The Loss of Aura in EducationReportar como inadecuado

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Philosophical Studies in Education, v46 p101-110 2015

The allegory of the cave illustrates one of the central problems in philosophy: the gap between reality as it appears to be and the reality in itself. The allegory of prisoners in the cave, as opposed to being free out of the cave, symbolizes the gap between illusion and truth--between the thing and the thing in itself. The moment of getting out of the cave is an educative act, a unique moment of illumination that requires one's action toward awareness. Benjamin interprets the unique moment of experience as "aura". In his essay "The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility," Benjamin elucidates the disappearance of aura as a result of technological progress that entails social reproduction. His analysis focuses on the sociological and cultural aspects of the changes in human experience that are a result of technological and socio-economical processes. Since Benjamin's essay, the influence of technology has increased, becoming an integral part of everyday life. While Benjamin portrayed the influences of the revolution of the camera on human perception, people currently live in a cyber-world in which individuals, at least in the western world, have become increasingly more dependent on digital technology. It is suggested that digital technology has changed the way learners perceive information--the unique moment of appreciating an experience is missed. Rather, technology offers a ready-made formula for learning that is based on standardized methods. In the first part of this paper, the author will draw on Walter Benjamin's notion of "aura," and discuss the relationship between aura and education. Then he will elaborate on the notion of reproduction by following Jean Baudrillard's concept of "simulacra." Finally, the author will examine the ramifications of globalization and consumerism on knowledge reproduction in a simulated world, following Zygmunt Bauman's analysis of globalization. The intent of the author is to argue that the decay of "aura" in education in a simulated globalized world may lead to two opposite trajectories: indoctrination or social emancipation.

Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Figurative Language, Global Approach, Commercialization, Culture, Simulation

Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:

Autor: Mamlok, Dan


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