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The Company We Keep: In Search of a More Genuine Partnership Between Mind and Body, Theory and Practice, Scholarship and Life


by Stephanie Mackler December 21, 2005

In this commentary, I argue that academia currently misunderstands the relationship between theory and practice, mind and body, intellectual thought and everyday life, and I offer an alternative conception of that relationship. This issue is especially prominent and pressing for Education research and teaching, which is concerned equally with both intellectual work (theory) and everyday life (practice). Currently, academics either assume thought and life (mind and body, theory and practice) should have nothing to do with each other, or they force them together unnaturally by applying theory to practice. I offer a brief critique of these approaches, arguing that they all rest on the assumption that thought and life are inherently disconnected. I conclude by suggesting a new way to relate life and thought. We must, I argue, learn to allow thought and life to interact in a dynamic way and represent this interaction in our scholarship. I turn to the work of Hannah Arendt for a model of what such an approach can look like.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 21, 2005
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12268, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 3:59:57 PM

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About the Author
  • Stephanie Mackler
    Cornell College
    E-mail Author
    STEPHANIE MACKLER is Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Cornell College. Her primary areas of scholarship are philosophy of higher education and liberal learning, hermeneutics, Hannah Arendt, and philosophy as a way of living.
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