Copyright ©, Ariella Atzmon, 1996
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Signalizing the Sign: Scientism, Education, Identification
As the seasons passed and his missions continued, Marco mastered the Tartar language and the national idioms and tribal dialects....And yet each piece of information about a place recalled to the emperor's [Kublai Khan] mind that first gesture or object with which Marco had designated the place. The new fact received a meaning from that emblem and also added to the emblem a new meaning. Perhaps, Kublai thought, the empire is nothing but a zodiac of the mind's phantasms. " On the day when I know all the emblems," he asked Marco, "Shall I be able to possess my empire, at last?" And the Venetian answered "Sire, do not believe it. On that day you will be an emblem among emblems."
An analysis of the concept of "identity" may be seen as a possible key to the understanding of the mechanisms for the maintenance of social order in liberal democracies. The maintenance of a social-cultural balance necessitates forms of identification which are institutionalized within categorization built upon a sharp inclination towards scientism. In the oscillation between images of Identity and Identification, the subject is captured by the complexities of signification. This paper will display a series of argumentative claims regarding the fundamental role of education governed by scientism as a rhetorical game which diverts signs into signals.
In the book 'Invisible cities' by Italo Calvino, Marco Polo
"newly arrived and quite ignorant of the languages of the
Levant" tries badly to describe the cities visited on his
expeditions to Kublai Khan. The conversation proceeds in an atmosphere
of melancholy, giving up the possibility of a transparent dialogue.
Marco Polo "could express himself only by drawing objects
from his baggage..... pointing to them with gestures, leaps, cries
of wonder or of horror, imitating the bay of the jackal, the hoot
of the owl...". However, "the objects could have various
meanings;" In Jonathan's Swift's 'Guliver's Travels, we are
presented with a contrasting view where language is described
as a 'vocabulary of things', and a conversation becomes possible
"in a great progress" by the means of 'matching an object
to a name.
We may argue that philosophical perspectives which fixate meanings in experiential data, as opposed to philosophies which conceive the relationship between words and the reality as seedlings planted in drifting sands, reflect alternative educational systems. The former is characteristic of western democracies as regulative power in processing of information.
The concept of 'identity' is conditional upon these two perspectives. Approaches to 'Identity' as a 'package of characteristics' diverge from alternative views which treat the linguistic sign as a 'hole in a net' defined by its boundaries. The latter view links the notion of 'identity' with an attempt to treat the human subject as a 'junction' in a changeable web, reading the personal being as constructed out of "bits and pieces" of his communicative experiences.
In the purpose of defining someone's identity in 'positive terms' one must utilize a codification characterized by binary oppositions, which refer to the correspondence theory of truth. These functions facilitate the mapping of subjects into specific groups within the frame of an evaluative system built upon clear-cut categorization for grading and marking, acceptance and negation.
The blurring of the distinction between the meanings of the concept "identity" and "identification" is manifested by mechanisms of science and science-education. Within the common images of science, meanings appear as signals. The crystallization of rhetorical styles dominated by scientism, can be seen as a legitimacy bestowed in advance on statements which come into view under a scientific appearance. The reason for their public acceptance is that they provide "scientific neutrality", built upon "rationality' and "objectivity', meanings which are in full adjustment with the liberal belief in prudence and individuals' deliberated 'free choice'.
Education can be seen as a key to better understanding of how utopian beliefs in human freedom of choice are induced. Although we admit the crucial role that education plays in cultural construction, it is considered to be of the lowest status in the hierarchy of academic life. Maybe the reason for its imposed inferiority is related to the fact that it is such an important marker in culture and in the construction of socio-political relationships.
Trivialization of education points to a lack of interest in searching for the latent modifications of 'meanings in consent'. It is the 'Symbolic Order' which by its very nature imposes blind spots precisely around the focal points of collective groups' repressed desires . The failure to acknowledge the subtleties of educational conduct goes side by side with an attempt to rigidify formulation in the social and the political terrains. The misrecognition of the logic of the educational process as a generator of methodological constraints appears as a symptom of 'the lack' (and self destructiveness) in the social sciences themselves.
