Inhuman: The Internet, Education and Humanity


Redeker, Robert; translated and with an introduction by Philip Beitchman with an Introduction by Christian Delacampagne, author of A History of French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins,1999)


Author is well known French philosopher and board member of Les Temps Modernes; translator is professor of Philosophy at St. John’s University (NY)

The transformation of Western civilization into a planetary society of information and communication compels us to pose some philosophical and political questions about the influence of these new technologies on education. This author, a philosopher, journalist, literary critic, and also a member of the board of Les Temps Modernes, has concluded that Information Science and Internet do represent grave dangers for education, since they rather show us a way of avoiding the teacher and teaching (“how not to teach”) than help teach. They ‘send the message’ to teacher, student and public alike that education is merely a matter of accumulating and classifying (triage) information; training and conditioning the students for a lifetime of sitting in front of computer screens at the only time in their lives when they should have the leisure to pace their studies according to the development of their knowledge and understanding. In this process the human presence of the teacher is a vital element, but one that ‘wiring up our schools’ will reduce, if not eliminate completely, turning the human teacher into the technical instructor and advisor. Underlying the author’s reflection on the damage the technologies of information do to school and education is an even more troubling question: must everything that can be done (technologically) be done?

Nominated for the Scaglione Prize for Translation, MLA 2003

Education:; Philosophy, postmodern; Pedagogy and Science
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