The University of the Future: Stiegler after Derrida

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Educational Philosophy and Theory


Higher education has not been spared from the effects of the disruptive aspects of technology. MOOCs, teach bots, virtual learning platforms, and Wikipedia are among technics marking a digital transformation of knowledge. The question of the university, the foundation of its authority and purpose is more than timely; it is urgent to any future philosophy of higher education. Will the university survive in the future and if so, for what purpose? We examine two philosophers, Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, who take on this challenge. Derrida, writing at ‘the scene of teaching’, proposes new humanities for a university ‘without condition’, one with increasing autonomy to democratize it further. Stiegler takes issue with him on the conditions of the university of the future. Stiegler offers not an ‘anti-Derridian discourse’ but a ‘deconstruction of a deconstruction’ of Derrida. Stiegler’s critique of Derrida on the role of the professoriate and the university of the future expand the fissure between them. In this article, we argue that Stiegler’s reading of Derrida points to the university not as an anachronistic way of knowing displaced by the digital revolution but as vital to a politics of the spirit in a democratic future.


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