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  • 1.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Finding Fictionalism, or Fictionalism Finding Me2024Ingår i: PESA Agora, nr ColumnsArtikel i tidskrift (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
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  • 2.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Plato's Republic as Expedient Fiction2024Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    While it is well known that Plato’s Republic contains arguments both for and against the use of fictions in education (376e–398b), it is less widely recognized (at least in an educational context) that the entire premise of the Republic is a fictional endeavor set up to arrive at the truth of justice in itself. This, in fact, corresponds well with Hans Vaihinger’s conception of the purpose of an expedient fiction, being a fiction that is specifically geared at facilitating the process of truth-striving. As such, this paper argues that the Republic is best read as an expedient fiction, constructed so as to render the truth of justice within grasp of the understanding of the less-than-fully rational (i.e., ordinary) reader.

  • 3.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Rousseau's Lawgiver as Teacher of Peoples: Investigating the Educational Preconditions of the Social Contract2024Ingår i: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper argues that Rousseau’s lawgiver is best thought of as a fictional teacher of peoples. It is fictional as it reflects an idea that is entertained despite its contradictory nature, and it is contradictory in the sense that it describes ‘an undertaking beyond human strength and, to execute it, an authority that amounts to nothing’ (II.7; 192). Rousseau conceives of the social contract as a necessary device for enabling the transferal of individual power to the body politic, for subsuming individual wills under the general will, and for aligning the good of the individual with the common good. For the social contract to be valid, however, it needs to be preceded by a desire to belong to a moral community that can induce people to join willingly, and that will grant legitimacy to the laws established. If the social contract is the machinery that makes the body politic function, the lawgiver is ‘the mechanic who invents the machine’ (II.7; 191). In this paper we will look closer at the pedagogical functions of Rousseau’s mythical lawgiver by first examining the relationship between the social contract, the general will and the lawgiver. Then, we aim to flesh out a pedagogical understanding of the figure of the lawgiver by way of the two educational dimensions of accommodation and transformation. Finally, we will argue for the importance of understanding Rousseau’s lawgiver as a fictional device allowing for the fundamental and enduring educational task of balancing between the preservation and renewal of society.

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  • 4.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza et ‘l’exemplarisme’ en matière d’éducation2024Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [fr]

    On trouve chez Spinoza deux types de modèles (peut-être s’agit-il d’ailleurs de deux interprétations différentes de ce qui correspondrait le mieux à l’idée que Spinoza se fait d’un modèle). En observant et en comparant ces deux types de modèles, on pourrait conclure que l’un est pertinent d’un point de vue pédagogique, et que l’autre ne l’est pas (ou bien moins). Curieusement, celui qui n’est pas pertinent d’un point de vue pédagogique ressemble beaucoup au modèle promu par la tradition néo-aristotélicienne, à savoir une personne digne d’admiration. Dans cette tradition, l’admiration est censée être déclenchée par des individus au comportement vertueux. Ces modèles sont perçus comme suprêmement admirablesparce que moralement infaillibles. Chez Spinoza, ce premier type de modèle est introduit sous la forme de « modèle de la nature humaine » (à savoir, de l’homme libre / homo liber) dans la Quatrième Partie de l’Éthique (de la proposition 66 à la proposition 72). L’autre type de modèle est faillible mais applicable en pratique en ce qu’il est affectivement en phase avec l’imagination des personnes auxquelles il s’adresse. Ce deuxième type apparaît dans le Traité Théologico-Politique, sous la forme de la dualité des« Prophètes » et des « Docteurs ». Dans cet exposé, mon objectif sera cependant de laisser de côté cettedeuxième conception du modèle pour tenter d’étudier ce qui est pédagogiquement intéressant dans les modèles et dans l’exemplarité elle-même, pour ce qui concerne l’adaptation des récits collectifs, la dynamique entre l’imagination et la raison, et l’importance pédagogique d’être en phase avec les dispositions affectives, c’est-à-dire avec l’ingenium de celui à qui l’on s’adresse.

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  • 5.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    The Pedagogy of "As If"2024Ingår i: Educational Theory, ISSN 0013-2004, E-ISSN 1741-5446, Vol. 74, nr 2Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper Johan Dahlbeck sets out to propose a pedagogy of “as if,” seeking to address the educational paradox of how students can be influenced to approximate a life guided by reason without assuming that they are already sufficiently rational to adhere to dictates of practical reason. He does so by outlining a fictionalist account, drawing primarily on Hans Vaihinger's systematic treatment of heuristic fictions and on Spinoza's ideas about how passive affects can be made to strengthen reason. Dahlbeck suggests that such an account can help us overcome the problem of assuming that reason needs to be enlisted as an instrument in the educational endeavor to live according to the guidance of reason. The reason this is so is that fictions can use passive affects that are prosocial and that thereby strengthen the sense of community necessary for laying a cooperative foundation for successful joint striving. Dahlbeck suggests further that exemplary teachers are crucial to this endeavor insofar as they can offer educational fictions as imaginative and temporary placeholders for the truth, allowing students to act “as if” they were already guided by reason.

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  • 6.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Educating the ingenium: Spinoza, plurality, and the imitation of affects2023Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a social and political dimension to Spinoza’s theory of affects that is important to highlight for educational purposes. Because all people are always in part passionate (i.e., determined to act by causes that are external to them), it makes no sense to assume that empowerment is ever an entirely individual affair. On the contrary, Spinoza contends that if people want to become more active and more empowered, they need to join with others who are striving for the same thing. Accordingly, ‘the good which everyone who seeks virtue wants for himself, he also desires for other men’ (E4p27d). There are two upshots to this idea that can be addressed in terms of practical (educational) questions. First, it demands that we find out more about how people can be influenced to want the same thing. Second, it means that we need to look closer at how passivity can help bring about activity. Because different people have different ingenium (i.e., affective constitution) it is not a straightforward thing to assume that we would all naturally strive for something similar. At bottom, we all want to become more empowered, but what we take to be empowering may differ widely depending on our past experiences and our culturally encoded patterns of association. The educational concern at the heart of this matter is therefore bound up with the question of how different people can be made to strive for the same thing so as to help them flourish, individually as well as collectively. 

