This article starts from Derrida’s account of the condition of possibility of ethics as the experience of aporia. Drawing also upon Nietzsche’s notion of intellectual conscience, various aspects of what this means for education are discussed. Since teaching practice is typically characterised by choices between conflicting values, ethics in teachers’ work entails sensitivity to the complex and dilemma-loaded reality of practice. If choices of action are predetermined by a “program” to be implemented, ethical awareness is dimmed or eroded. Present neoliberal educational policies may contribute to such erosions of the conditions of possibility of ethical action in educational practice.

Keywords: aporia, intellectual conscience, dilemmas of schooling