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Keywords:

  • history of education;
  • philosophy of education;
  • Emile Cioran;
  • Utopian thinking

Abstract

The starting point of our research is the recent discussion within history of education about the aim and scope of historical educational research. More specifically, it deals with the relationship between the past and the future and is characterized by two clashing paradigms. The recent discussion within history of education is from the perspective of philosophy of education extremely interesting. Particularly intriguing is the way in which history of education defines its role of giving shape to a (different) future. Given the criticism of the means-end reasoning and the fact that ‘utopia’ in some sense always implies this, and that it plays itself nearly always a role when a stance is taken concerning history of education, what is defended here is the need of a different way to think about the relationship between the past, the present and the future thus to give ‘utopia’ a different place. Therefore we make use of Emile Cioran's History and Utopia. Cioran's criticism of the utopian position can be indicated by the following three sets. Not the past, neither the future, but the present is what one should be concerned with; not unity but diversity; not finding the solution, the final truth, but making room for the freedom of the human being.