  • 7.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Fictionalism: The Art of Teaching Truth Disguised as Lies2023Bok (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Fictionalism confronts the dual epistemological nature of education. In this book, Johan Dahlbeck argues that all education, at bottom, concerns a striving for truth initiated through fictions. This foundational aporia is then interrogated and made sense of via Hans Vaihinger’s philosophy of ‘as if’ and Spinoza’s peculiar form of exemplarism. Using a variety of fictional examples, Dahlbeck investigates the different dimensions of educational fictionalism, from teacher exemplarism to the basic educational fictions necessary for getting started in education in the first place. Fictionalism will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the philosophical foundations of education.

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  • 8.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Rousseau's lawgiver as a pedagogical fiction2023Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay, we argue that Rousseau’s lawgiver is best thought of as a pedagogical fiction. It is fictional as it reflects an idea that is entertained despite its contradictory nature, and it is contradictory in the sense that it describes “an undertaking beyond human strength and, to execute it, an authority that amounts to nothing” (II.7; 192). Rousseau conceives of the social contract as a necessary device for enabling the transferal of individual power to the body politic, for subsuming individual wills under the general will, and for aligning the good of the individual with the common good. For the social contract to be valid, however, it needs to be preceded by a desire to belong to a moral community that can induce people to join willingly, and that will grant legitimacy to the laws established. If the social contract is the machinery that makes the body politic function, the lawgiver is “the mechanic who invents the machine” (II.7; 191). In this paper we will look closer at the pedagogical functions of Rousseau’s mythical lawgiver by first examining the relationship between the social contract, the general will and the lawgiver. Then, we aim to flesh out a pedagogical understanding of the figure of the lawgiver by way of the two educational dimensions of accommodation and transformation. Finally, we will argue for the importance of understanding Rousseau’s lawgiver as a fictional device allowing for the fundamental and enduring educational task of balancing between the preservation and renewal of society. 

  • 9.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Som om vi visste vad vi gjorde: En pedagogisk-filosofisk betraktelse över relationen mellan sanning och fiktion2023Ingår i: Pedagogik som vetenskap: en inbjudan / [ed] Mattias Nilsson Sjöberg, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2023, 2, s. 59-69Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 10.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    The educational fiction of agential control: some preliminiary notes on a pedagogy of ’as if'2023Ingår i: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 55, nr 1, s. 100-110Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the rift between the teacher’s sense of self as a causal agent and the experience of being in lack of control in the classroom, by way of Hans Vaihinger’s philosophy of ‘as if.’ It is argued that understanding agential control in terms of a valuable educational fiction—a practical (ethical) fiction in Vaihinger’s vocabulary—can offer a way of bridging this rift and can help teachers make sense of the tension between their felt need to strive for control and their experience of suffering from lack of control. A fiction, it is argued, is different from an illusion in that fictions can be affirmed without being believed. Unlike illusions, valuable fictions can be recognized as fictions and still retain some of their affective power over us, thereby allowing us to act ‘as if.’ In education, this is helpful as it means that we can make use of valuable fictions without assuming that these have to be protected from the critical gaze of non-believers. In fact, we can openly acknowledge that we rely on fictions as this is part and parcel of being a human being with a limited cognitive ability.

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  • 11.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Author-Meets-Critics: Johan Dahlbeck, Spinoza: Fiction and Manipulation in Civic Education (Springer)2022Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This book is a philosophical enquiry into the educational consequences of Spinoza’s political theory. Spinoza’s political theory is of particular interest for educational thought as it brings together the normative aims of his ethical theory with his realistic depiction of human psychology and the ramifications of this for successful political governance. As such, the book aims to introduce the reader to Spinoza’s original vision of civic education, as a project that ultimately aims at the ethical flourishing of individuals, while being carefully tailored and adjusted to the natural limitations of human reason. This author-meets-critics includes scholars in philosophy, education and Spinoza studies.

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  • 12.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Confessions of a causal determinist, or some preliminary notes on a pedagogy of 'as if'2022Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper addresses the rift between the teacher’s sense of self as a causal agent and the experience of being in lack of control in the classroom, by way of Hans Vaihinger’s philosophy of ‘as if.’ It is argued that understanding agential control in terms of a valuable fiction—a practical (ethical) fiction in Vaihinger’s vocabulary—can offer a way of bridging this rift and can help teachers make sense of the tension between their felt need to strive for control and their experience of suffering from lack of control. A fiction, it is argued, is different from an illusion in that fictions can be affirmed without being believed. Unlike illusions, valuable fictions can be recognized as fictions and still retain some of their affective power over us, thereby allowing us to act ‘as if.’ In education, this is helpful as it means that we can make use of valuable fictions without assuming that these have to be protected from the critical gaze of non-believers. In fact, we can openly acknowledge that we rely on fictions as this is part and parcel of being a human being with a limited cognitive ability. 

  • 13.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Den pedagogiska filosofins återkomst?2022Ingår i: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 27, nr 2, s. 167-169Artikel i tidskrift (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
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  • 14.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Satan as teacher: the view from nowhere vs. the moral sense2022Ingår i: Ethics and Education, ISSN 1744-9642, E-ISSN 1744-9650, Vol. 17, nr 1, s. 14-29Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    To what extent should teachers promote the view from nowhere as an ideal to strive for in education? To address this question, I will use Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger as an example, illustrating the stakes involved when the view from nowhere is taken to be an attainable educational ideal. I will begin this essay by offering a description of Thomas Nagel’s view from nowhere. Having done this, I will return to Twain’s story, providing some further examples of how access to the view from nowhere comes to influence the educational process in different ways. I will then connect the educational question raised by Twain’s story to two radically different versions of the exemplar found in the works of Benedict de Spinoza: the philosopher and the prophet. These figures will help illustrate how the striving for philosophical truth can sometimes be educationally inapt, as education always needs to account for humans being human, all too human.

