Peirce's Rhetorical Turn. Prospects for Educational Theory and Research

In Philosophy of Education Society Usa (ed.), Philosophy of Education. Yearbook 2010 (2011)
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Abstract

This essay is motivated by a common call for a reconceptualization of educational processes. Taking the contemporary era of informationalism,2 transnational knowledge economies,3 and, by implication, an epistemification of everyday life,it is held that the dynamics of globalized knowledge structures, altered epistemic cultures, and learning seems to be undertheorized.5 One distinct dilemma seems to be the inherent paradox of the current discourses, signifying — on the one hand — a move away from “the postmodern condition” towards universalism, while — on the other hand — carrying an anti-universal thrust, emphasizing diversity, complexity, and hybridity of knowledge. My essay will by no means offer any solution to the paradox. Nevertheless, in giving an account of C.S. Peirce’s later semeiotic, while pointing to some fruitful contributions from his “speculative rhetoric,” I here explore how Peirce may help to illuminate the dynamic relations of knowledge and learning within a globalized world of change.6 In what ways may Peirce’s later semeiotic carry a promise of a productive theory of the dynamics of knowledge and learning that moves Beyond traditional notions of educational processes?

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