Making sense in education: Deleuze on thinking against common sense

Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (3):299-311 (2018)
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According to a widespread view, one of the most important roles of education is the nurturing of common sense. In this article I turn to Gilles Deleuze’s concept of sense to develop a contrary view of education—one that views education as a radical challenge to common sense. The discussion will centre on the relation of sense and common sense to thinking. Although adherents of common sense refer to it as the basis of all thought and appeal to critical thinking as instrumental in eliminating its occasional errors, I shall argue, following Deleuze, that common sense education in fact thwarts thinking, while only education which revolves around making sense may provoke thinking that goes beyond the self-evident. I demonstrate how making sense can become an educational encounter that breaks hierarchies and generates thinking independently of the thinker’s knowledge and place in the sociopolitical order. The present article attempts, therefore, to put some sense into Deleuzian education for thinking, and thereby shed new light on its radical-political, counter-commonsensical power.

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Itay Snir
Yezreel Valley Academic College


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