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Vol. 32 No. 1 (2016)
Even when figured conceptually, learning is never simply a matter of logic. There are just too many intertwined fibers in human experience that need language overlapses to disclose them to our consciousness. Each time we interact with texts or phenomena, are we examining or learning? We might say that ‘good’ texts make us learn something and ‘bad’ things urge us to examine what possibly went wrong. But whether good or bad, each experience challenges us to learn. Learning is a process that widely and subtly ‘moves’ every culture in the world, not in a dominating intention, but in a shock of recognition. We recognise the truth in learning, for it discloses itself without needing our genius. Logic is not everything.
Hence, there could not be learning by power, however reasonable is the process. Truth is true rather than simply reasonable. It refers to its own way, while reasoning to our way. Should we not learning instead of assessing? Melintas is here to ask some disclosive reading. The first writing observes the problems ignited by power in Nigeria, by looking at the use of power by the political actors, especially during the democratic dispensation. The author finds that the flagrant disregard for the rule of law as an abuse of power has been the bane to good governance. Power does not help to learn. The second writing explores the cultural claims of Seyla Benhabib towards a model of deliberative cosmopolitan democracy. Egalitarian reciprocity, voluntary self-ascription, and freedom of exit and association are three normative conditions supporting the culture as a social construct that is mixed and plural. The third writing sees the learning process in education inspired by a particular Sundanese text, Sewaka Darma, and its pedagogical implications. This text contains a particular model of education by way of teaching the wisdom of life to a student in order to be a knowing and integral person. The fourth writing looks at different approaches by Simone de Beauvoir and Emmanuel Levinas in seeing transcendence. Transcendence can be viewed as a process from within the subject as well as an attraction from ‘the other’; it is simply sensed and cannot be mastered. The fifth writing explores Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception, particularly on the experience of sense. The author walks through Merleau-Ponty’s critique on empiricism and intellectualism, to come to the ideas of sense experience with and through the body and bodily experience with and through the world.
Learning includes sensing through experiences. Changes are learned, not merely imposed. When reason(ing) is the only power governing our acts, we might not learn anything at all. Sensitivity is one of the most urgent requirements now in order that the world recognise the truth disclosively. A ‘sensible’ culture?