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    Satan as teacher
  • 15.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Transformative gestures2022Ingår i: Theory and Research in Education, ISSN 1477-8785, E-ISSN 1741-3192, Vol. 20, nr 1, s. 105-111Artikel, recension (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Douglas Yacek’s recent book The Transformative Classroom proposes a useful aspirational model of transformative education. In this critical commentary, I review this model and suggest that while it succeeds in overcoming some ethical shortcomings of other dominant models of transformative education, I would like to suggest that focusing on more subtle transformative gestures could have the benefit of being less dependent of the teacher’s intention to transform and of being less constrained by the expectation that transformation should take place primarily in the classroom. When transformation is conceived as an educational fiction, it may be conceived as a retroactive experience constructed around memories of the teacher’s transformative gestures, thereby adding to Yacek’s aspirational model by allowing for transformation to continue beyond the walls of the classroom.

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  • 16.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Entrepreneurial learning and the merging of progressive and economic ideals2021Ingår i: The Impacts of Neoliberal Discourse and Language in Education: Critical Perspectives on a Rhetoric of Equality, Well-Being, and Justice / [ed] Mitja Sardoč, Routledge, 2021, s. 86-99Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter we use the Swedish example of entrepreneurial learning as a springboard to discuss the curious alliance between student-centered progressive education and the economization of education. In doing so we wish to highlight the effects of this alliance on the relationship between teaching and learning and, consequently, on the teacher-student relation. In order to do this, we will first examine the conditions for the economization of contemporary education, and its impact on the teacher-student relation. Having done so, we will turn to progressive education, examining the link between the ideal of student-centeredness and the economization of the role of the student, as well as looking closer at the contradictory figure of the entrepreneurial teacher. The chapter concludes with a discussion on some inherent tensions visible in entrepreneurial learning, being at once an effect of the economization of education and a pedagogical project firmly rooted in progressive ideals. 

  • 17.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Indoktrinering som pedagogiskt verktyg2021Ingår i: Skola och samhälle, ISSN 2001-6727, nr 2021-03-11Artikel i tidskrift (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [sv]

    Utbildning handlar i stor utsträckning om att förmedla kollektiva berättelser som å ena sidan är engagerande och intresseväckande och å andra sidan skildrar världen vi lever i på ett relevant sätt. Här kan den tidiga moderna politiska filosofins insikter kring indoktrinering som politiskt styrmedel vara något att dra lärdomar av, menar utbildningsforskaren Johan Dahlbeck.

  • 18.
    Lilja, Peter
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Lärarskap: en essä om vad det innebär att vara lärare2021Ingår i: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 26, nr 4, s. 127-140Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Detta är en essä om hur vi bättre kan förstå vad det innebär att vara lärare. Den tar avstamp i en aktuell skoldebatt om vilka uppgifter som egentligen ingår i lärares arbete och vad det betyder att vara lärare. Diskussionen om vad det innebär att vara lärare utgår i regel från att undervisning är kärnan i lärares arbete, men undervisningsbegreppet i sig är sällan föremål för diskussion. I denna essä gör vi en filosofisk undersökning av undervisningsbegreppet utifrån ett antal kriterier som vi menar vara centrala för att förstå den pedagogiska relationens olika roller. Vi föreslår begreppet lärarskap som beteckning för lärares liv och arbete.  

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    Lärarskap
  • 19.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza: Fiction and Manipulation in Civic Education2021Bok (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This book is a philosophical enquiry into the educational consequences of Spinoza’s political theory. Spinoza’s political theory is of particular interest for educational thought as it brings together the normative aims of his ethical theory with his realistic depiction of human psychology and the ramifications of this for successful political governance. As such, this book aims to introduce the reader to Spinoza’s original vision of civic education, as a project that ultimately aims at the ethical flourishing of individuals, while being carefully tailored and adjusted to the natural limitations of human reason. Readers will benefit from a succinct introduction to Spinoza’s political philosophy and from an account of civic education that is based on careful exegetical work. It draws conclusions only hinted at in Spinoza’s own writings.

  • 20.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza on ingenium and exemplarity: Some consequences for educational theory2021Ingår i: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 40, s. 1-21Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article turns to the neglected pedagogical concept of ingenium in order to address some shortcomings of the admiration-emulation model of Linda Zabzebski’s influential exemplarist moral theory. I will start by introducing the problem of the admiration-emulation model by way of a fictional example. I will then briefly outline the concept of ingenium such as it appears in a Renaissance context, looking particularly at the pedagogical writings of Juan Luis Vives (1492/3–1540). This will set the stage for the next part, look- ing at how early modern philosopher Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677) adopts a Vivesian notion of ingenium, adjusting it so as to fit into the setting of his political theory. Next, I will turn to Spinoza’s use of the concept of ingenium in relation to his portrayal of exemplary persons, offering a pedagogical model of moral exemplarism that can counter same of the perceived problems of the admiration-emulation model as it highlights the necessary fallibility of efficient exemplars as well as acknowledges the socio-political dimension of emotions. Finally, I will lay out some preliminary consequences for educational theory, hoping to offer a way of reconciling moral exemplarism with a more realistic pedagogical and psychological framework.

