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    Experiencing Change, Encountering the Unknown: An Education in ‘Negative Capability’ in Light of Buddhism and Levinas

    Todd, Sharon (2015) Experiencing Change, Encountering the Unknown: An Education in ‘Negative Capability’ in Light of Buddhism and Levinas. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 49 (2). pp. 240-254. ISSN 0309-8249

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    This article offers a reading of the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Theravada Buddhism across and through their differences in order to rethink an education that is committed to ‘negative capability’ and the sensibility to uncertainty that this entails. In fleshing this out, I first explore Buddhist ideas of impermanence, suffering and non-self (anicca, dukkha, and anatta, respectively), known as the three marks of existence, from the perspective of Theravada Buddhism. I explore in particular vipassana meditation’s insistence on openness to the transient nature of experience and self, and the notion of ‘encounter’ that is implied therein. I then interweave this with Levinas’s notion of an ethics of alterity. I argue that taken in tandem, both provide the condition through which another kind of ethical sensibility can be developed—that is, one that is attuned to our encounters with the world. In conclusion, the article reflects on how this sensibility as ‘negative capability’ can re-inform an ethics of educational practices, which are by nature themselves necessarily involved with change and uncertainty.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Experiencing Change, Encountering the Education; Negative Capability; in Light; Buddhism; Levinas;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 8542
    Depositing User: Prof. Sharon Todd
    Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 15:47
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Philosophy of Education
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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