The teacher: the Other as the Self. On decentered subjectivity and the teacher-student relation


  • Joakim Larsson, Bo Dahlin


In the context of poststructuralist and postmodern philosophy, the concept of a decentered subject has always retained a powerful, deconstructive potential – tracing its conceptual history all the way back to Nietzsche and beyond. But are we not yet to realize its constructive potential, from an educational-philosophical point of view? In this paper, we attempt to reassess the potential of a decentered subject using a variety of resources – leaning for instance on notions from a Romantic philosophical tradition, as expressed by Schelling; on Jungian depth psychology; and on Rudolf Steiner’s writings on the central and peripheral self. In conclusion, we argue that a teacher may benefit from differentiating his/her understanding of decenteredness as well as from the ability to act out of a variety of psychic centers – of which the conscious ego is an important example, although not exclusively so. Also, we conclude that such attempts are likely to find success to the extent that they are grounded in the teacher’s ability to align him/herself to centers that are of a more spiritual nature; for instance as described by Jung’s writings on the nature of the Self archetype.




Fundamentals / Grundlagen / Peer Reviewed Articles