Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Higher Education; Education Philosophy;


This study--a philosophical exploration, partly in an autoethnographical account--provides an empirical demonstration that one's personal project has a strong and positive impact on the dissertation process both for endurance to complete the process and for quality of the product. The concept of project is often explained as one's pursuit of his or her most important philosophical issues. This dissertation originated in the very beginning of my doctoral education in summer 2000 when I first encountered the man behind the coffee shop counter. In his life story he expressed a strong question about the problem of knowledge and authentic living. How to overcome the nature of language to express sensitive human experience and awareness of existence which manifests in multiple layers of epistemological and ontological reality--the project of this person, and my own which I had acknowledged in my adolescence, have been shared since that summer.

In my dissertation, the notion of "Being in the world" derives from both the Zen Ten Ox Herding pictures as well as Martin Heidegger's concept of human existence. In the Zen teaching, even after experiencing the light of the world, the most important thing is that one must still live his or her life among people. Heidegger's Being-in-the-world connotes the life of human being living toward his or her life with the awareness of such ontological existence. During my long academic and mental stagnation, the sense of responsibility for my project sustained me through the difficulties. However, it was only after becoming an active doctoral student again that I regained my voice to stand up for my own questions, to direct my research process.

Once we describe phenomena, the reality that is pointed to and the description are not the same. And often our reality in the present time consists of the recollection of past memories, which appear in non-linear order. In order to challenge these issues of temporality and language, I have taken a form of narrative representation to help readers re-create their own dimension of reality.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

First Advisor

Robert M. Boody


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 144 pages)



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