The institution of education and comparative studies in Modernity
The central social imaginary signification of collective and personal autonomy, created in Ancient Greece, re-emerged after the Middle Ages as a new social-historical project. This chapter aims to access the magma of imaginary significations of selected eras in order to understand the institution of education and the comparative gaze towards other civilisations. In other words, it also aims to trace the main complex of significations and institutions, and their clashes and syntheses, which gave rise to the European world, in the context of which educational institutions and comparative inquiry emerged. During the European Modern Era, the project of autonomy confronted the Ancien Regime and, later on, the drive towards the rationalistic mastery and control of nature and society, a novel central imaginary signification that arose in Modernity. Art expanded spectacularly in Modernity exploring the human condition and critiquing the status quo – either the age-old power of the Church or the increasing industrialisation of societies.