Aporias, webs, and passages: Doubt as an opportunity to learn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers an exploration of the idea, and the experience, of aporia (usually translated as "doubt") in Plato's dialogue, the Meno, and in other teaching/learning contexts. A metaphor that moves throughout the article is the experience of being lost when exploring the World Wide Web and other weblike or hypertextual environments. The article represents the experience of movement, following uncertain connections, and cycling back through certain points by way of the form in which it is written. Through a series of interlinked passages, the article explores the ideas of webs, passages, and paths of connection as models of discovery, getting lost, making unexpected connections, and learning. It explores different types of aporia and shows how aporia can be seen, not as a barrier to knowledge, or as simply "clearing the ground" for new learning, but as an integral dimension of learning (and of teaching) itself. By design, it offers not an argument but a way of exploring complex ideas; in a different medium, it could have been produced as a hypertextual article itself (and in this way might also spark reflection on the possibilities and limits of hypertextual writing within a print medium).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171
Number of pages1
JournalCurriculum Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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