As illustrated in an earlier iteration of this study, the 'Ways of Knowing' thesis of Jurgen Habermas suggests that there is a consistent pattern across discipline areas by which knowledge is revealed and further negotiated, and that this is an important thesis for a project attempting to identify and define patterns of research higher degree examination across discipline areas. Furthermore, this earlier work was able to identify ways in which these patterns revealed themselves in the text of the doctoral thesis examination report, including some case study work on re-examination reports. In summary, this work has concluded that the preponderant mode of assessment employed by examiners resembles closely Habermas's empirical-analytic way of knowing, complete with the potential discouragement of both original thought and genuinely new contributions to knowledge. This article will re-capture the findings of this earlier work and extend the resultant thesis in three ways: first, it will apply to each of the ways of knowing an analysis of the positioning between the examiner and the candidate, summed up in the notions of 'expertise', 'partnership' and 'symmetrical' texts; second it will include an exploration of the ramifications of the thesis for the role played by supervision and supervisors in research higher degree work; and, third, it will begin making connections between the thesis and the literature of power discourse.
International Journal of Educational Research Vol. 41, Issue 2, p. 163-177