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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 75; doi:10.3390/educsci7030075

Body, Mind and Spirit—Philosophical Reflections for Researching Education about the Holocaust

Historisches Institut, Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Campus Essen, Universitätsstr, 12 45117 Essen, Germany
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract

This reflective essay draws a sketch of the theoretical and philosophical foundations in preparation for conducting a research project that investigates how German school learners deal with the memories of Shoah survivors. The essay explores some communication challenges and opportunities presented by the use of the double linguistic medium—German and English. The central philosophical argument is that there is a conceptual conflation of and confusion around the word Geist (spirit/mind), and that the difference between the spirit and the mind needs to be explored and clarified. For this purpose Hegel’s thoughts on the spirit are considered and related to theories of memory. Also, Theodor Lessing’s reflections on the origins of hatred are touched upon, which he traces back to the splitting of the spirit from the mind. How the body, mind and spirit work together is highlighted with a biographical example of a descendant of a Nazi perpetrator. By way of conclusion, the philosophical and methodological implications for researching education about the Shoah are briefly discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: education about the holocaust; Hegel; spirit; mind; Geist; memory; language education about the holocaust; Hegel; spirit; mind; Geist; memory; language
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Morgan, K.E. Body, Mind and Spirit—Philosophical Reflections for Researching Education about the Holocaust. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 75.

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