Nicholas Stock

Doctoral Researcher

Nicolas Stock

Current Status

Fouth year, part-time.

Research Topic

An Ironist Ontotheology of Education 

Research Summary

This study is written from the perspective of Richard Rorty's 'ironist' as an approach for redescribing education.  This entails a deconstructive, ironic and occasionally fictive ontology, embodying a range of philosophical approaches.  Widely, my ironist perspective seeks to question assumptions about the language that exists around education, so to more accurately represent education as a being.  Further, literary influences and styles are often called upon to aid analysis and structure my writing.  

The thesis comprises of three major elements:

  1. The tracing of pivotal and archetypal metaphors in education.  This is achieved through reading texts that exist ubiquitously in the educational realm, such as Plato's Republic or Rousseau's Emile.  In my reading of these texts, metaphors such as 'darkness and light' or 'truth and nature' are revealed as significant in terms of the ontology of education.
  2. The deconstruction of educational metaphors through a Heideggerean and Derridaen approach.  In such deconstruction, claims of truth and paradoxes are revealed within the metaphors, therefore allowing us to reconsider the ways in which we view education.  As such, this is an ironic reading of education as a text. 
  3. The redescription of education through both fictive and non-fictive writing.  In light of the 'parts' left after the educational metaphors have been deconstructed, an image of education is drawn.  Partly this is in a Foucauldian manner, as an apparatus of control, and partly in a Heideggerean manner, as a being of God-like significance and metaphysical presence.  I further this with a fictional account of a beast, suggesting the dangerous and bestial qualities of education that exist in the metaphors that shape it.  

Research Interests

  • Postmodernism and poststructuralism  
  • The end of metaphysics  
  • The significance of Education
  • Literature as research

Research Supervisors

Dr Ben Kotzee

Dr Josephine Brady


First year module for BA Education


School of Education


Stock, N. 2018, 'And what rough beast? An ontotheological exploration of education as a being', Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2018.1472573

Stock, N. 2017, 'Deconstructing the Divergence: Unraveling the 2013-2015 reforms in GCSE English Language and Literature', English in Education, Vol 51 No. 2, pp.143-156.

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