The ‘subject of ethics’ and educational research OR Ethics or politics? Yes please!
(2017) Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.
This paper outlines a theoretical context for research into ‘the subject of ethics’ in terms of how students come to see themselves as self-reflective actors. I maintain that the ‘subject of ethics’, or ethical subjectivity, has been overlooked as a necessary aspect of creating politically transformative spaces in education. At the heart of egalitarian politics lies a fundamental tension between the equality of voices (or ways of being) and the notion that one way of being or one voice may be deemed more legitimate than another; which in turn puts the equality of beings into question. Building from Michel Foucault’s work regarding ethics and subjectivity, I suggest that a ‘subject of ethics’ can be viewed, in part, as a series of relations of self that form the horizon upon which a subject comes to work on themselves relative to moral codes and power relations. Ethical relations of self can be a useful concept for those interested in educational research that furthers social and ecological justice. In the conclusion of this paper I also discuss the limitations of locating ethics entirely within a constituted human subject. © 2017 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
anthropology; ethics; Foucault; justice; politics; qualitative research; subjectivity