Contemporary educational patterns are the background for the fixation of science images. Images which support the rules for how science should be presented. By using Lyotard's terminology of the 'Differend' I would like to claim that the victims of science images are unable to make a claim against scientism, because there is a latent web of rules which imposes a shared agreement about 'what science means'. The agreement is between those who monopolize the patterns of scientism and those who attempt to free themselves from the dependence upon those patterns. I propose that it is not only that education itself is safeguarded within the patterns of scientism, it is also that education fortifies scientism establishing a self-maintaining system by means of the circulation of its power.
Scientism, as manifested in education, is clarified by a distinction between science and scientific education. Science education is the familiarization with the scientific discourse. Scientific education, on the other hand, is a product of scientism in the sense of planning and control under centralized patterns of behavioristic styles. The two meanings are intertwined due to images of science which are publicly accepted and based on short and clear definitions for "rationality", and "objectivity". Science is self-maintained via narrow definitions for rationality which relates judgments to a link between a concept to its experiential attributes. But in order to examine whether something can be considered 'rational', one must utilize the concept of rationality which was invented by the selfsame designers of the same widespread science images. These concepts earn their accepted meanings via the mechanisms of science education which affirm the cognitive superiority of propositions which achieve legitimacy as scientifically based upon definitions of those selfsame images. This may be compared to a situation where the police inspects itself. Lyotard stamped the title 'the Differend' as "the case of conflict between (at least) two parties that cannot be equitably resolved for lack of a rule of judgment applicable to both arguments". The concept of 'the Differend' aims to illustrate precisely the logic of dominance of the discourses that are relied upon, and at the same time support experiential evidence.
"The Differend is signaled by this inability to prove. The one who lodges a complaint is heard, but the one who is a victim, and who is perhaps the saone, is reduced to silence" .
As such, it marks a point of incommensurability. The case of scientism is typical to genres which attempt to increase harmonious consonance by ignoring alternative discourses, discourses which launch the anxiety associated with a lack of rules for a clear-cut determination.
It may be said that the tendency to entrench scientism is amassing strength despite the criticism strewn from many walks of philosophical thought. But science is not simply the scientific institutions that call upon truth to support a special persuasive capacity. Science only mediates through institutional mechanisms. More importantly, it provides an archetype on which contemporary attempts at truth are based. An alternative investigation for how scientism gains its power should analyze how science presents itself to the public as that which registers what earns the status of an 'indisputable' information.
Education is the foundation for creating the logic of how information is processed. The educational sphere acts as a buffer that regulates an optimal consensus via the filtration of meanings in use. Science Education operates as a permanent restraint blocking possible moments of feeble doubtfulness which may cause undesirable acts of self reflection that may end in mistrust, or a total denial of the system.
Debates in the field of philosophy of science have been found to be obsessive in their panic to demarcate between the scientific and the non-scientific . The necessity for demarcation preserves the criteria for what is valid as a scientific statement and what must be rejected as meaningless. These distinctions reflects the power struggle over the legitimacy of information in western societies, and they amass their authoritarian position via science images proliferated in those societies by relating science exclusively to organized factual knowledge. Positivist science images gain a foothold in public opinion on the grounds of an inclusive inclination to signify meaning as flashing referents. Views regarding clustered messages of data as raw material for free deliberation are associated with the illusory prospects speaking of information as being available to anyone who seeks it out. For example, the opening up of archives which gives the feeling of approaching historical truth. Here we should recall Lyotard's view of the referential document, as a paradoxical message, saying something about a system of which the referent is a part
Popular images of science are related to a fictive sense of autonomy and the belief in the possibility of emancipation for deprived groups and change. But the enchanted 'new believer' in a fragmentary hyperreality is even more caught up by the diffraction into more than 1000 television channels. The TV consumer is haunted by his own illusion that he is the one who can deliberately make his choice.
The more a society attains a self-image of being free and liberal, the more it encourages the position of the subject as gifted with apriori rational faculties which grant him/her with the ability to judge, choose or vote.
