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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/337

Title: To Be Just: the significance of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction for political pedagogy
Authors: Centeno, Jeffrey M.
Issue Date: Feb-2009
Abstract: What does deconstruction mean in practice? Deconstruction means learning to be just. This position results from a thoroughgoing interpretation of and a painstaking investigation into the compelling significance of Jacques Derrida’s thought for political pedagogy. This research premises its thesis on the investigation of the following main question: How plausible is the view that Jacques Derrida‘s deconstruction is significant for political pedagogy? By pursuing this inquiry, we argue for the practical importance of positing an alternative view to existing characterizations of deconstruction that usually cluster around negative interpretations. At the heart of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction, when affirmatively seen, is the enduring question of justice. For, the key issue in Derrida’s deconstruction is justice that demands a cautious reading of texts, a liberating life of institutions, and a relevant way of doing philosophy. Justice is the running thread in Derrida’s deconstruction that weaves together the various dimensions of his work. Accordingly, it is in the light of the question of justice that those aspects of Derrida’s thought can be meaningfully understood. In short, relative to the advocacy for political pedagogy, which is inseparable from any genuine practice of philosophical education, deconstruction implies rendering justice to the interpretation of the text, to the transformation of institutions, and to the actualization of philosophy itself. Inspired thus by Jacques Derrida’s celebrated radical interpretation of deconstruction as justice, this dissertation claims that Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction, upon careful scrutiny, is fundamentally politically instructive in that it bears an imperative for an education in justice, whose abiding pedagogical challenge is learning to be just. In the light of which, this work specifically develops the pedagogical interpretation of Derrida’s achievement, in order to contribute to the philosophical task of rethinking the institution and functions of education. This concern stems from the sober understanding that deconstruction critically resituates the integral role of education as learning to be just in a democratic society that strives to thrive in justice. More importantly, the deconstruction of the institution of education implies a fundamental reawakening to the pedagogical orientation of philosophy itself. For the search of a just society ultimately requires the juridical recognition of the right to philosophy. That is, philosophy as a reflective way of life needs to be profoundly renewed, and widely promoted and protected, especially within the university as a privileged place of universal learning. This imperative for philosophy aims at enhancing the critical capabilities of individuals to help them face up to the complex challenge of globalization. Finally, deconstruction as justice implies the greatest affirmation of life in the face of death, in that possibility to be no more. This is the paradox of the human condition, which deconstruction meaningfully interprets and to which it sharply heightens our sensitivity. And, deconstruction as pedagogy of justice judiciously demands that we learn how to live by that paradox.
Description: Thesis (Ph.D. : Philosophy). -- De La Salle University, Manila, 2009.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/337
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