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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Schooled in dreams : counter-posing "the ontology of ascent" with "auras of the other" to re-enchant in/vocation in sites of learning and being Daley, Mark Philip


This work is a multi-disciplinary conceptual inquiry into some of the historical structures and strictures of the ascetic-ascendant moral ontology that invariably conditions, and makes disparate, voice and vocation in educational spaces. Whereas the western philosophical tradition has become complicit with empiricism and supposed to do away with transcendence, the sublime remains, but has albeit lapsed into new programs of ascent with conspicuous devotion to new ‘fashions’ of asceticism (Weber’s work-promise analytic inflected ascetic-ascendant). Against all secular sensibility, the salvation effect (Nietzsche) has intensified (Gauchet). Instead of drawing ‘moral sources’ (Taylor) from the enchanted (Other), we imagine them in the immanent (Ontic); instead of destiny being subjective and relational, destinations are taken up instrumentally in what is more narrowly teleological. To the extent that moral sources shift immanent but are residually fantastic, I develop for reflective criticism the Dream Ontology: a work-promise matrix that circumscribes self-regard (identity) and world-engagement (morality) in alluring closures of meaning, whose tacit dislocating moral force initiates unsuspected agonistic effects. By profiling salient moral moments in the west, therefore, and attempting a genealogy of their cultural transmission, I explore how by means of the Dream Ontology the characteristic feature of modern life is fundamentally schismatic and self-buffering – cutting persons off from mythic sources, and affectivity more generally, in a barter to secure fanciful flourishing (promise) in the world. In remediation of this beguiling naturalization of disjoined voice and vocation, the Prophetic Mode will re/member being by sourcing transcendence (enchantment) in the Other, who ‘as’ sub-verse and ‘by means of’ solicitous counter-speech, affectively disrupts the dominion of dreams that reign thick in the text/ures of western schooling.

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