Pedagogisch gezag is geen epistemisch gezag. Een pleidooi tegen de verwetenschappelijking van de pedagogiek | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652



I argue in this paper that upbringing and education do not profit from having become objects of scientific investigation. Epistemic authority, the typical kind of product of the sciences, has not much of a role to play in pedagogical relationships. This is mainly because such relationships are predominantly arranged around what I call ‘normative expectations’. Such expectations are not grounded in knowledge of causal or instrumental patterns but are determined in a practice of mutually ascribing and undertaking obligations and entitlements. Epistemic authority would have to be based on a model of such practices, but using this kind of knowledge-based authority in such practices does disturb the practice due to looping effects. As a result of such looping effects pedagogical relationships are, from a scientific point of view, essentially moving targets. This does not mean that upbringing and education do not need serious intellectual attention. They do. But such attention should be grounded in common sense, rather than in a scientistic attempt to replace common sense.


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