Challenging the dominant grand narrative in global education and culture

In R. Rozzi, A. Tauro, N. Avriel-Avni & T. Wright (eds.), Field Environmental Philosophy. Springer. pp. 309-326 (2023)
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Abstract

This chapter critically examines the dominant tradition in formal education as an indirect driver of biocultural homogenization while revealing that there is an alternative tradition that fosters biocultural conservation. The dominant tradition, originating in the Seventeenth Century scientific revolution effected by René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Isaac Newton, John Locke and allied thinkers, privileges science, seen as facilitating the technological domination of the world in the service of economic growth, as the only genuine knowledge. This is at the foundation of a globalized, homogenizing culture that reduces everything and everyone to instruments of the globalized economy. The alternative, now recognized as the Radical Enlightenment, has its roots in the Renaissance. Represented by thinkers such as Giordano Bruno, Giambattista Vico, Gottfried Herder and Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling, it challenges such dogmatic scientism and upholds the value of diverse cultures, past and present. It offers an alternative tradition and model of education fostering imagination, understanding and appreciation of diversity in the quest for wisdom. It is a model of education which engenders respect for and appreciation of the value of different cultures, including indigenous wisdom with very different attitudes to nature, thereby developing the capacity to reflect on, question, criticize and overcome the homogenizing imperialism of mainstream modernist culture.

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Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology

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