The silence of the educated

(1) * Torgeir Fjeld Mail (Ereignis Center for Philosophy and the Arts, University of Gdansk, Poland)
*corresponding author


This essay presents Wolfgang Schirmacher’s philosophy of education. As a “living philosopher” Schirmacher’s thought should be regarded as standing at a critical and engaged distance to official, consecrated philosophy. Thus, Schirmacher’s living philosophy is conceived as explicable both through scholarly essays as well as other kinds of academic praxis. Particularly relevant is his founding and then directing the programme in Media Philosophy at the European Graduate School (EGS). At the core of philosophy there is a lacuna, a certain silence: The present text contextualises elements of Schirmacher’s relation to the thought of Martin Heidegger as a necessary, productive silence and regards it as constitutive of any relation between master and student. Crucially, this essay seeks to ascertain how the philosophy programme at EGS can be perceived as a product of Schirmacher’s philosophy. Analogous to the way the truths of a living philosophy can never be separated from the life – the form – of the philosopher, so the philosophy programme at EGS sought to integrate the form of each course with its critical content: Schirmacher’s philosophy programme emphasised bringing up and bringing forth as much as the more traditional transmission of knowledges. Subsequently, this philosophy programme can be seen as a precise and logical outcome of Schirmacher’s thought.


living philosophy; praxis; Schirmacher; bringing forth; criticism



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Journal of Silence Studies in Education

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