The ‘subject of ethics’ and educational research OR Ethics or politics? Yes please! (2017)

Bazzul, J.
The ‘subject of ethics’ and educational research OR Ethics or politics? Yes please!
(2017) Educational Philosophy and Theory, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2016.1270184

This paper outlines a theoretical context for research into ‘the subject of ethics’ in terms of how students come to see themselves as self-reflective actors. I maintain that the ‘subject of ethics’, or ethical subjectivity, has been overlooked as a necessary aspect of creating politically transformative spaces in education. At the heart of egalitarian politics lies a fundamental tension between the equality of voices (or ways of being) and the notion that one way of being or one voice may be deemed more legitimate than another; which in turn puts the equality of beings into question. Building from Michel Foucault’s work regarding ethics and subjectivity, I suggest that a ‘subject of ethics’ can be viewed, in part, as a series of relations of self that form the horizon upon which a subject comes to work on themselves relative to moral codes and power relations. Ethical relations of self can be a useful concept for those interested in educational research that furthers social and ecological justice. In the conclusion of this paper I also discuss the limitations of locating ethics entirely within a constituted human subject. © 2017 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

Author Keywords
anthropology; ethics; Foucault; justice; politics; qualitative research; subjectivity

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