Giuseppe Tognon, Form or Structure? The Pedagogy as a “Science of Life”

A philosophy of education must confront itself with the modern project of a self-sufficient Humanism which experiences a crisis and with the metaphysics which cannot explain who Man is. The idea of Being or the separation between substances (Matter and Spirit) cannot tell us enough about human life. Life does not belong exclusively to the realm of intellect or to the order of the body: Pascal referred to a third order, that of charity. Today the development of science and of phenomenology allows us to move towards a pedagogy as a «science of life» where the morphologic analysis of experience is crucial. The contrast between Forms and Structures of the real, between philosophical anthropology and structuralism, allow us to understand that human beings are unique and concrete historical beings. Philosophy of education has the duty of preparing the terrain to pedagogy and to encourage reflections on life. A «science of life» is not a new special field within philosophy, but an attempt to move away from the pedagogic experience towards a philosophy of experience that surpasses the limitations of a paideia entirely centred on the tenet of what man ought to be. The study of the concepts of life and of experience help us to develop a new sentiment about historicity and to understand that, to turn pedagogy into a science, it is necessary to move away from the separation between form and content and think again about the dialectic between critical thinking and the awareness of reality.