Heidegger east and west: philosophy as educative contemplation

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Resonances between Heidegger's philosophy and Eastern religious traditions have been widely discussed by scholars. The significance of Heidegger's thinking for education has also become increasingly clear over recent years. In this article I argue that an important aspect of Heidegger's work, the relevance of which to education is relatively undeveloped, relates to his desire to overcome Western metaphysics, a project that invites an exploration of his connections with Eastern thought. I argue that Heidegger's desire to deconstruct the West implies the deconstruction of conventional views of learning because both aim to undercut the representational nature of thinking in order to recover thinking as a form of contemplation. Consequently, education should not be conceived as the acquisition of a more or less correct mental picture, but suggests the opposite: the relinquishing of all images in a contemplative aporia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-239
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2015


  • Heidegger's philosophy
  • Eastern religious traditions
  • Western metaphysics


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