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  • 21.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza on the teaching of doctrines: towards a positive account of indoctrination2021Ingår i: Theory and Research in Education, ISSN 1477-8785, E-ISSN 1741-3192, Vol. 19, nr 1, s. 78-99Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to add to the debate on the normative status and legitimacy of indoctrination in education by drawing on the political philosophy of Benedict Spinoza (1632–1677). More specifically, I will argue that Spinoza’s relational approach to knowledge formation and autonomy, in light of his understanding of the natural limitations of human cognition, provides us with valuable hints for staking out a more productive path ahead for the debate on indoctrination. This article combines an investigation into the early modern history of political ideas with a philosophical inquiry into a persistent conceptual problem residing at the heart of education. As such, the aim of the article is ultimately to offer an account of indoctrination less fraught with the dangers of epistemological and political idealism that often haunt rival conceptions.

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    Spinoza on the Teaching of Doctrines
  • 22.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    At the wake, or the return of metaphysics2020Ingår i: What Comes After Postmodernism in Educational Theory? / [ed] Michael A. Peters, Marek Tesar, Liz Jackson & Tina Besley, Routledge, 2020Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
  • 23.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Berättelsens kraft: Om etiska samtal i utbildning2020Ingår i: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 25, nr 4, s. 61-76Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna essä är en pedagogisk-filosofisk betraktelse över hur berättelser kan användas för att initiera etiska samtal i utbildning. Den tar spjärn emot idéer om att etisk kunskap bäst grundas hos barn och unga genom undervisning av etiska principer eller genom att träna etiskt beteende och framhåller istället styrkan i att tillsammans med barn och unga utforska berättelser som engagerar känslor och fantasi men som samtidigt kan leda in i ett djupare etiskt samtal utan på förhand givna svar.

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    Berättelsens kraft
  • 24.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Education, illusions and valuable fictions2020Ingår i: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, E-ISSN 1467-9752, Vol. 54, nr 1, s. 214-234Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Saul Smilansky’s Illusionism suggests that some false beliefs are important enough to warrant the indefinite perpetuation of illusions in order to protect the larger moral community from breaking down. In this article I suggest that this position actualises an old educational paradox where education is expected to protect the common moral community (even if this means maintaining some illusions), and at the same time promote the pursuit of truth. Taking Smilansky’s position of Illusionism as a starting point, I argue that while Illusionism highlights and addresses an important problem—that sometimes false beliefs can function to maintain social stability where the truth threatens to unsettle it—relying on indefinite illusions is problematic from an educational point of view. It is difficult to justify that education, being at least in part motivated by truth-seeking, should (or even could) be grounded in illusion. Taking seriously the fact that a dimension of education concerns maintaining social stability, I suggest that Spinoza’s notion of fiction can complement Smilansky’s view in that it can be conceived in terms of an instrument for maintaining social stability and promoting truth-seeking without assuming that one end is pursued at the expense of the other.

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    fulltext
  • 25.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Korsgaard, Morten Timmermann
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Introduction: the role of the exemplar in Arendt and Spinoza: Insights for moral exemplarism and moral education2020Ingår i: Ethics and Education, ISSN 1744-9642, E-ISSN 1744-9650, Vol. 15, nr 2, s. 135-143Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In late October of 2019, we brought together scholars from very different traditions in order to explore the notion of exemplarity and the role of exemplars in education. Bringing together scholars working on ethics and moral exemplarism, Spinoza scholars and Arendt scholars, we attempted to bring these different perspectives to bear on the role of exemplarity in education. Not in order to create a synthesis of ideas or to find solutions for practical issues, but in order to explore collegially the important issue of exemplarity in education. On the one hand, it was an attempt to put something on the table, and on the other, it was an attempt to bring people together in order to share a couple of days away from everyday academic life so as to engage the object of study without distractions. Part of what it occasioned can be read in this special issue.

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    Introduction: the role of the exemplar in Arendt and Spinoza
  • 26.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza on ingenium and exemplarity: some consequences for educational theory2020Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
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    Spinoza on ingenium and exemplarity
  • 27.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barndom, utbildning och samhälle (BUS).
    De Lucia Dahlbeck, Moa
    School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    The moral fallibility of Spinoza's exemplars: Exploring the educational value of imperfect models of human behavior2020Ingår i: Ethics and Education, ISSN 1744-9642, E-ISSN 1744-9650, Vol. 15, nr 2, s. 260-274Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    While Spinoza stipulates an ideal moral person in the propositions on the ‘free man’ in Ethics IV, this account does not seem to be intended to function as a pedagogical tool of political relevance. Hence, it does not seem to correspond to the purpose of moral exemplarism. If we look for that kind of practical guidance, Spinoza’s political works seem more relevant. Interestingly, when we approach Spinoza’s political theory with moral exemplarism in mind, we find that instead of constructing his exemplar on the idea of a supremely moral person, he emphasizes the concept of ingenium to chisel out an imperfect model of human behavior. We argue that the purpose of this is to avoid a utopian and inefficient political theory and to work out a moral practice that is capable of assisting people and communities in ethical self-transformation.

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    The moral fallibility of Spinoza's exemplars
  • 28.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    A Teacher’s Job2019Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses a contemporary debate concerning the separation of teaching qua instruction from the social needs of students and the implications that such a bifurcation might have for the overall idea of what a teacher is. Drawing from the work of Rousseau and Arendt, our aim is to argue for the necessity of understanding education as a process of formation, and by doing so, highlighting the importance of establishing trusting intergenerational relationships. Starting with Rousseau’s conception of formation in Emile, we will illustrate how education as formation necessarily entails a process of ethical maturation guided by the educator qua self-sufficient adult. The role of the educator, in this account, moves from a passive to a gradually more active educator as Emile passes from childhood to adolescence. We will then turn to Arendt’s critique of Rousseau’s ‘negative’ education and of the subsequent modern dismantling of adult authority. Having outlined some of the continuities and tensions between Rousseau and Arendt’s understanding of formation we will end this paper by arguing for the importance of appreciating the reciprocity of the teacher-child relation in a contemporary understanding of education.

