Term Paper: Philosophical Questions About, Jean Jacque

Pages: 7 (2481 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] As Foucault says "In modern society, our spaces are organized like so many cages, so many small theatres, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible" [Foucault, 79]. Thus Foucault says that the method of surveillance used in modern prisons is used by modern state to execute and regulate its control of society.

Foucault describing the concept of discipline says that discipline is a way of controlling the movement and operations of the body in a constant way. It is a type of power that coerces the body by regulating and dividing up its movement and the space and time in which it moves. Timetables and the racks into which soldiers are arranged are examples of this regulation. The discipline is the methods through which the control over the subjects is possible. Foucault traces the origins of the discipline back to monasteries and armies, but he says that the concept did change in the eighteenth century. Discipline became a widely used technique to control whole populations. The modern prison according to Foucault is unthinkable without this idea of the mass control of bodies and movement. Though the disciplinary power exerted on the individual is meant to control it, it also increases the power of the body. Foucault's conception of power is central part of this work. Essentially power is a relationship between the individuals in which one affects another's action. Power differs from force or violence which affects the body physically. Power is present in all human relations and penetrates throughout society, For Foucault power is not located in some central authority it is dispersed in the society. If the discipline diminishes the power of the body from certain aspects, it also increases on other aspects. For example the armies are made discipline and the body becomes a cog in machine. The power that arranges people however makes them into individual units.

Jacques Ranciere

Jacques Ranciere's discovery of the theory of "intellectual emancipation" held that students do not necessary need to know the medium of communication to be able to learn; they do not require commonality of tradition or pedagogy method to be able to step to the next level of education [Ranciere 134-160]. Ranciere's theory created a stir among the intellectual groups however it does not mean that his philosophy does not have justification. Ranciere justifies his argument by saying that even illiterate people can educate their children. This theory implies that the most important part of the process of education is stultification. According to him learners in a common medium tend to become stultify with multitude of information and therefore they cannot achieve the desired quality learning. Instead to soften this stultification impact teachers and educators should avoid the role of the explicator. Instead they should adopt a mode of teaching where both teachers are students are at the learning level. Equality or what other educators would term it as democratization of communication leads to collaborative learning and hence the students develop a more open tendency to absorb lessons.

Thus what Ranciere proposed had been the fact that students and teachers in a pedagogical environment are equal, they both learn in an environment that disseminates the same kinds of information and hence they tend to understand it during the learning process. Communication skills like language are only a peripheral. Ranciere's theory thus supports the illiterate persons and encourages them to learn with their children.

Martin Luther King, "The Sword that Heals"

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a black American Baptist minister, was the main leader of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950's and 1960's. He was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He had a magnificent speaking ability, which enabled him to effectively express the demands of black Americans for social justice. The philosophy of Martin Luther was simple and straightforward, "a non-violence way of agitation, demonstration and rejection of all the unjust laws in the civil society" [King 60-100]. This method of protest and rebellion against the oppressive regimes and government was first adopted by the famous Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. It was a peaceful way of fighting the unjust domination and consequently freeing his people from British rule.

Martin Luther King knew that in order to fight against racial discrimination the African-Americans have to adopt a different way which does not use violence as means to achieve ends. The use of violence would not only diminish the credibility of the movement, but it would entail that there is no different between the aggressor and the aggressed. Thus King, adopt this way in order to avoid violence and bloodshed and to tell the world that they are part of American society and are fighting for their right place in the society. It was a strategy adopted by Martin Luther King and his followers to fight peacefully against the injustice of the American system, which had suppressed the Negroes for over three hundred years. A strategy that started to be experimented and tested in the winter of 1955-56 in Montgomery, Alabama "A powerful and just weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." What Martin Luther meant by this was that the non-violence way of protest is like a sword which metaphorically cuts the oppressor without wounding and those who carry this sword, it makes them stronger in their faith and in their fight against injustice.


Rousseau, Jean Jacques. emile, Everyman's Library 1969.

Foucault, M. (1979). Discipline & Punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage Books

Preston, Edward. Martin Luther King: Fighter for Freedom. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1986.

Dewey, John, 1859-1952. Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/DewDemo.html

Ranciere, Jacques. The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Translated by Kristin Ross, Stanford University… [END OF PREVIEW]

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