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MANIPULATION, ARTIFICIAL MEANS, AND EDUCATION - page 4 / 42

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identifies freedom with permission and authority with power. We should instead reaffirm that authority refers to “a person who has access to a real value which he or she is capable of passing on to other free and intelligent individuals, who are prepared to receive it by means of education and a respectful attention”. Authority can only be exercised by a person who communicates values to another person on the basis of a shared intelligence. Thus, since the meanings and values passed on by that person are justified only by the fundamental precepts of “seeking, understanding and being responsible”, it postulates cooperation and authenticity as its sole source of legitimization (J.Wild). The right to authority, meant as guidance and limits-norms, cannot be eliminated or replaced. Forgetting this can only lead to a most tragic caricature, namely violence mistaken for education.

The right to narration – Neither belonging nor identity can be built without “life stories”, for “a competence in the construction and understanding of stories is crucial to the building of our lives, and enables us to create a “place” for ourselves in the possible world which we shall encounter” (J.S.Bruner). Education may thus be viewed as a place of “story-telling”, of stories which are deeply impressed in the minds of children and youths. However, there are different kinds of stories. What we need is not a form of escapism but the construction of a “greater” imaginary world (rich with all the opportunities that have come to fulfillment and maturity) which can encourage the development of the “smaller” but concrete world in which we must continue to live. Thus, we do not need just any stories, but stories whose purpose it is to support us in our existence so that we may improve the world.

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