  • 29.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Free Will and Educational Research2019Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this keynote presentation I will offer some thoughts on the implications of different theories of free will and agency for educational research. In addition, I will draw on my own recent work in order to offer a Spinozistic understanding of autonomy that I believe holds some promise for investigations into the relationship between agency and education.

  • 30.
    Lilja, Peter
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    In the Absence of Adults: Generations and Formation in Hunt for the Wilderpeople2019Ingår i: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, E-ISSN 1467-9752, Vol. 53, nr 2, s. 407-424Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Taika Waititi’s recent film ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ (2016) portrays the coming-of-age of a young boy, Ricky, in a world with few recognisably responsible adults. While the film does not engage explicitly with formal education, it raises several questions central for understanding education as formation, highlighting the generational aspects of educational relations and pointing to the importance of an adult world taking responsibility for the formation and upbringing of the younger generation. Departing from a discussion on the role of formation and intergenerational relations in Rousseau and Arendt, we will draw on the film’s portrayal of an adult world in crisis in order to discuss some of its possible consequences for understanding education in terms of intergenerational relations and formation. This involves raising questions about the educational consequences of the absence of recognisably responsible adults and it involves investigating how this absence might impact our understanding of education as the formation and upbringing of educated human beings.

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  • 31. De Lucia Dahlbeck, Moa
    et al.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The moral fallibility of Spinoza’s exemplars: exploring the educational value of imperfect models of human behavior2019Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of moral exemplarism is to render moral theory practically functional. It deals with how to make virtue theories about what is good for us work, and with being able to ground one’s account of virtue in a realistic understanding of human nature and of the cognitive mechanisms that govern human action. According to Linda Zagzebski’s conception of moral exemplarism, exemplars are to be understood as ‘supremely admirable persons who show us the upper reaches of human capability, and in doing so, inspire us to expect more from ourselves’ (Zagzebski, 2017, p. 1). From the point of view of Spinoza’s philosophy, the problem with hinging a practical moral theory on the emulation of “supremely admirable persons” is that it becomes an inefficient (perhaps even counter-productive) pedagogical tool insofar as it betrays a false (highly idealized) understanding of human nature. While Spinoza extrapolates on the traits of a supremely admirable person in the propositions on the “free man” in Ethics IV, this account does not seem to be intended to function as a pedagogical tool of practical relevance. Hence, it does not seem to correspond to the purpose of moral exemplarism. If we look for that kind of practical guidance, Spinoza’s political works seem more relevant. Interestingly, when we approach Spinoza’s political theory with moral exemplarism in mind, we find that instead of constructing his exemplar on the idea of a supremely admirable person, he emphasizes the concept of ingenium to chisel out an imperfect model of human behavior. The purpose for this seems to be to avoid a utopian and inefficient political theory and to work out a moral practice that is capable of assisting people (regardless of societal context and level of understanding) in ethical self-transformation.

  • 32.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The unexpected alignment of progressive ideals and the commercialization of education in entrepreneurial learning2019Ingår i: Philosophy of Education, ISSN 8756-6575, Vol. 2017, s. 392-405Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we aim to use the Swedish example of entrepreneurship in education as a springboard to discuss the unexpected alliance between student-centered progressive education and the commercialization of schools. In doing so we wish to highlight the effects of this alliance on the relationship between teaching and learning and, consequently, on the teacher-student relation. In order to do this, we will first examine the conditions for the commercialization of contemporary education, and its impact on the teacher-student relation. We will then turn to progressive education, and examine the curious link between the ideal of student-centeredness and the economization of the role of the student. The article will conclude with a discussion on some inherent tensions visible in entrepreneurial learning, being at once an effect of the commercialization of schools and a pedagogical project firmly rooted in progressive ideals.

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  • 33.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    At the Wake, or the Return of Metaphysics2018Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    We have all been told of the death of grand narratives. We have been told that the days of asking eternal metaphysical questions in philosophy are long since over. When Wittgenstein’s (1953/2009) famous spade hit bedrock it reminded us that we had better stop wasting our time on lofty questions without answers. Foucault (1970) prompted us to recall Borges’ story of a certain Chinese encyclopedia showing us that there are many ways of ordering the world and that each way changes the rules of the game a little bit. We found that history was contingent and that hierarchies, however firmly built, would all crumble in the end. In its place were the slightly disorienting feeling following the postmodernist’s proclamation of ‘the elusiveness of meaning and knowledge’ (Kirby, 2017). It turned out that the metaphysical questions of old were not so easily abandoned after all. While we might turn a blind eye to them we are still bound to them by our tacit presuppositions and they still tend to lurk in the shadow of our every endeavor to rethink the old. Educational philosophy is in need of a direction as it is always aimed at some kind of change. Metaphysical assumptions can provide us with a direction. If we assume a capacity of free will, education can achieve certain ends, and if we assume that free will is a myth then education needs to abandon certain claims and stake out new paths. Both assumptions may be valid but they will result in very different understandings of what education is and what it can achieve. While the door opened by the postmodern skepticism of eternal truths cannot be closed, it may be that we can benefit from acknowledging our need for addressing our most basic metaphysical assumptions without unlearning the lesson of postmodernism. Like Foucault’s encounter with the Chinese encyclopedia, we might find joy in revisiting the lost traditions of the past without assuming that they can salvage us from the perils of our future. The postmodern doubt not only shook things up, but it helped us see that we always rely on something, whether we know it or not. Rather than tear down the great structure of metaphysics once and for all, it helped reveal that the questions we ask always betray some kind of metaphysical assumption. Seeing this, we can return to the great metaphysical questions a little less innocent than before.

