From being willful to being more willing: a phenomenological critique of Rousseau’s “On education” Tyson E. Lewis Summary:
Summary: In this article, author Tyson E. Lewis critiques Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s metaphysics of the will from a phenomenological perspective. He argues that Rousseau’s emphasis on the will, as the primary concern for early childhood education, inaugurates the last vestige of metaphysical logic in Western educational philosophy. This rise in the importance of the will in progressive education is coterminous with the increasing nihilism of a technological age, where meaning is reduced to the individual’s own willful self-production and self-reliance. As such, Rousseau’s emphasis on the will is less a solution and more of an internal problem of what Heidegger refers to as technological “enframing”. As an alternative to the discourse and practice of the willful pursuit of self-cultivation and self-reliance, I turn to Giorgio Agamben’s theory of study. In the act of studying, the studier does not engage in willful production but rather, is more open to receive the potentiality of what remains in a nihilistic age.