Explosive Ideas for Pedagogy and Education,
and the Processes of Spiritual Development

Variant title

Wybuchowe idee dla pedagogiki i edukacji a procesy rozwoju duchowego


The article introduces the concept of “explosive ideas,” while emphasizing the diverse function of three types of “explosions” in the mode of meeting texts in culture. The author illustrates his practice of reading, lecturing and writing books on the basis of five forms of “explosive effect,” inscribed in: (a) new meanings of well-known terms, destroying banality; (b) new terms as “screens” revealing otherwise invisible phenomena, (3) eye-opening questions that encourage a change in perspective; (4) individual theses postulating paradoxicality, complexity and new normativity of concepts; (5) sets of theses in the hermeneutic circle constituting a well-established space for another being in culture. The text illustrates the phenomenon of explosiveness with examples of development impulses inscribed in the history of ideas and achievements of Nobel laureates in literature, treating the humanities as any self-reflection of culture, constituting an invisible symbolic soil for the development of spirituality. The explosiveness of an idea has three functions: (a) destroying naivety and appearances, experiencing a shock, (b) paving the way for accessing new meanings, opening the eyes with the effect of awakening, (c) stimulating internal transformation, rooting in life-giving spiritual impulses, decentrating our roots in world culture. Finally, the text reveals the idea of a “pandemic of thoughtlessness.” The article proposes a strategy for the educational treatment of culture, in which the affirmation of the “explosive” fragment coincides with the concern for the integral effect of influencing the rooting in the space of meanings. The author illustrates the explosiveness by citing many examples from the humanities as a diverse field of cultural self-reflection, taking into account literature, including poetry, and pointing to attempts to build theories as hypothetical representations of conceptual invariants of experience. The adopted strategy of reading belles-lettres, history of philosophy, social disciplines and ideas of the humanities is subordinated to the concern for the spiritual development of subsequent generations, inscribed in the symbolic heritage, and at the same time translates into pedagogical postulates.

Article history

Received 01 June 2021. Revised 04 July 2021. Accepted 05 July 2021. Published online 11 July 2021




Polish (pl)


Lech WitkowskiPomeranian University in Słupsk


Orbis Idearum Volume 9, Issue 1 (2021), pp. 123-143
The Classics and the History of Education