How might emancipatory teaching practices look like in the context of the business school, when the meaning of the subject of emancipation, the human being, has become unsettled? Our philosophical essay addresses this question by excavating Jacques Rancière’s conception of intellectual emancipation and showing its practical relevance for experiments with emancipatory teaching in a business school environment. Speaking from within a tradition where the meaning of human is irrevocably unsettled, Rancière, remarkably, still insists on an essential link between emancipation and humanism – although in a minimal version. First, we show why and how Rancière’s analyses of emancipation are united by the common concern to affirm such a minimal humanism. Thereafter, we describe how three features sets intellectual emancipation apart from social and aesthetic emancipation and makes it pertinent to take intellectual emancipation to school: The possibility and intention to emancipate others, the acknowledgement of the constructive role of reason herein, and the significance of teacher authority in doing so. Lastly, we move beyond and problematize Rancière’s clear conceptual account of intellectual emancipation by extracting three heuristic pedagogical devices from it and by recounting their confrontation with the messy details of our teaching practice at the business school.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: November 12, 2020.
- Business school teaching
- Intellectual emancipation
- Jacques Rancière
- Minimal humanism