We may propose that the role of the intellectual is to investigate the mechanisms of political and social organization that act to strengthen the belief in the machinery of scientism as neutral, objective and beyond human beings themselves. How has it been grasped that subjects accept their own 'identity evaluation', their own personal outline as defined by extrinsic, authoritarian scaling? How is it that students or teachers, do not feel threatened by the designed processes which implant in advance their trust in data and facts, whose interpretation, judgment, and evaluation are a 'fixed match'?
An analysis of these questions has to be grounded in the nature of a basic conflict inherent in liberal philosophy; namely, the inherent promise of the state for the safeguarding human rights to freedom, property and the maximization of self-gratification. A replacement of power by culture as a precondition for human self respect and dignity necessitates a link between rationality, commonsense and individualism. Liberal humanist education cushions people with the belief that their destiny is conditioned by their own rational judgment. The political power is preserved in accordance with the intensity of the individual's option of freedom and emancipation, grounded in public rationalized institutionalization.
All styles of schooling reflect an oscillation between the two extreme poles - the trend toward preservation of social order and consensus on the one hand, and the individual propensity to authenticity, on the other. The difference lies only in the degree of manipulation of the subject. While the totalitarian society is exempt from convincing the citizen of the 'imposed choice' it forces upon him, in a society which considers itself to be free, citizens must believe that their decisions are self-originated. Science education sustains students with a confidence in methods of generalization with the aim to support the terminology of neutrality and objectivity, devoid of any constraint of a dictating authority. The assimilation of these meanings within a scientific act of verification, protects the consonant pole via the minimization of dissonant decrepitudes. The hegemony of vision, in the frame of positivistic assumptions, implies the high status of data, the centrality of scientism, and the prominence of science education.
The concept of the Double Bind assists in the understanding of the paradoxical dynamic equilibrium relating the subject to his group. All human movements and change are carried out by epigenesis (preservation) and mutation (leaping, inconsistent skipping), in an oscillation between consonance governed by harmonious rule and the dissonance created by unpredictable singularity. It is the to and fro movement between the two poles of an unavoidable alienation and the dependency on the 'other' on the one hand, and the permanent desire for the expression of self identity on the other hand. It can be referred to the irreconcilable dilemma of self-conscious subjectivity, reflecting upon its own subjectivity while being caught up in the dialectic of intersubjectivity. To interpret Bateson in Lacanian terminology, the consonance is assimilated in the subject via the symbolic order or meanings in use. Epigenisis functions to duplicate what is in existence, guaranteeing repetition and preservation; that which 'remembers itself' . Reproduction and epigenesis, nailed in a contract of shared meaning, are constructive negations, a driving force for the mutation, the plunging into the abyss of the inexpressible, the kingdom of the aesthetic act. But for all that, following the rules, as a restriction on freedom, may be seen as a vehicle for the uplifting of self-knowledge reflected by another level of freedom. Regarding the epigenetic pole which reproduces the subject into the contractuality of the symbolic order, is to grasp the driving force for new creativity. For professional excellence in medicine or law fore instance, one must excel in the memorization of tens of thousands of items prior to beginning the task. The mutation is created not via the replacement of something with something else but rather via overcoming the given for what does not yet exist . Educational activity is a Double Bind in the sense that repetition and reproduction occur simultaneously with the unpredictable singularity which escapes any kind of formulation.
The educational act is expressed in the Double Bind paradoxical message which blends the command for duplication "be like" simultaneously alongside the possibility of change.
If within a discourse, for instance, we are compelled to obey all messages, we are confronted with the message "DO NOT READ THIS MESSAGE", the act of obeying that message makes us disobey it. The double bind may be seen as an endless oscillation, between the message along with the "meta-message" which says something about that message.
