The International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children ICPIC

Linked with Matthew Lipman – USA.

The International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) was created in 1985 by philosophers and teachers interested in engaging children in philosophical inquiry … (full text about).

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What is Philosophy with Children? Philosophy with Children is a movement that has been in existence more or less formally for as long as there have been adults who are interested in children’s ideas about the world, about themselves as human subjects, and about the fundamental issues-epistemological, ontological, aesthetic and ethical-which are the common heritage of us all. In addition to educators who were also writers-like Tolstoy or Bronson Alcott-who recorded and reflected on their conversations with children, there are no doubt countless unsung teachers and parents who have listened with a keen ear-sometimes philosophically trained and sometimes not-to their child interlocutors. The British poet William Wordsworth, in one of the most popular poems of the 19th century-”Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”–characterized the young child as “best philosopher.”

And anyone who has dialogued with groups of children as young as six or seven can attest to the liveliness and freshness of their thought–their startlingly vivid capacity for exemplification, for analogical thinking, their sensitivity to philosophical concepts, their enthusiasm for dialogical deliberation, and their capacity (Piagetians notwithstanding) for working with the fundamentals of propositional, relational, and conditional logic. Given the basic connection between logic and the structures of language, that capacity is in fact typically as well-developed among children as among the majority of adults.

As far as we can tell from the record, the last thirty years has seen the greatest increase in history in interest among adult educators and philosophers in the theory and practice of philosophical deliberation with children. Philosophy has historically been taught as part of the Lycee tradition at the high school level, but almost universally construed (except by rebel pedagogues) as the history of philosophy-the delivery of a certain tradition-which, for PwC is a perhaps a necessary but certainly not a sufficient condition for being able to say that one is “doing philosophy.” Not only has PwC taken philosophy to younger and younger ages of children, but in the process it has revolutionized the meaning of philosophy by redefining it in a number of ways.

PwC holds that: … (full text, 22 September 2004).

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