free in the realisation of constraint, may also be another dividing line between the ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ readings, which lend themselves to a Messianic narrative. It will be argued that if ‘authentic education’ is understood through a ‘strong utopianism’ it actually re-enforces those very same dystopian ideals they look to overcome as characterised by ‘enframing’
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9752.12093
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Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Distribution for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.
I and Thou.Martin Buber - 1958 - New York: Scribner.

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