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Title: A Peircean theory of learning
Author: Olteanu, Alin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8304
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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I develop a theory of learning grounded in Charles Peirce’s semiotics. This endeavour comes in the context of the iconic (phenomenological) turn in semiotics, which resulted in a Peircean renaissance, and of the growing semiotic trend in education. Peirce’s semiotics offers insights into the phenomenon of learning and contains an implicit philosophy of education. The application of Peirce’s phenomenological categories to education reveals the semiosic character of education. Learning, education, and research constitute a triad, having the structure of a sign (phenomenon of signification). As such, they are correspondingly governed by Peirce’s three criteria of evolution: chance, necessity, and love. Therefore, Peirce’s theory of education can only be understood in the context of his theory of evolution. I develop three central arguments: (1) that according to Peirce’s taxonomy of signs, learning is the evolution of signification from the Icon sign type to the Argument sign type, (2) that learning is the Universe’s way of discovering itself through life forms, thus being both an evolutionary factor and an explanation for the emergence of life and (3) that learning can only be fulfilled in self-denying love for the other. Using Peirce’s taxonomy of signs I analyse the student/teacher relation, explaining how the passage from Icon to Argument proceeds and how learning is fulfilled in self-denying love.
Supervisor: Dubowski, Janek ; Rae, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: semiotics ; education