The Gleam of Light: Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson (American Philosophy)

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9780823224630: The Gleam of Light: Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson (American Philosophy)

In the name of efficiency, the practice of education has come to be dominated by neoliberal ideology and
procedures of standardization and quantification. Such attempts to make all aspects of practice transparent and subject to systematic accounting lack sensitivity to the invisible and the silent, to something in the human
condition that cannot readily be expressed in an either-or form. Seeking alternatives to such trends, Saito reads
Dewey’s idea of progressive education through the lens of Emersonian moral perfectionism (to borrow a term coined by Stanley Cavell). She elucidates a spiritual and aesthetic dimension to Dewey’s notion of growth, one considerably richer than what Dewey alone presents in his typically scientific terminology.

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About the Author:

Naoko Saito is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Kyoto. She is the author of The Gleam of Light: Moral Perfectionism and Education in Dewey and Emerson.

Review:

Saito has written an important book with a remarkable educational implication: We should educate every individual to grow by recognizing their unique gleam of light in self-transcendent relation with others different from ourselves while recognizing the Over-Soul sustains us all. (―Teachers College Record)

[A] spirited inquiry . . . (―Studies in Philosophy and Education)

. . . Exemplifies a vision of education as cooperative inquiry in which heterogenous voices resound yet experiential authority in its full force operates. (―Journal of Philosophy of Education)

A provocative book that will be of value to all who care about Emerson, Dewey, and what they have to say about education. (―David Hansen Philosophy of Education Society)

Saito's elegantly written book is a meditation on what she regards as a crisis of nihilism affecting modern democratic life, especially education. (―Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook)

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