Phenomenology Online

A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry

Situational Knowledge: We discover what we know from our world.


Knowledge does not only inhere in the body but also in the things in the world. Knowledge exists in the world already, and it enables our embodied practices. An alien or disturbed environment may confuse the habituated and confident practices of the body. And thus, in a strange environment or unfamiliar world, we may not only feel disoriented but also quite stupid, naive, ignorant. For example, many teachers know how a positive atmosphere, trustful habits, and productive routines seem, in part, to be a function of the room, the physical space, the social ambience, and the cultural ecology of the school where they feel comfortable and at home.