Foucauldian parrhesia and Avicennean contingency in Muslim education: The curriculum of metaphysics
(2020) Educational Philosophy and Theory
This study examines the Foucauldian notion of “parrhesia” within the context of curricular practices through a renewal of scholarly interest in Islamic metaphysics as represented by the Avicennean modalities of reality: necessity, contingency, and possibility. It explores the role of contingency in advancing educational practices that generate inclusive dissemination of knowledge that captures the language of Tajdeed (legitimate renovation) in Islamic education. This article argues that contingency, as a causality-oriented modality, determines whether meaning is relative or absolute, while necessity, as an acknowledgment of universal truth, slips into demagoguery that can be used to canonize strict textualism and absolutism. Contingency is defined here as a practice that stimulates synthesis and dialogical understanding of knowledge. Accordingly, the study asks the following questions: How does infusing the Avicennean concept of contingency into curriculum practices offer opportunities for inclusivity and free speech? How can revisiting Islamic cosmological modalities help Muslim educators and curriculum writers move into the broader path of inclusive pedagogies? From an educational position, the article introduces a curriculum of metaphysics that advocates the implementation of contingency, which is considered essential to parrhesia and democracy. It also draws attention to an anti-metaphysical attitude that is generally present in curriculum theorizing. Accordingly, Metaphysics is invoked to challenge a state of flux or hegemonized assumptions; hence, metaphysics validates parrhesia. © 2020, © 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Avicenna; curriculum theory; Foucault; metaphysics; Muslim education; parrhesia