The end of lifelong learning: a post-human condition by Edwards

This is enlightening.

Edwards provided a number of binaries that illustrate the epistemological-ontological separation.(Edwards, 2010: 8)

epistemology – ontology
meaning – matter
significance – substance
subject – object
theory – practice
knowing – becoming
apparent- real
reflecting – intervening
thinking – doing
representing – experimenting

This sums up his description of a post-human education which I would like to consider further this week:

“Here a post-human condition could position responsible experimentation as a gathering of the human and non-human to establish matters of concern…it is not the human subject who learns through experimenting rather than representing, but the thing that is gathered which is an enactment of human and non-human elements.There is a decentring of the knowing/learning human subject within educational practices.”(Edwards, 2010: 13)


Edwards, R. (2010). The end of lifelong learning: A post-human condition? Studies in the Education of Adults, vol 42, no 1, 5-17.

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2 Responses to “The end of lifelong learning: a post-human condition by Edwards”

  1. sbayne March 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    This is a great passage to pull out Chantelle. The ‘responsible experimentation’ of Edwards aligns for me with Haraway’s pleasure in the confusion of boundaries, and ‘responsibility in their construction’. I like the idea of education as a set of confused boundaries : )

  2. cmeckenstock March 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Thank you Sian. I am keen to read more examples of the actual practice of ‘responsible experimentation’ as described by Edwards. I think the term ‘responsible’ introduced by Edwards is a good one as it touches on ethics. However, is this also suggesting that the non post-human idea of learning is lacking of responsible experimentation? Or that if there was experimentation it is towards a well defined end? I see experimentation as creativity, and not necessarily with a posthuman label.

    It is also interesting that although the basis of computing is based on encoding data in binary codes, posthumanism associates itself with idea of rhizomatic, organic and blurred boundaries. I can understand how this is a reaction against the strict categorisation introduced in the past, and things are being deconstructed, reinterpreted and repositioned. However, does this also entail that posthumanism engages and advocates ‘relativity’ and revisionism?

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