Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


The severity of the challenges made to traditionally and historically accepted understandings of truth, what is true, what is false and “fake,” and even what is real, continues unabated in American public discourse. Nevertheless, the primary argument in this paper does not aim to identify the causes of the breakdown of representation (i.e. in the Trump administration, within the education reform movement) and the correspondence-based conceptions of truth. Instead, the focus is on discussing the hermeneutic phenomenology of Martin Heidegger and offering a conceptualization of truth as lived and experienced. Challenges to truth are to be understood not as an attack on the foundations of Western rationality, but as built into the presuppositions that inform the taken for granted representational understanding of truth. Democracy requires a space whereby a multitude of ideas can flourish alongside one another. Truth as aletheia, a more pragmatic and phenomenologically-attuned conceptualization of truth, can serve as a way forward in honoring this key tenet of democracy. The results of this reflective analysis of truth as aletheia is a broadened description and tentative definition that can offer new insights for living into a more democratically-driven future than can reductive, correspondence-based conceptions of truth.

Publication Title

Critical Questions in Education


Academy for Educational Studies





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Special Theme Issue
The Digitally Connected Academic: Public Scholarship and Activism in the Era of the Internet