This article analyzes the phenomenon of learning. The author decided to focus her attention on the study of the contradictions that, on the one hand, are at the basis of this phenomenon, and, on the other hand, make its very existence and functioning possible as an integral part of educational process. In order to clarify the nature of conflicts causing the ambiguity (difficulty) of the phenomenon of learning, the author decided to refer to the theory of communication, which has been developed within the framework of sociology by N. Luhmann and in the framework of semiotics by Y. M. Lotman. Communication concept is used here as a kind of analog model, which serves to highlight some of the features of the phenomenon of learning. As a result of this comparison, the author comes to the conclusion that the source of inconsistency of the learning process is in the ambiguity (ambivalence) of its nature: it appears to us both as a social institution and as a "communicative event", an integral part of the communication process itself.
contradictions (ambiguity) of the phenomenon of learning, communication, social institution