Hegel and the dialectic of enlightenment : the recognition of education in civil society
This thesis develops an Hegelian philosophy of education by presenting the concept as the comprehension of the dialectic of enlightenment. It begins by examining recent critical theory of education which has employed Habermas's idea of communicative action in order to reassess the relationship between education and political critique. It goes on to expose the flaws in this approach by uncovering its uncritical use of critique as the method of enlightenment. Enlightenment as overcoming presupposes enlightenment as absolute education. The philosophical issues raised here are then substantially examined by returning to Habermas in order to trace the presupposition of critique as method in his theorizing. It is argued that Habermas also presupposes critique as absolute enlightenment, or overcoming, in both the emancipatory knowledge-constitutive interest and in The Theory of Communicative Action, and further, that it is this presupposition which returns as the contradiction of the dialectic of enlightenment in his work. Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment is then itself examined along with Adorno's Negative Dialectics. Here it is argued that although this work marks an educational and philosophical development over Habermas, nevertheless its authors also presuppose the identity of enlightenment, this time in the claim that the dialectic of enlightenment, and negative dialectics, are not a determinate negation. The thesis shows how Habermas and Adorno, in their respective views of the dialectic of enlightenment, repeat but do not comprehend the selfdetermination which is the actual in Hegelian philosophy. The final chapter of the thesis employs Hegelian philosophy to re-examine the aporia of education as method. It argues that the dialectic of enlightenment is actual when it is recognized as the self-education of philosophical consciousness, and is the identity and non-identity which is the concept. The implications of Hegelian philosophy of education as the recognition of misrecognition are then explored, first with regard to rethinking the identity of the teacher in civil society and developing the concept as ethical pedagogy; and then to recognizing critique as comprehensive education with regard to the state in civil society.