  • 34.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    At the Wake, or the Return of Metaphysics2018Ingår i: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 50, nr 14, s. 1462-1463Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    We have all been told of the death of grand narratives. We have been told that the days of asking eternal metaphysical questions in philosophy are long since over. When Wittgenstein’s (1953/2009, p. 174) famous spade hit bedrock it reminded us that we had better stop wasting our time on lofty questions without answers. Foucault (1970) prompted us to recall Borges’story of a certain Chinese encyclopedia showing us that there are many ways of ordering the world and that each way changes the rules of the game a little bit. We found that history was contingent and that hierarchies, however firmly built, would all crumble in the end. In its place were the slightly disorienting feeling following the postmodernist’s proclamation of ‘the elusiveness of meaning and knowledge’ (Kirby, 2017, p. 5).

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    FULLTEXT01
  • 35.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Becoming Virtuous: Character Education and the Problem of Free Will2018Ingår i: International Handbook of Philosophy of Education / [ed] Paul Smeyers, Springer, 2018, s. 921-936Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    How can we reconcile the fact that in order to act virtuously we appear to need to refer to the concept of a free will, while, at the same time, there are convincing philosophical arguments (aligned with a contemporary scientific understanding of natural causation) discrediting any viable notion of an unconstrained or uncaused will? Taking its cue from this important question, this chapter will proceed along the following lines. First, I aim to substantiate the link between contemporary character education and the concept of the free will so as to illustrate the interdependency between the two. Next, I will scrutinize the concept of a free will, raising some philosophical concerns about its validity in a contemporary educational context. This involves looking at the philosophical stakes involved in proposing a unique capacity to intervene with the causal order of nature. At this point, I will suggest that there is a way out of this conundrum, and I will continue by proposing a radically different understanding of the will, offered by the seventeenth century rationalist Spinoza. The chapter will close by looking at some of the practical consequences of grounding contemporary character education in a Spinozistic conception of the will.

  • 36.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Education and Free Will: Spinoza, Causal Determinism and Moral Formation2018Bok (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Education and Free Will critically assesses and makes use of Spinoza’s insights on human freedom to construe an account of education that is compatible with causal determinism without sacrificing the educational goal of increasing students’ autonomy and self-determination. Offering a thorough investigation into the philosophical position of causal determinism, Dahlbeck discusses Spinoza’s view of self-determination and presents his own suggestions for an education for autonomy from a causal determinist point of view. The book begins by outlining the free will problem in education, before expanding on a philosophical understanding of autonomy and how it is seen as an educational ideal. It considers Spinoza’s determinism and discusses his denial of moral responsibility. Later chapters consider the relationship between causal determinism and autonomy, the educational implications of understanding free will and how free will can be utilised as a valuable fiction in education. This book will be of great interest to academics and postgraduate students in the field of education, especially those with an interest in moral education and philosophy of education. It will also be of interest to those in the fields of philosophy and psychology and specifically those focusing on the free will problem, on Spinoza studies, and on the relation between moral psychology and external influence.

  • 37.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Getting the ”knack”: education as formation in Hunt for the Wilderpeople2018Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay, our point of departure is the tension between the modern idea of childhood associated with the notion of the child as being, and the idea, found in both Rousseau and Arendt, of education as formation and becoming. The idea of children as political actors has become increasingly influential within the contexts of childhood studies, educational as well as child-welfare policies. As a result, in the general understanding of the role of children in society, the conceptual boundaries between adults and children have become blurred. From the point of view of educational philosophy, this is interesting because it highlights the problematic tension between an image of the child as already complete and the foundational idea of education as a process of formation. Using Taika Waititi’s recent film Hunt for the Wilderpeople as an example we aim to illustrate some of the possible consequences of blurring the boundaries between generations and to investigate how this might impact our understanding of education as formation in the making of moral human beings.

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  • 38.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza on self-determination, the naturalised will and the ethics of the improvement of the understanding2018Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-causation, for Spinoza, is reserved for God (E1D3). Spinoza’s is a kind of self-causation that differs in some key regards from the standard interpretation of causa sui. For something to be self-caused for Spinoza does not mean that it may somehow contradict the law-like regularities of nature. It simply means that it encompasses the full causal explanation necessary for understanding and explaining why it is determined to act the way it does. God, Spinoza asserts, ’acts from the laws of his nature alone, and is compelled by no one’ (E1p17). Because Spinoza’s God is equivalent to Nature as substance (the immanent cause of all things), the laws of God’s nature are the same as the law-like regularities of nature. To act freely, then, is to act from the necessity of one’s own nature. It is not to act contrary to one’s nature as this would violate Spinoza’s definition of freedom as that ’which exists from the necessity of its nature alone, and is determined to act by itself alone’ (E1D7). The only thing that qualifies for this kind of freedom is God (E1p17c2). Everything else, whether human or otherwise, is causally determined and that ’which has been determined by God to produce an effect, cannot render itself undetermined’ (E1p27). Spinoza’s metaphysics allows for no exceptions here. Accordingly: ’In nature there is nothing contingent, but all things have been determined from the necessity of the divine nature to exist and produce an effect in a certain way’ (E1p29). This means that singular things in nature ’can neither exist nor be determined to produce an effect unless it is determined to exist and produce an effect by another cause […] and so on, to infinity’ (E1p28). Self-causation, then, is out of the picture for humans. For someone to be the cause of him- or herself would mean acting contrary to the regularities of nature. With regards to this Spinoza concludes: ’It is impossible that a man should not be a part of Nature, and that he should be able to undergo no changes except those which can be understood through his nature alone, and of which he is the adequate cause’ (E4p4). As humans we are part of nature and being part of nature means being dependent upon antecedent causes for our existence.

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  • 39.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Spinoza on the Role of the State in Education2018Ingår i: Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory / [ed] Michael A. Peters, Springer, 2018Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Is the education of citizens a private matter or is it primarily a concern for the state? Throughout the history of political and educational philosophy, this question has remained central. Different philosophers have answered the question in different ways and different periods have witnessed different ways of organizing public education in response to it. At the root of this question is another question. This question concerns how we understand the state and how we construe the relation between the state and the well-being of its citizens. How we understand the state, in turn, depends on if we consider it the natural extension of the will and striving of its individual citizens or if we consider its main purpose to be to protect its citizens from each other and from external threats.