The phrase whose referent is all phrases have a paradoxical character, as in thecase of the paradox of the liar. The "liar" describes himself in the form "I lie". If we were to present the meta-question "is the liar telling the truth ", the computer would react in this case with the confusing output: yes.. no...yes...no, until the paper runs out. Paradoxical messages are arguments which are not acceptable within logic because it bars against coming to a decision . Many messages in everyday language are paradoxical and swing between the message and its context. For example, the confusing message "be spontaneous" "volunteer", "be authentic",or "be autonomous" Paradoxical expressions oscillate in an unavoidable tension between the contingent particularity and the deterministic concern for maximum control. Epigenisis is deterministic, demanding a maximum prediction characterized by planning and inexhaustible feedback reports, practiced by means of an algorithmic sequence of operations. The unpredictable singular subject as a one time event, oscillates between the 'longing for fidelity' provided within models or schemes, and the 'compulsion to choose'. The 'Real' is an infinite continuum of possibilities, richer than any finite number of models, woven as inductive generalizations
of particular realities. Education could be seen as a 'pleasure that comes by pain' in a perpetual move from a conceptualized finitude into the threat of the infinitude.
The Real that resists symbolization creates a D.B. which is inherent in the irreconciliation between the finitude and the infinitude, between closed systems which are impossible (as a non-reality) and open systems which are indeterminate by principle! Even the word 'Autonomy' includes the D.B. paradoxality. Auto-nomos mean my own control compelled by the necessity of the 'nomos', namely; a constant feedback from the surroundings.
A metaphor borrowed from laboratory life illustrates how nature confounds us. As it turns out, in the case of physical inanimate systems: "the more precise my laboratory methods, the more unpredictable the events will become." Gregory Bateson offers the experiment of heating distilled water in a clean, smooth beaker, asking at what temperature will the first bubble of steam appear? In this case we realize that the question is unanswerable unless there is a speck of dust or a tiny roughness in the inner surface of the beaker. The conclusion taken from this metaphor is that:
"there is a gulf between statements about an identified individual and statements about a class. Such statements are of different logical type, and prediction from one to the other is always unsure."
Any prediction which leaps from the information level of the singular to the level of the system as a whole is not guaranteed by rules, at the moment in which we gain knowledge of the system, the singular component becomes more elusive. The matter becomes more complicated when we cross over from inanimate to the socio/cultural systems. When a more precise prediction of system characteristics is acquired, it is achieved at the cost that the system under study becomes a being which is a non being . According to Hegel, every determination is a negation, only continuity makes difference real. But equally, negation is the discontinuity which alone makes continuity intelligible. These basic terms of continuity and discreteness may be seen as related to the categories of the analog and the digital.
The analog is difficult to define, it even rejects the concept of definition. But something may be nonetheless said concerning its characteristics. The analog is compact and may be punctuated in an endless number of ways into an infinite multiplicity of separate 'quantas'. In contrast, discontinuity may not be divided beyond the units from which it is constructed. The analog, refers to statements such as 'more or less', while the discontinuous or digital refers to finalities such as 'all or nothing'. The digital codification is characterized by binary oppositions, and logical operators, such as yes/no, and if ---> then, and 0/1 in the computer code. Scientific activity is presented as supplying indicators for clear cut solutions of doubtful cases with answers based upon these operators. From this stems the image of 'neutrality' of yes/no tests since they are not "infected" by the tester's mood, emotions or any other kind of human conduct.
Our perception is analog, flowing and continuous, but communication with others necessitates digital means, such as words or signs. Time and space belong to analog information, money and grades are digital. It is the Greeks old dilemma of how to define a change with the terminology of the moment. 'What is the straw that broke the camel's back?' We break continuous perceptions into digital expressions in order to describe the moment of change. In the digital system, the fragments are distinguished one from the other in distinct gaps such as between the line and a dot in the Morse code. The gaps are significant as the organizing syntax of the system.
A digit is a part of a group, the group itself is an organ in a larger group, a subsystem of another system. The combination of the discrete digits is a whole termed analog which is always extended beyond the sum of the added single parts, as it includes the editing code. There is always an excess of meaning created despite the most rigid of syntaxes. Each combination of digital fragments takes place according to contractual punctuation and
editing rules which facilitates the distinction between information and noise. According to Lyotard
"There is no non-phrase, silence is also a message! one's silence makes a phrase".
The signifier is mutually related to a specific code, under conscious or unconscious rules of the langue, or the language game. This codification is imposed implicitly on the repertoire of what is 'allowed' or prohibited for 'communication in use'. Analog information is transmitted into particular descriptions by digital devices. The event which occurs continuously in a few hours is edited on the news, into a continuous fraction of five minutes made up of a combination of shots according to a digital code.
