Electronic Historiography: Historical Videos as Alternative to Literary Narrative

Recently, there has been the lingering tendency among historians to consign history documentaries to a secondary position of relevance, especially in comparison with history presented in conventional literature. It is the position of this article that, irrespective of style peculiarities, any documentary that reflects the world, in a manner that conforms to basic historical method, is as good as historiography. The essay therefore makes a case for the acceptance of history documentaries, not merely as a subset of historiography but a mainstream feature, coequal in status as, and complementary to, printed text. The article, therefore, controverts the notion that only written history is historiography, as this amounts to resisting improvements in presentation brought about by cultural and technological change.

Democratic Principles for a Model of Emancipatory Education of Minds for the Future

Paulo Freire and Jacque Rancière are key philosophers of the critical education tradition who have criticised didactic educational practice as oppressive through objectification and stultification. They argue that through the working of power in the educator-educated relationship, the educators regulate or control the knowledge that is accessed by the educated’s consciousness and explicate such knowledge to the degree that enforce the notion that the educated have inferior intelligence to that of the educators. This oppressive subject-object relationship is considered to not only result in “naıve consciousness” but also a kind of intellectual laziness that weaken the attention people give to their own intellectual powers in relation to their experiential challenges. This condition leads to educational engagements, underwritten by the belief in intellectual inequality, that equip the educated with reproductive abilities rather than creative will to engage in conscious, reflective, and responsive response to physical and social limit situations that confront humanity presently and in the future. Hence, inspired by the concepts of emancipatory transformative educational principles, I draw insights from philosophers like Freire, Rancière, Biesta, Bergson, and Chia to articulate the principles of an emancipatory educational engagement that is based on the assumptions of intellectual equality and focused on providing the educated with the freedom to develop independent and autonomous creativity in transformative response to present and future limit situations. It is hoped that the application of the proposed principles would foster the orientation of the educated into becoming independent and autonomous critical and creative thinkers who are equipped with the skills of consciousness and critical intervention in the realities of their circumstantial challenges.

The Implication of the Ambiguity of the Concept of Freedom

The concept of freedom has an experiential origin in a practical context of human life. This concept and others associated with it have a prior claim to structure human moral life. The genealogy of the concept and its prominently practical employment, however, do not logically compel the adoption of a worldview that offers a definite interpretation of the nature of freedom, causality, determinism, or human destiny. The construction of a worldview may indeed involve a move to deny applicability to the concept of freedom. Yet we cannot honestly participate in a discourse in which we define, affirm, or deny freedom without admitting that we feel free and responsible in fundamental noetic and conative acts. Since we cannot exist as humans without thinking and deciding, we must consider ourselves free in that primordial sense. Here we have a dialectical defense of freedom but such defense is an aspect of a continuing pursuit, by human beings existing in time, of a proper balance between the demands of theory and those of practice.