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Responsibility beyond rationality: the case for rhizomatic consequentialism

Responsibility beyond rationality: the case for rhizomatic consequentialism A key challenge for education is to encourage children to act responsibly. If ‘spiritual literacy’ does not involve an autonomous, rational soul capable of ‘reading and writing the world as God intended’, it must refer to ethical (and perhaps religious) capacity in relation to contingent actions in a context free of moral absolutes. In relation to the former, Kant's Categorical Imperative supposed that actions are either right or wrong according to an absolute reason derived from the most basic templates of human sense making. According to Kant, therefore, right is rational irrespective of the apparent consequences of specific actions. In contrast, in an age lacking Kant's beliefs in both God and absolute reason, it is tempting to see an unethical pragmatism as the only alternative to the Categorical Imperative. However, it is possible to instil responsibility through a consequentialism based on a broader conception of relatedness, inspired by Deleuze and Guattari's notion of the ‘rhizome’. ‘Rhizomatic consequentialism’, as here defined, provides a ‘third way’ for moral education between instilling an understanding of absolute right and wrong and encouraging the belief that ‘right is what you can get away with’. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Children's Spirituality Taylor & Francis

Responsibility beyond rationality: the case for rhizomatic consequentialism

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References (14)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1469-8455
eISSN
1364-436X
DOI
10.1080/1364436042000234404
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A key challenge for education is to encourage children to act responsibly. If ‘spiritual literacy’ does not involve an autonomous, rational soul capable of ‘reading and writing the world as God intended’, it must refer to ethical (and perhaps religious) capacity in relation to contingent actions in a context free of moral absolutes. In relation to the former, Kant's Categorical Imperative supposed that actions are either right or wrong according to an absolute reason derived from the most basic templates of human sense making. According to Kant, therefore, right is rational irrespective of the apparent consequences of specific actions. In contrast, in an age lacking Kant's beliefs in both God and absolute reason, it is tempting to see an unethical pragmatism as the only alternative to the Categorical Imperative. However, it is possible to instil responsibility through a consequentialism based on a broader conception of relatedness, inspired by Deleuze and Guattari's notion of the ‘rhizome’. ‘Rhizomatic consequentialism’, as here defined, provides a ‘third way’ for moral education between instilling an understanding of absolute right and wrong and encouraging the belief that ‘right is what you can get away with’.

Journal

International Journal of Children's SpiritualityTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 1, 2004

Keywords: Moral education; Philosophy; Deleuze; Guattari; Kant

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