Wednesday, December 6

In defense of philosophy, and education

The only causes worth fighting for are lost causes. Regardless of what the recent government decree on ESO expressly says or implicitly wishes to prohibit, the commotion it has caused around the subject of Philosophy, until now present in the education plans of our schools, is particularly significant. In reality, the presence is testimonial and in clear retreat for years; the color of the team that governs our battered political wanderings is irrelevant. Philosophy has never been in fashion, not even in the time of Classical Greece; then, as now, think opportune and importune without previous judgments, trying to go to the root of the issues and the reality of what happens to us, it is harmful to the health of those who do it: the lightest penalty that falls to them is social ostracism.

The philosophers, like the tribes of the Indians of the American West, walk forced towards the reservation, where the omens are not very flattering. It never ceases to amaze me that the power of realpolitik of all times it feels so bad to Philosophy; Until the patronage of Christina of Sweden, eager to know, she killed Descartes cold.

Actually, defending Philosophy is betting on a thorough education. Today the hypercognitive model prevails, (of which the aforementioned Royal Decree is but a consequence), which aspires to completely emancipate itself from all concern for values, to strengthen skills aimed at solving problems instead of knowing how to pose them.

“The School –Massimo Recalcati points out in his erotic teaching– no longer proposes knowledge as an expansion of the horizon of the world, having limited its task to providing useful tools. It is a knowing ready-to-wear, always available, which, in fact, generates mental anorexia, instead of search, effortless acquisition. The more the subject seems to detach himself from the slow practice of reading, the more he shows himself to be permanently connected with the great Other of the Network”.

The erotics of teaching consists in opening worlds, not conceived before. Producing in a vacuum makes it possible to put the creative process into practice: teaching how to see the same things in a new way. The true teachers are those who raise questions without offering ready-made answers.

According to Plato, Eros, son of Penia, indigence, and Poros, abundance, philosophizes because he is embarked on the search for wisdom. It is up to the teacher to promote the desire to travel in each of his students. It is only the love with which a teacher surrounds knowledge that makes that knowledge worthy of interest for his students, elevating it to an object capable of causing desire, for that reason, the transmission of knowledge only occurs by contagion, by testimony. Class time is unique and unrepeatable, it can only be taken very seriously, because it can change a life; a sample button is enough: to know the alphabet is to turn life into a human one, since it makes possible access to openness to the world. Like Pandora’s box, there will no longer be anyone to close that intelligence.

We all know that at the moment we think little, and not always wisely; but woe to those who do it outside the limits of changing political correctness at every moment of history. Cervantes has warned us for centuries, through the mouth of the young rogue Cortadillo before the powerful and shameless Manipodio, in his courtyard in Seville (a metaphor then and now of society):

“We are not so ignorant that it does not reach us that what the tongue says pays the gorja (: the throat), and even mercy does heaven to the daring man, for not giving him another title, who leaves his life or his death: as if he had more letters a no that a Yes!”.