Max Scheler’s Concept of <i>Bildung</i> and the Affective Core of Education


  • Daniele Bruzzone



Emotions, Education, Scheler


In recent years, the world of education has displayed renewed interest in the theme of emotions and emotional education. The notion of “emotional intelligence” has spread to many different fields, from school to work, and this has rescued the affective sphere from its longstanding position of inferiority. However, the main focus of this interest in emotion seems to be on self-exploration and self-expression, and while this helps to develop greater self-awareness, on the other hand it reduces the emotional life to its subjective and psychological dimensions. In contrast, phenomenology takes into account the intentionality of emotions and feelings as well as their key role in constituting the world and configuring existence. Thus, by recuperating the link between emotions and values, Max Scheler’s contribution is to allow education (and the education of educators) to be firmly situated within an ethical framework, saving it from being undermined by the emotionalism and narcissism that are currently so widespread. In this way, the younger generations, who today oscillate dangerously between the quest for “strong emotions” and the syndrome of the “sad passions”, may once more find a path towards affective growth understood as a necessary condition for authentic existence.