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Journeying and the experiential gaze in research

French, Robert; Gaggiotti, Hugo; Simpson, Peter


Robert French

Hugo Gaggiotti
Associate Professor in Human Resource Management


In this paper we consider the implications of the ideas of journeying and the experiential gaze for research practice. We do so by drawing first upon Plato’s analogy of the Cave as a mythical representation of the journey of the philosopher to see ultimate reality, invisible and unknown, but constituting the underlying truth of what we experience through our senses. Plato referred to this underlying truth as eidos, the Form or Idea (typically capitalised). We use this myth as a metaphor for research as a journey of discovery. Recognising that, for some, ancient philosophy may not provide the most convincing model for a consideration of research practice, we suggest that a parallel process is evident in the approach of the British psychoanalyst, Wilfred Bion (1984, 1987). We will highlight not only the parallels between philosophy and Bion’s conception of inquiry in a psychoanalytic context but also draw upon his model of mental growth as a basis for considering the development of insight in the process of research.


French, R., Gaggiotti, H., & Simpson, P. (2012, July). Journeying and the experiential gaze in research. Paper presented at Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism
Start Date Jul 10, 2012
End Date Jul 14, 2012
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords philosophy, Plato, psychodynamics, Bion, research, inquiry, theoria, contemplation
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism