A Philosophy of Seeing: The Work of the Eye/'I' in Early Years Educational Practice

White, E 2016, 'A Philosophy of Seeing: The Work of the Eye/'I' in Early Years Educational Practice', Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 474-489.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A Philosophy of Seeing: The Work of the Eye/'I' in Early Years Educational Practice
Author(s) White, E
Year 2016
Journal name Journal of Philosophy of Education
Volume number 50
Issue number 3
Start page 474
End page 489
Total pages 16
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract © 2015 The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. The work of the eye has a powerful influence across culture and philosophy-not least in Goethe's approach to understanding. Aligned to aesthetic appreciation, seeing has the potential to offer an authorial gift of 'other-ness' when brought to bear on evaluative relationships. Yet this penetrating gaze might also be seen as limiting when put to work in the services of 'other'. From the subtle sideways glance, to the lingering gaze of lovers, a look can mean many things. But the eye does not work alone-what can be seen is directly impacted by the ideologies that influence interpretation, the time and space of its origin, and the genre of its capture. But it is only later, through post-modern eyes, that the image finally falls victim to its subjective (and discursive) stance and can be thus rendered obsolete. As such, the work of the eye far exceeds literal notions of visuality. These same tensions are evident in the work of the early Bakhtin Circle (1917-1923) through their engagement with neo-Kantism, Russian formalism, phenomenology and Russian Avant-Gardes. In this article the art of seeing is reconciled in educational practice for the early years as a relational event through Goethian-inspired interpretations of visual surplus and aesthetics. Through this lens seeing is brought to life as an encounter of authorship-implicating the 'I'-as a potential relationship of meaning and accountability at the centre of visuality.
Subject Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
History and Philosophy of Education
DOI - identifier 10.1111/1467-9752.12158
Copyright notice © 2015 The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
ISSN 0309-8249
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