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"Philosophy of Education"

2014 year, number 2

The topological problems of education and the phenomenon of social exclusion

S. A. Martynova
A. I. Gertsen Russian State Pedagogical University, 191186, Saint-Petersburg, Moika river embankment, 48, Russia
Keywords: education, social exclusion, subjectivity, ideality, the limiting experience, social rehabilitation


The specificities of contemporary philosophical reflection are connected with turning to the topographical and topological strategies of the sense genesis. Because of this, certain possibilities arise through addressing the topological point of view on education. The major attention is given to problematic comparison of various positions of sense in the situation of ‘here-and-now’. So it becomes possible for us to make an actual view to the event of education in the topos. It is important for individual socializing and education to keep memory about the space of birth and growing up; nevertheless, it is also important for the individual development to look for existential living space via coming into open social space in the processes of communication and emotional contacts. Taking into account these conditions of individual development, the author analyses the specificity of subjective growth in such situation as social exclusion. Topological strategies of reflection help us to demonstrate that the phenomenon of social exclusion marks the impossibility of using some social education strategies. The author discusses some subjective aspects of social exclusion as the most comprehensive factor for realizing education strategies. Special attention is paid to the experience of acute lack of existential foundations; this creates obstacles for optimal social communication. To discuss this problem, the author determines three major phenomena: autistic subjectivity, the phenomenon of ‘wild children’ and anesthetic subjectivity after social deprivation. In studying this phenomenon of social exclusion, the major attention is paid to exploring subjective experience of confrontation between the place of presence and the uncertainty of imagined world. Detailed exploration of this confrontation demonstrates us that this restriction of ideality in social space is one of the problems of hindered communication: the impossibility to understand the mental state of another communicating person. Thus, the topologically oriented education, in addressing the phenomenon of keeping the social isolation, encounters the problem of the imagination realization in the individual experience. The difficulties in the application of the educational models oriented to the personal interaction are explained exactly by that they are «crossed-out» by the subjective rootedness in the social alienation and the personal desire to restrict imagination. In solving these problems, there are considered some possible strategies of education and rehabilitation. A hypothesis is made that the situations presented above should be considered as a realization of a limiting state arising in the aspiration to free from uncertainty (avoiding the experience of perception of the excessive, which genetically goes up to the experience of the sublime). This aspiration manifests itself through continuation of this pressure in the implicit form. Some strategies of rehabilitation and topologically built education are developed, taking into account the subjective component of the social isolation phenomenon. These strategies presuppose a complex approach: understanding of the significance of stability in the individual experience, development of some programs of individual adaption to the existence in the uncertainty situation, increasing the significance of trust in the strategies of socialization and education, teaching the strategies of understanding and accepting the different - restoration of the internal openness to the variety and unpredictability of life impressions.