Utopian Education and Anti-Utopian Anthropology

  •  Marianna Papastephanou    


This article explores the connection of education, utopia and anthropology, aiming to tease out some educational implications of anti-utopian anthropological essentialism and to show why these should be staved off. It will be shown how an anthropology that tarnishes human nature operates and how it affects educational intervention in the shaping of human reality. After a brief reference to the current theoretical status of utopia and its relation to education, some anti-utopian determinations that raise anthropological obstacles to utopia´s imaginative reach will be examined. Two main anti-utopian arguments are then investigated: the one of human frailty and that of utopian unattainability. Critical counter-arguments will be produced in order to prove that anti-utopianism poses more questions than it answers and is in no position to effectively undermine radical pedagogical vision. The article concludes with some indications of how educational utopianism may relate to anthropology otherwise.

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