After Disciplines?

Critical Activity as Encyclopaideia

in Contention
Author:
Mino Conte University of Padua, Italy mino.conte@unipd.it

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In this article, I critically discuss the ambiguous notion of ‘discipline’ and the related constructions of inter-, multi-, post-disciplinarity, from an ‘epistemic’ and ‘socio-political’ point of view. Particularly, I focus on the role of ‘power’ and ‘authority’, and on the consequences that follow by assuming a ‘foundationalist’ or ‘post-foundationalist’ approach. Next, assuming a ‘Critical Theory’ perspective, I try to rethink the meaning of a ‘critical activity’ able to generate a real social and epistemic change. I contend that a new discipline of thought is needed, rather than new disciplines, and a new personal attitude, not only engaged in mere procedures of recording “facts”, but characterised by a serious concern for the role of generalization or theory. A ‘crossing homeless’ attitude is proposed, that is at the same time theoretical, intellectual and practical, concerning the ‘unreasonable’ discipline of a critical activity aimed at putting culture in circle (‘encyclopaideia’) by systematically discontinuing events of subjectifi cation.

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Contention

The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

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