without consequence (for that would be tyranny, not freedom). No, this is legitimate
freedom lived within the context of the web of plurality – the plurality of others, where
there is risk and vulnerability as one respects and takes into account the freedom of others
(Biesta, 2010). Biesta (2010) contends, “Education, in other words, should always have
an interest in human freedom, and this is what lies behind my insistence of the
importance of the subjectification dimension of education” (p. 75). In this light,
subjectification closely resembles emancipation. In fact, “emancipation can be
understood as a process of subjectification” (Bingham & Biesta, 2010, p. 33), where one
has shunned the path and axiom of inequality for the path and axiom of equality, set free
as it were, to change the world.
Jacques Ranciere, a contemporary French philosopher who has made significant
contributions to aesthetics, politics, and education, has made some provocative claims
about equality. Ranciere contends that we are all equally intelligent (Ranciere, 1991). (It
is important to note that Ranciere does not argue that we are all equally educated).
Ranciere not only believes the insidious binary of smart and dumb needs to be
obliterated; he (in effect) rejects its very existence. For Ranciere, “to be emancipated
means to act on the basis of the assumption of equality” (Bingham & Biesta, 2010, p. 46).
I believe this perspective is implicit in Hannah Arendt’s conceptualization of judgment.
Judgment, for Arendt, is a necessary disposition or capacity that students must develop if
they hope to transition to effective social actors engaged in the “task of renewing a
common world” (Smith, 2001, p. 69). Judgment, simply put, is the political actor’s
ability “to engage in ‘representative thinking,’” to put him/herself in the “minds of other
men” in order “to take on an ‘enlarged mentality,’ which allows them to form opinions