Chapter 3. Gut Instinct: The body and learning

  1. Gloria Dall'Alba
  1. Robyn Barnacle research fellow

Published Online: 17 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444322828.ch3

Exploring Education through Phenomenology

Exploring Education through Phenomenology

How to Cite

Barnacle, R. (2010) Gut Instinct: The body and learning, in Exploring Education through Phenomenology (ed G. Dall'Alba), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444322828.ch3

Editor Information

  1. University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Author Information

  1. RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196598

Online ISBN: 9781444322828



  • gut instinct - the body and learning;
  • role of body in learning - needing a body to experience the world;
  • old ‘brain in the vat’ scenario - untenable;
  • performance-based funding and quality control, managerialism - as hallmarks of contemporary universities;
  • rationalistic conceptions of learning - rational mind, presiding hierarchically over inert body;
  • feminist turn - ongoing association with female gender;
  • psyche and soma - understanding status of biological within feminist theory and Sigmund Freud's legacy;
  • role of embodiment in knowing;
  • ongoing debate within cognitive science and phenomenological inquiry;
  • learning between biological and symbolic - establishment of what Dreyfus calls social norms, or practices


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Feminist Turn

  • Psyche and Soma

  • Embodiment and Knowing

  • The Body and Cognition

  • Learning between the Biological and Symbolic

  • Implications for Education

  • Acknowledgement

  • References