In order to define something or someone's identity in positive terms one must utilize logical operators of truth, which conforms to the digital coding. Digital punctuation is a territorial warning "Beware border ahead". Analog information is rejected in advance within quantitative evaluative systems since it transgresses borders, defined territories and even the definitions themselves.
It is a fact that it is much more difficult to describe a pain or a dream, than to characterize the boiling point of water. If we shall use another metaphor and imagine the signifiers as flashes of light appearing to our consciousness which are available for expression, and the gaps as areas of darkness, then let us suppose that each particular set of combination and selection gives an illusory sense of a continuously enlightened screen; namely, reality. As each continuous fraction can be lit up in different flash intensities, every language is distinguished by the wealth of certain words and the poverty or shortage of other words which it lacks. Each discourse lights up and leaves behind dark spaces. The socio/political implications are that what is dim does not penetrate into our consciousness. These are the fractions of experience which are doomed to be repressed, censored, forgotten or forced to be forgotten; namely, ignored as noise. The repression of meaning takes place by 'signalizing the sign'.
There are linguistic systems which are punctuated by signs and other more harsh languages where signs turn into and act as signals. The filtration of meaningful information from the countless number of messages, becomes more arbitrary as we cross over from the level of sensual perception to socio-cultural contexts. According to information theory , information as a 'coded variety' may be qualitatively analyzed from signs to signals in a three-level hierarchy:
a) sensual perceptions (sensing), is primary coded information,
b) meaninexpression (connotation), is coded sensual perception
c) signification (denotation), is coded meaning
In the context of communication, the information imported by a particular linguistic sign is dependent not only upon the degree of information it carries, but also on what is rejected as noise. Thus, information is more focused the more a sign is chosen from among a large number of rejected signs. The fact that language defines what the subject is capable of knowing about the world and about himself, is related to the reconstruction of history and the fabrication of our most inward experiences.
We may say that the Real refuses significations, and therefore it cannot be known. Thus the Real is the order that contours the line of the social group as distinct from other groups. Since education is a collective membrane for meanings in use, then it is education that preserves group profiles
This brings us to what Wittgenstein means by a 'Language Game'. According to Wittgenstein "an interpretation is something that is given in signs", so that no interpretation can be understood without a rider.Educational systems keep the rider in control. The rider navigates our images and 'free associations', by linking seeing to observing. It orients a 'complete description', what we call a complete reportgiven by words reacting as signals .
There is no clear distinction between a linguistic sign and a signal, but the more the sign is
pushed into a narrow channel, the more it receives a status approaching signallity. Science
is the case where signs operate as signals. In contrast to science, in a narrative the sign expands beyond itself, it means more than it says. A signal authorizes, only one interpretive channel, which in the case of science leaves only one precise shared description that is based on law. Signals in the narrow sense are road signs, ladies/gents signs, Braille language, symbols in chemistry, or in 'filling in the blank' exams where any improvisation is considered a mistake. When we are guided by signals, as for example in the warning labels on products, or traffic lights, it is recommended not to be too creative, not to interpret the sign in more than one way.
But when science is grasped as a model of rational thinking, attempts to express images, feeling, visions, dreams, and physical pain, which do not meet the criteria of digital thinking, are apprehended as outside rational articulations. Open competition in a technological society requires free market rules which present themselves as objective, neutral and universal. People are qualified via quantitative testometry results with the rules of the game which are programmed in advance. The competition not only filters who is in and who is out, it also determines the superiority of those systems functioning on the basis of digital short term information.
Liberal education is a kind of indoctrination designed as a rhetorical game which diverts signs into signals. Liberal education stands guard in the order-chaos conflict, suppressing any possible excessive moves of the linguistic sign. The calling card of science education is the devaluation of contextual analog thinking for the sake of scientism and digitality.
