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SAINT FLEUR Joseph P. « Ludwig Wittgenstien : de l’éthique de la pédagogie à la pédagogie de l’éthique » - Spirale 21 (1998)

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Résumé : Wittgenstein est surtout connu comme philosophe. Mais connaît-on, le Wittgenstein pédagogue, qui, à l’apogée de s gloire, abandonne les fastes de l’Université de Cambridge pour aller se perdre, comme simple instituteur, dans des villages reculés de Basse-Autriche ? Chose étrange, ce philosophe épris de pédagogie n’a pas élaboré un Traiter de pédagogie. Mais justement cela constitue déjà un signe qu’il faut décoder, un enseignement dont il faut dégager la portée tant théorique que pratique. Cet article se propose de mettre au grand jour la dimension éthique sous-jacente à l’œuvre de Wittgenstein, dimension qui donne tout son sens au projet wittgensteinien d’élaboration d’un Vocabulaire à l’usage des enfants des écoles primaires, vocabulaire qui, par là même, cesse d’apparaître comme une excroissance sans rapport avec les grands textes de Wittgenstein.

Abstract : Wittgenstein is mainly known as a philosopher, as this slightly original philosopher who was at the origin, and this quite unwittingly, of several diverging if not incompatible philosophical Schools or Doctrines using him as a reference. But what is known about Wittgenstein the pedagogue, the world-famous philosopher who at the height of his glory gives the glamour and prestige of Cambridge University to withdraw to remote villages of lower Austria and work as and ordinary primary school teacher ? Strangely enough, this philosopher with a passion for pedagogy, who wondered how to educate to autonomy and freedom, how to avoid making language a mere container of clichés and stereotypes and conveyor of intructions, did not write any Treaty of Pedagogy, contrary to what could be expected of him. But precisely, his not writing any is already a sign to be deciphered, a teaching whose theoretical and practical bearing has to be grasped. Besides the various remarks about how a sign is to be specifically understood, the stress laid on the necessity of the context to determine the meaning without forgetting this constant underlying his whole work, and which goes so far to become a life-principle, namely that is essential, what really matters can’t be described through the medium of language but shows, all this seems to be somehow illustrated in this short text constituted by the Vocabulary for primary school childreen. This communication will try to bring to light the ethical dimension underlying Wittgenstein’s work, a dimension giving full meaning to Wittgznstein’s project which consists in setting up a vocabulary for primary schools, a Vocabulary which, through this, will no longer appear as an irrelevant outgrowth in Wittgenstein’s major writings.

SPIRALE - Revue de Recherches en Éducation - 1998 N° 21 (191-205)

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