- Designing for phronèsis: experiences with transformative learning on sustainable development
- Critical Policy Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Since regular modes of knowledge production run the risk of reiterating and reinforcing current practices of unsustainable growth, the ambition of a sustainable development implies the need to design novel modes for 'knowing what to do next.' This article explores the notion of phronegravesis as a potential heuristic for developing relevant knowledge generating practices. Three principles of phronegravetic knowledge production are outlined on the basis of the Aristotelian concept and Gadamer's theory of Philosophical Hermeneutics. The practical implications of these principles are explored by relating them to experiences gained with a Dutch experimental programme on stimulating sustainable development (dubbed NIDO), and its evaluation. The article relates how the research approach in the evaluation shifted from 'exegetic hermeneutics' to a dialogical design for interpretive research. It is argued that with this shift the evaluation project was bound to trigger what Forester (1999) dubs 'transformative learning ' in a similar way the NIDO programme did. Because of the transformative powers inherent in a dialogical form of understanding, and the claims on revolutionary societal change inherent in the notion of sustainability, the articles concludes that designing knowledge production practices which F yield phronegravesis may well prove quintessential in any attempt at stimulating fundamental, sustainable change.
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