On comparative inquiry: the ancient Greek origins

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The paper explores the origins of comparative studies, which as it argues are located in Ancient Greece. Greece is not only the place where the school was born, but it is also there where the interest in and inquiry of the institutions of other societies, including education, emerged. The rise of self‐reflexivity and self-questioning in the Greek polis gave also rise to the genuine interest in the institutions of the cultural ‘other’. Impartiality in the study of the others’ institutions started in Greece and it was closely associated with the signification that physis (nature) should be distinguished from nomos (law, convention or institution). This led to the understanding that as the Greeks had their own institutions, so did the others. The study of the other society thus became for the Greeks a matter of curiosity, of interest in knowing for the sake of knowing, but also a matter of getting to know better their own society through comparison. Cross-cultural examination in this regard informed further the Greeks’ self-reflexivity. By going through a set of historical sources and contemporary literature, the paper will elaborate on the emergence of cross-cultural and comparative inquiry in Ancient Greece – a discussion which may allow for further reflections on the theoretical premises of comparative education today.
Udgivelsesår11 jun. 2014
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 11 jun. 2014
BegivenhedCESE conference: overning Educational Spaces: Knowledge, Teaching, and Learning in Transition - University of Education Freiburg, Freiburg, Tyskland
Varighed: 11 jun. 201414 jun. 2014
Konferencens nummer: XXV


KonferenceCESE conference: overning Educational Spaces: Knowledge, Teaching, and Learning in Transition
LokationUniversity of Education Freiburg

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