Bildung as democratic opinion and will formation: Habermas beyond Habermas

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Considering citizenship education specifically in relation to deliberative politics, first, I focus on the role that Habermas in Between Facts and Norms allots to opinion and will formation as a kind of Bildung, emphasizing the collective aspect of discursive formation in the state as well as in civil society. Secondly, even though I have stressed the crucial role of deliberation in the formation to virtue, I recognize that Habermas attempts to combine the republican call for civic virtue with the liberal claims to have rights. Thirdly, I emphasize that also for Habermas Bildung in some sense constitutes the truth of human being, although it is not specified in detail. Fourthly, I argue that democratic citizenship education would benefit from a substantial notion of Bildung, but that Habermas does not support such an argument. Recognizing that Habermas’s idea of collective formation is restricted to providing justice in terms of politics and law, and bearing in mind the alienation in fact produced within the multitudes of modern capitalist and militarist society, I conclude by expressing the fear that Habermas’s account of democratic formation will not be sufficiently attractive to contemporary democratic citizens and thus unable to function as a normative ideal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking ethical-political education
EditorsTorill Strand
Number of pages15
Place of publicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Publication year30 Jul 2020
Pages137-151
Chapter9
ISBN (print)978-3-030-49523-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-49524-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020
SeriesContemporary Philosophies and theories in Education
Volume16

    Research areas

  • Philosophy of Education, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of law, Ethics education, Bildung/liberal education

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