Historical and moral consciousness in the light of ethics of dissensus: One approach to handle plurality in education

Silvia Edling


In the light of current tendencies where the fear of foreigners is increasing in seemingly stably democratic societies. This paper aims to revive the presence of the body as a central condition and experience for human interaction. The body as an inevitable source for conscious/unconscious responses to others helps to understand how various forms of violence such as xenophobia and hate crimes come into expression. The purpose of this contribution is to theoretically explore and empirically exemplify the relationship between historical consciousness and moral consciousness as an educational concern by turning to the writings of Ewa Ziarek and her notion of ethics of dissensus. Through the concept of ethics of dissensus she brings a fresh dimension into the discussion of how the relationship between historical and moral consciousness can be understood. She does this by providing concepts and understandings of how (history) education can be approached without overlooking the complicated presence of difference between the past-present-future, between two subjects and between the inner and the outer life.  Accordingly, Ziarek’s reasoning suggests the need to leave the simplified playing field of ’either-or’ and engage in the communicative negotiation that constitutes the fragile middle-ground between two extreme poles in history education.  


democracy, emancipation, plurality, ethics of dissensus, historical and moral consciousness, teachers’ responsibilities

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