HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 16 no. 2 (2015)


Noelle Leslie C. De La Cruz

Discipline: Education, Philosophy



My aim in this paper is to explore what Paul Ricoeur’s theory of narrative can contribute to the discussion about the nature and aims of education. Debates about what learning is and how teaching ought to be conducted are usually based on ontological theories, i.e., claims about the nature of pedagogy and its desiderata. Theories of narrative (see Taylor 1989, Polkinghorne 1988, Carr 1986, and MacIntyre 1981, for example) are usually applied to discussions about teaching and research methods. However, I want to show that Ricoeur’s concept of narrative identity is relevant not just to issues of methodology; it has both ontological and ethical implications. It constitutes the basis of a unique view of the learning process, one that emphasizes intersubjectivity and authenticity. It also provides a set of ethical principles for the practice of teaching as storytelling.