When Habermas illustrates the forces of modernism as the age of 'unlimited self realization and subjectivism of a hyperstimulated sensitivity' , the affiliation of people into this illusory belief is accomplished by an understanding of reality as punctuated by digital terms built upon an unlimited trust in their own intellectual ability. Schools are the breeding ground in which this affiliation takes place. There is no need to exercise the use of power since supervision and surveillance are implemented pleasantly by the means of 'pastoral care'. It is the promise of happiness built into a fictive participation of individuals in setting their future by mapping personal ability according to systems of correspondence. The signification of 'personal identity', as a fixed sum of referential attributes, hide an a-priori implanted trust in the legitimacy of scientific expertise. Meaning, in the framework of correspondence theory, is a discrete definition for what is included or excluded under a specific term.
The dismissal of the complimentarity of the digital and the analog, where one cannot exist without the other, is related to the correspondence theory of truth. The tendency to ratify only what is linked through a correspondence rule to sense data, negates the analog aspect of human thought. A concept stops being thought in the frame of coherence, where truth is not understood under the terminology of relationship and difference. This assumption points to a barrier inherent in the concept of change, the transfer of infinity into finite discrete units, as imposed by descriptive needs. An approach to language as correspondence designs how we process information.
Information is more than what is coming out of the TV screen, information includes the messages we absorb about our own being as we are haunted by the digital algorithmic mechanisms for data processing. The political conclusion is that the promise of modernity for self-realization are mediated by an educational tendency to signalize the sign. The same approach that plants the illusion of free choice, simultaneously blocks the possibility for emancipation.
The correspondence styles which bridge concepts with an experiential attribute are in accord with the Heideggerian expressions of 'gerede' . Gerede, as a kind of empty speech occurs in full agreement with meanings on a symbolic level, it is idle talk expressed by the use of cliches, the recycling of meanings without any new creations. Gerede according to Heidegger is a symptom of the lack of authenticity which is rampant in our society, it accumulates an illusion of understanding without real apprehension. Steiner designates it as pseudocommunication.
Contrary to 'gerede', the concept of 'rede' is characterized by the silence of listening to our own inner voice as part of the sublime of which we become aware. This speech aims at the twilight zone which cannot be easily expressed within linguistic signs . It is the moment we realize that we do not have a litmus paper handy for use, seeking the proper selection and combination on the metaphorical-metonymical axis to produce an eloquent speech act. 'Signalizing the sign' can easily deteriorate into a calm placid dialogue of agreement compatible with public opinion. But it is precisely in speech with 'the other' within the negating power of scientism that we may plunge into the indeterminate, trying to produce new meanings, drawing out new metaphors, to reconceptualize what is negated. Thus, in the master-slave relationships the advantage is given to the victims of scientism . 'Minding the gaps' could be realized in poetry or in the work of art. This is another example which points at 'the Differand'. The task of art and politics is to evoke or testify to differends, to exacerbate them so as to resist the injustice which silences those who cannot speak the language of the master. But art and politics have recently became 'side salad' courses in the school curriculum.
Science in schools imposes the use of empty speech. We cease to live our own experience and learn to describe collective experience as lab reports within "experimental kits" by means of common meaning, namely, signals. Even the word "experiment" as uttered in the school laboratory is a 'Chronicle of a Discovery (Death) Foretold'. Within the common images of science, where meanings appear as signals, we are secured in the area of 'gerede' and do not enter the 'firing zone' of other genres.
The Freudian topographic model, tells us that what appears to the open air of consciousness is a product of what has been selectively exhausted from the primary flow of perception. The barrage of memories and sensual impressions are processed under cultural and social censors which codify the subject's own private history. The subconscious comes to exercise a repressive authority determining not only which uncomaterials are allowed to gain access to the conscious, but also the shape which those materials must take. It is a set of membranes which single out and organize the selected items from the primary flux according to an externally imposed order. What emerges to the surface level as ordinary language leaves the repressed wishes in the unconscious as permanent loss. It is the Real which will never be covered by the meaning in use. The mechanisms of condensation and displacement operate to disguise the primary wishes, so that acceptable representations are created for what is repressed. Films or novels are not the only means for creating substitute representations. The school lab also produce a 'non-reality' in synthesized impressions acting as representations.
