Florin Lobont

Panel discussion: Philosophical practice in education. Philosophy with children.

Abstract: Despite many enthusiastic and often superficial presentations (which have become cliché) of philosophy with children and communities (P4C) practice, co-philosophizing in these communities is far from a linear, fast and easy process. Their members are often able to critique the ideas of others, but initiating new ideas, alternative opinions, or generating hypotheses are more difficult to acquire skills. Much less will they easily navigate the steps to authenticity. Often P4C enthusiasts present the mere sharing of ideas as the end of the road. Participants regularly share ideas with each other but do not yet listen carefully enough to the suggestions of others to make a difference at the level of their own thinking. Many people, perhaps even most, „assume that they reason if they give a reason – any kind of reason – after first promulgating a conclusion that they intuitively believe and/or want to be true.” (S. T. Gardner & D. J. Anderson). In this context, the cultivation of autonomy as a recipe for authenticity can steer the pursuant away from authenticity itself. As facilitators, we have a duty to teach these practice groups members that what counts as reasoning is not up to them—given that it is governed primarily by objective norms—and that it must take place in the public space, so that the value of their claims of truth can be confirmed by their ability to survive counterexamples and alternative comparison.

BIO: Studies: BA (UB), MSt (Oxon), PhD (Wales), PhD (UBB)

Professor, Faculty of Political Science, Philosophy and Communication Sciences, West University of Timisoara