Response to Semetsky: Thinking of(f) the Deep End: Semetsky and the Complicated Conversation

  • James Anthony Whitson


An astonishing array of theoretical discourses appear woven together seamlessly in Semetsky’s rationale for using Tarot practice as a tool for education, drawing from theoretical traditions that range from Jung’s and Pauli’s theories of archetypes and synchronicity, to chaos and complexity or complex systems theories, to C.S. Peirce’s semiotic pragmaticism, to natural law, to hermeneutics, and to the phenomenology of human subjects and life‐worlds. This response considers some of those traditions in relation to each other, with particular concern for issues of language, meaning, knowledge, thinking, and human agency. The priority of Semetsky’s concern for individuation and integration of the human subject within their meaningful life‐world is observed as having paramount importance for her project.

Author Biography

James Anthony Whitson
Tony Whitson is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Constitution and Curriculum: Hermeneutical Semiotics of Cases and Controversies in Education, Law, and Social Science (1991: Falmer), and with David Kirshner he co‐edited Situated Cognition: Social, Semiotic, and Psychological Perspectives (1997: Erlbaum). Recent publications include Education à la Silhouette: The need for semiotically‐informed curriculum consciousness. Semiotica, 164(1/4), 235‐329 (2007). He blogs on curriculum matters at , and maintains a wiki on curriculum matters at http://tw‐ .
Invited Responses