  • 40.
    Nilsson Sjöberg, Mattias
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö universitet, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The Inadequacy of ADHD: A Philosophical Contribution2018Ingår i: Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, ISSN 1363-2752, E-ISSN 1741-2692, Vol. 23, nr 1, s. 97-108Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a widely spread diagnosis. The dominant paradigm of ADHD is biomedical where ADHD is defined as a brain disorder. At the same time, the legitimacy of the diagnosis is being questioned since it is unclear whether or not ADHD can be deemed a medical disorder in itself. The aim of this article is to critically assess the merits of understanding the diagnosis of ADHD as a medical condition defined as a brain disorder. This is being done using the seventeenth century philosopher Benedict Spinoza’s (1632–1677) notions of adequate and inadequate knowledge and his counterintuitive theory of mental health. Doing so it becomes clear that ADHD, however adequate it may seem, is founded on inadequate knowledge and that the legitimacy of the individual diagnosis should therefore be questioned on the grounds that on a long term scale it is passivizing and stigmatizing rather that liberating.

  • 41.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    A Spinozistic Model of Moral Education2017Ingår i: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 36, nr 5, s. 533-550Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Spinoza’s claim that self-preservation is the foundation of virtue makes for the point of departure of this philosophical investigation into what a Spinozistic model of moral education might look like. It is argued that Spinoza’s metaphysics places constraints on moral education insofar as an educational account would be affected by Spinoza’s denial of the objectivity of moral knowledge, his denial of the existence of free will, and of moral responsibility. This article discusses these challenges in some detail, seeking to construe a credible account of moral education based on the insight that self-preservation is not at odds with benevolence, but that the self-preservation of the teacher is instead conditioned by the intellectual deliberation of the students. However, it is also concluded that while benevolence retains an important place in Spinoza’s ethics, his causal determinism poses a severe threat to a convincing account of moral education insofar as moral education is commonly understood to involve an effort to influence the actions of students relative to some desirable goal.

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  • 42.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Education and the Free Will Problem: A Spinozist Contribution2017Ingår i: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, E-ISSN 1467-9752, Vol. 51, nr 4, s. 725-743Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this Spinozist defence of the educational promotion of students’ autonomy I argue for a deterministic position where freedom of will is deemed unrealistic in the metaphysical sense, but important in the sense that it is an undeniable psychological fact. The paper is structured in three parts. The first part investigates the concept of autonomy from different philosophical points of view, looking especially at how education and autonomy intersect. The second part focuses on explicating the philosophical position of causal determinism and it seeks to open up a way to conceive of education for autonomy without relying on the notion of free will in a metaphysical sense. The concluding part attempts to outline a Spinozistic understanding of education for autonomy where autonomy is grounded in the student's acceptance and understanding of the necessary constraints of natural causation rather than processes of self-causation.

  • 43.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The concept of authority and the Swedish educational crisis2017Ingår i: Philosophy of Education, ISSN 8756-6575, Vol. 2016, s. 318-328Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1958, Hannah Arendt published “The Crisis in Education” 1 addressing what she considered to be the poor state of contemporary American education. While the causes of this educational crisis were identified as being part of much broader processes of social and political change, education stood out as the social arena where the effects of these transformations were most obvious. The lack of authority in modern societies, in particular, was one of the most manifest symptoms of the crisis in education.. Arendt claimed that this lack of authority eroded the fundamental relation between teacher and student and the mutual trust necessary for safeguarding the social position of the teacher. In this paper, we aim to use Arendt’s concept of authority in order to diagnose a current crisis in Swedish education, and to argue that this may help us understand the role of the teacher from a perspective that is missing in the current debate on Swedish education.

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  • 44.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The egoistic teacher: educational implications of Spinoza's ethical egoism2017Ingår i: Ethics and Education, ISSN 1744-9642, E-ISSN 1744-9650, Vol. 12, nr 3, s. 304-319Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I suggest that Spinoza’s understanding of virtue and collective flourishing, rooted in his psychological and ethical egoism, offers a fresh perspective on the question of egoism in education. To this end, I suggest an understanding of the teacher as egoist, where the self-seeking of the teacher is conditioned by – and runs parallel to – the flourishing of his or her students. The understanding of the egoistic teacher is offered as a productive counter-image to the altruistic ideal in education as well as to the commonplace conception of the teacher as primarily a provider of services and the student as a consumer on an educational market.

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  • 45.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The egoistic teacher: educational implications of Spinoza's psychological egoism2017Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I suggest that Spinoza’s understanding of virtue and collective flourishing, rooted in his psychological and ethical egoism, offers a fresh perspective on the question of egoism in education. To this end, I suggest an understanding of the teacher as egoist, where the self-seeking of the teacher is conditioned by – and runs parallel to – the flourishing of his or her students. The understanding of the egoistic teacher is offered as a productive counter- image to the altruistic ideal in education critically discussed by Chris Higgins (2003; 2011) as well as to the conception of the teacher as primarily a provider of services and the student as a consumer on an educational market.

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  • 46.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    The Unexpected Alignment of Progressive Ideals and the Commercialization of Education in Entrepreneurial Learning2017Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we aim to use the Swedish example of entrepreneurship in education as a springboard to discuss the unexpected alliance between student-centered progressive education and the commercialization of schools. In doing so we wish to highlight the effects of this alliance on the relationship between teaching and learning and, consequently, on the teacher-student relation. In order to do this, we will first examine the conditions for the commercialization of contemporary education, and its impact on the teacher-student relation. Having done so, we will turn to progressive education, examining the curious link between the ideal of student-centeredness and the economization of the role of the student. The paper will conclude with a discussion on some inherent tensions visible in entrepreneurial learning, being at once an effect of the commercialization of schools and a pedagogical project firmly rooted in progressive ideals.

