The author writes: My aim in this essay is to show why we should hold 'unlearning' to be a crucial 'capability' in and for education at this point in our history. Essentially, I argue that it enables to pose and take seriously the problem of 'governmentality': How are we governed - individually and collectively? Do we wish to be governed in this or that way, to this or that extent, so much, so little, or so badly, under these or those conditions? Or do we wish instead to be self-governed and thereby practice our freedom and be more automous, relatively speaking?As such, it puts in question in a radical way the twin pillars of the so-called 'contemporary consensus' - 'representative (liberal or social) democracy' and 'capitalism' - and makes it possible to take a critical measure of their limits, insufficiencies, and irremediable deficits. Only an unmitigated advocacy of 'unlearning' can bring about a paradigm shift that can move us from the present system of (mis)education as it evolved in modernity and post modernity to education-as-paideia in the 21st century.Inscribed within a redefined transitional politics of resistance and automy, and a framework for emancipatory education, it furthermore enables us to envision and apprehend properly the rmative connections between education-as-paideia, critical and self-reflective citizenship, 'democracy to come' (or radical and inclusive democracy), and social justice. Such a conception is underwritten and supported by a critical role for a (re conceived and transformed) philosophy, after the end of Philosophy, whose main task, if it is still to be relevant today, ought to be 'mediocrity-and-bullshit' detection and busting.
Nader N. Chokr was professor of philosophy at Shandong University until his move to Oslo in autumn 2008. He is thought to have been the first foreign philosopher (he is a US citizen) in recent times to have been appointed full-time at a Chinese University.