What Freud calls the 'word representation' is governed by digital coding, while the analog formation are dominant in 'thing-presentation' occurring in the unconscious as the primary process, or the deep memory. In the secondary process, related to ordinary memory, the conscious and the subconscious are intermingled, the digital and the analog are complimentarily involved. The flux of perception is processed into memory and is molded into signified expressions. The signifiers loaded with a temporary 'ephemeral' meaning are crossing the surface membrane, and at this stage signification begins in various degrees of rigidity.
Human rationality can be understood as a thin facade which is persistently shattered by repressed materials. While analog information belongs entirely to the perceiver, the digital encoding is arbitrary and external to the subject's consciousness. The invasion of one into the territory of the other is immediately compensated for by new means of repression of any advanced production. The primary process which cannot be constrained entirely in a textual space emerges into the open air within inexpressible gestures. We scream what cannot be expressed in words, this is the cry of the shofar in Judaism.
The symbolic order predetermines the territorial boundaries which the subject will be able to grasp about him/her self and the world. Each fragment of experience which is rejected remains wordless and unknown! The inner dialog of the conscious with the unconscious takes place under Wittgenstein's 'Rider' which appears as the impossibility of the existence of a private language. This implies that the group is distinguished by the inexpressible. Education as an intervention in the signifying chain, shapes the size of the holes in the net of the selective membranes, and as such it fixes the rigidity of meanings, or in other words "signalizes the sign".
The 'I' is a synthesis, on the one hand of "identity", as a thesis of what may not be actualized in principle by the very fact that the subject's desire is blocked and negated, and on the other hand, as an antithesis manifested by his "identification" nodding in a 'gerede' from the reservoir in use.
The fact that digital formation is condemned to an absence of words, provides the impetuous for a hyperbolic race of endless effort to produce new meanings by shifts from the existing repertoire. While in the 'gerede' style, there is a tendency to circulate the same expressions, in conflictual situations the pressure of censorship is loosened, and it is precisely then when the subject gets a chance to get closer to him/herself. The chance to create linguistic collages and social hybridization lies in the sharpening of conflicts. It is the reverse process of making the signal back into a sign! The tendencies of recent theories to classify personality styles, serves to create a calm dialogical atmosphere between people that are categorized as similar. Dialogues carried out in homogenized groups domesticate possible conflicts and block the auto-negation of the subject. In short, it is a pity that in recent styles of education negation ends too early.
Humanist education continuously stresses 'rationality' and 'reason' as being raised beyond any kind of distortion caused by actual social, political and cultural conditions.
But, following Kant , reason corresponds to a higher level
of understanding, it is the faculty that unites judgments of experience
through the construction of inferences. Understanding encapsulates
the predicated experiential reports processed and developed by
cognition, thus it is always limited to 'what is there'. Understanding
synthesizes sense input by the cognitive faculties of the mind,
but it is precisely at this point that education ends .
The idea shared by German Idealism and Romanticism, is that reason acquires its importance precisely where it is most remote from immediacy, where it defers towards an insistence on the otherness of being. By listening to Heraclitus we shall be reminded that
"The eyes and ears are bad witnesses if they have barbarian souls".
This view points to the blind spots of the educational curriculum; namely, the destination of ethics and aesthetics.
If according to Kant, an aesthetic idea is an intuition of the creative imagination for which
an adequate concept can never be found , then every effort is made to keep the learning subject in secure conceptualized paradigms of scientific knowledge.
Being, without being in possession of rules - to think 'The uncaused cause' means to cross the boundaries to an unpromised land - to go beyond the fiction of certainty, to another meaning of the ideas of 'freedom' and 'duty'. Contrary to the ideas of child-centered education, freedom must be grasped as an asymptotic desire to build new and original meanings from the flashes and displays of the 'collected editions' of reality.
Reality, in the Hebrew language - "Mitziyut", does not mean what is found - "Motzim", but rather what we invent - "Mamziim". Since the concept of identity is mediated by an educational tendency to scientism, I would conclude that the chance to create a linguistic collage bounded with social hybridization requires that schooling shift its center of gravity from logos towards poesis in a reverse process of turning the signal back into a sign.