  • 47.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Against ressentiment: response to Mackenzie2016Ingår i: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 48, nr 9, s. 943-945Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    First off I would like to thank the editors of this journal for allowing me this space to respond to Jim Mackenzie’s ‘Dahlbeck and pure ontology’ (written in reply to my ‘Towards a pure ontology’). I would also like to thank Mackenzie for taking the time to read and to respond at length to my article. I’m pleased Mackenzie engaged with my article so intensely. In response, I will not quibble—word by word—with Mackenzie’s vigorous attack upon my work. I think curious readers should read it for themselves. Here, I would like to focus upon the larger issues and assumptions at play in our debate.

  • 48.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Character Education and Ethical Egoism: Spinoza on Self-preservation as the Foundation of Virtue2016Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, character education and virtue ethics have undergone a form of renaissance in the philosophy of education (Sanderse, 2015). Virtue and character are Aristotelian notions that amount to key components of an ethical life. The Aristotelian conception of the highest good to strive toward (in life as well as in education) is expressed through the notion of eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is commonly taken to denote a form of happiness in the sense of a life well lived or a flourishing life. This form of happiness is construed as an end in itself and it is therefore also reasonable to posit eudaimonia as the end-goal of character education. Consequently, character education may be said to aim at ‘the formation of somebody’s character, which accommodates a whole range of virtues and in which cognition and emotion ideally form a unity’ (p. 383). Early modern rationalist Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1670) is a largely neglected philosopher in the context of the philosophy of education. In part, this can be explained by the fact that Spinoza never wrote any texts addressing education explicitly. This neglect is regrettable, however, since Spinoza offers a profound ethical theory – firmly grounded in his metaphysical system – raising important questions relevant for contemporary moral education. In his posthumously published magnum opus, the Ethics (first published in 1677), Spinoza writes that ‘[t]he striving to preserve oneself is the first and only foundation of virtue’ (4p22c). This conception of virtue has led Spinoza scholars to conclude that Spinoza is best read as an ethical and psychological egoist (e.g. Nadler, 2013). As Genevieve Lloyd points out, this means that for Spinoza ‘[s]elf-seeking – traditionally opposed to rational virtue – now becomes its foundation’ (1996, p. 9). At the same time, Spinoza’s ethical theory is often described in terms of a form of eudaimonistic ethics, highlighting the importance of developing a virtuous character for reaching a state of happiness or human flourishing (Kisner, 2011). This paper proposes an outline of a form of character education based on Spinoza’s ethical egoism, arguing that the self-preservation of the teacher is the main motivation for the Spinozistic teacher. Since the self-preservation of the teacher is conditioned by the moral development of the students – by virtue of Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of the affects – this, however, requires a reciprocal set-up, where the student is emulating the teacher (as role model) so that the teacher, in turn, may emulate his or her students. The paper closes by considering how a Spinozistic character education can facilitate the escape from bondage – for teacher and students alike. Method This paper makes for a philosophical discussion engaging with relevant parts of Spinoza's moral theory. It also draws from recent contributions discussing the pros and cons of Aristotelian character education so as to be able to investigate how a Spinozistically conceived model of character education could serve to address some perceived shortcomings of an Aristotelian model. Expected Outcomes A Spinozistic model of character education is centered on furthering the self-preservation of the teacher and students alike. Since the self-preservation of one is conditioned by the self-preservation of the other, this egoistic striving is greatly benefited by benevolence and friendship. Successful self-preservation is the foundation of virtue and the means to this end are construed as anything that empowers us. What empowers us most, however, is an adequate understanding of ourselves and our marginal place in the world which is why this kind of knowledge is the object of a Spinozistic character education. To gain this kind of knowledge requires practical experimentation, as we need to find out individually how different things affect us so as to get more information about our affective capabilities. It is greatly benefited, however, by being guided by general dictates of reason making sure that we strive for things that really do empower us rather than things that are only seemingly good for us. Moreover, a Spinozistic character education is guided by a strong sense of community insofar as the things that benefit our striving to persevere the most are available to all and can be enjoyed by all equally. This means that there is no reason to compete over the good, but instead, all the more reason to help others strive for it since the striving of others like me will benefit me in my own striving (4p18s). This amounts to a model of character education that is unhampered by the problematic notion of a free will and that can combine a strong sense of eudaimonism with a constructivist understanding of moral values.

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  • 49.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Educating for immortality: Spinoza and the pedagogy of gradual existence2016Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This article begins with the question: What is it to live? It is argued that, from a Spinozistic perspective, to live is not an either/or kind of matter. The educational problem, emanating from this, concerns the tension between Spinoza's necessitarianism and the overall goal of education. In addressing these problems, this paper marks an attempt to present a pedagogization of the degrees of existence in Spinoza.

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  • 50.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Fakulteten för lärande och samhälle (LS), Institutionen för barn, unga och samhälle (BUS).
    Naturens ansikten2016Ingår i: Studier i Pædagogisk Filosofi, E-ISSN 2244-9140, Vol. 5, nr 2Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the moral underpinnings of education for sustainable development by studying the humanization of nature in contemporary teaching materials. To this end, Spinoza’s and Freud’s naturalistic psychological accounts – suggesting, among other things, that the human psychological constitution tends to further a reversed sense of causality – are invoked as resources for explaining the image of nature as portrayed in education for sustainable development. It is argued that the examples looked at rely on two problematic assumptions: (1) that there exists a metaphysical gulf between humanity and nature, and (2) that natural forces, like humans, act intentionally and therefore appear to be motivated by an underlying, albeit seemingly unexplainable, sense of teleology. To conclude, the humanization of nature in education for sustainable development is taken to make for a potential democratic problem insofar as the image of nature may be conceived as a powerful instrument for governing the everyday lives of people. That is, being able to influence the humanized image of nature also implies having a degree of influence over the ways that people live.

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