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Existential Philosophy and the Promise of Education

Learning from Myths and Metaphors

Mordechai Gordon

Myths and metaphors share not only an ability to call our attention to aspects of our world of which we were previously unaware, but also a propensity toward symbolic meanings and interpretations. In Existential Philosophy and the Promise of Education: Learning from Myths and Metaphors, Professor Gordon draws on some well-known myths and metaphors of various Existentialist thinkers and writers as a lens and an interpretative framework with which to explore a variety of issues in philosophy of education. His book argues that symbolic or metaphorical interpretations can offer us representations of problems in education that go beyond what we can gain when we consider them only in their literal sense. Existential Philosophy and the Promise of Education is an excellent classroom text for a variety of foundations courses, including the Philosophy of Education.
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Chapter 1. Teachers as Absurd Heroes: Camus’ Sisyphus and the Promise of Rebellion


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Albert Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus portrays the mortal Sisyphus who was condemned by the Greek gods to perpetually roll a boulder to the top of a mountain, upon which the rock would roll all the way back down the slope of its own weight. Sisyphus was forced to repeat this process indefinitely, which the gods viewed as the most futile and dreadful of all punishments. Camus considered Sisyphus the absurd hero and noted that:

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