On the Value of Double Messages

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Feinstein School of Education and Human Development


The notion of 'double message' is commonly perceived as a negative one in the educational context. Many believe that an educational institution, and even better, a whole community, must convey a consistent moral message to the youth. This paper aims to show that the consistency of a message is not always good, and that truly educational moral message is always a double message, an ambivalent and a self-contradicting one. To preserve the polyphony of a moral message, I argue, is more important than to observe the cohesion of such a message.

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