Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Philosophy of Childhood and the Politics of Subjectivity :: Children Papers
Philosophy of Childhood and the Politics of SubjectivityThe westward onto-theological tradition has long been preoccupied with two symbolizations of childhood. One conceives of it as an maestro unity of being and knowing, an exemplar of completed identity. The other conceives of childhood as deficit and danger, an exemplar of the untamed appetite and the uncontrolled will. In the thriftiness of Plato and Aristotles tripartite self, the child is ontogenetic eithery out of balance. She is incapable of bringing the troika parts of the self into a right hierarchal relation establish on the domination of reason. In other words, attaining adulthood means eradicating the child. Freuds reformulation of the Platonic community of self combines the two symbolizations. His model creates an opening for shift key power relations between the elements of the self. He opens the way toward what Kristeva calls the subject-in-process, a pluralism of relationships rather than an organization constit uted by exclusions and hierarchies. After Freud, the child comes to stand for the impregnable demands of desire. Through dialogue with this child, the postmodern adult undergoes the dismantling of the notion of subjectivity based on domination, and moves toward the continuous reconstruction of the subject-in-process. The Child and the Second unionThe child first appears in the known ancient texts, not as a beginning, but as an end. She represents the idea of the fulfillment of spiritual evolution as a reversal of the life cycle. In the 6th snow B.C. Lao Tzu says, He who is in harmony with the Tao is likea newborn child. Its bones ar soft, its muscles argon weak, but its grip is powerful. . . The Masters power is like this. He lets all things come and go effortlessly, without desire. (1) Jesus speaks of the attainment of spiritual maturity as becoming like little children. (2) Plotinus contrasts children with adults, whose faculty and mental activity are busied upon a multitude of subjects passed quickly over all, lingering on none. Among children, on the other hand, objects achieve presence, because the childs attention is not scattered, dispersed in the institution of multiplicity. (3)In this grand perennial Western mythos, the child represents an original ontological unity of being and knowing, thought and experience identity cognise. The child is premoral, the realized adult postmoral. The story of the journey from one to the other begins with a line of descent into division. It is, as the story goes, a necessary fall, for it inaugurates a psychological and spiritual journey which if you dont die in the desert of adulthood promises self-reintegration on a higher level.