Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 211-232

First online:

Awakening from Descartes' nightmare: On the love of ambiguity in phenomenological approaches to education

  • David W. JardineAffiliated withFaculty of Education, The University of Calgary

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper is an exploration of the Cartesian paradigms of clarity and univocity and how these inform contemporary educational theory and practice. Phenomenology is discussed as a way of disrupting Descartes' visions of clarity and distinctness as paradigms of knowledge and as a return of inquiry to life as it is actually lived. Analogical discourse is examined as a way of giving a voice to this sort of inquiry. Heidegger's notions of inquiry as obedience and thanksgiving are discussed.

Key Words

education inquiry Descartes univocity ambiguity analogy phenomenology Husserl Wittgenstein Heidegger