Materiality of body, materiality of world — remarks on emancipatory education: Illich, Freire and contemporary political philosophy


  • Urszula Zbrzeźniak



body, material condition, emancipation, Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich


The paper addresses the issue of the corporeal dimension of the learning process. The problem of the material side of education has emerged within the emancipatory education project, but, as will be argued, this was limited to a critique inspired by Marxist tradition. The perspective on the materiality of education offered by Freire’s and Illich’s works can be significantly enriched by contemporary political thought. The latter perceives materiality in its complexity, that is, as economic conditions but also as the inherent needs stemming from our bodily condition. As will be demonstrated, the contemporary reflection could serve as a critique, one on the limited character of Freire’s and Illich’s emancipatory education, as well as providing ideas which might expand their project.