Contemplative Pedagogy and Bodily Ethics


  • Jani Pulkki University of Tampere
  • Antti Saari University of Tampere
  • Bo Dahlin Rudolf Steiner University College


Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, difference, educational theory, educational philosophy, home education, education policy


Moral philosophy and moral education have prominently dealt with cognitive and rational aspects of morality, therefore neglecting the body. This article opens moral education’s relation to bodily experience by situating phenomenological studies of the body as linked to contemplative pedagogy. We deal primarily with the concept of moral perception in order to open up a reflexive space for the bodily tenets of ethics. This includes understanding the body not as an object to be manipulated, but as first person experience of our bodily attunement to the world. We also consider ethical know-how and examine it from the aspect of moral perception as Lawrence Blum has characterized it. This leads us to ask how ethical know-how might be learned in practices of contemplative pedagogy. We turn to Timo Klemola’s analyses of contemplative practices in order to refine the bodily and practical tenets of ethical know-how. Finally, we examine some of the implications that contemplative pedagogy and practice might have for epistemology and for our understanding of ethics in education.


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