Childhood, Philosophy and Play: Friedrich Schiller and the Interface between Reason, Passion and Sensation

Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (2):235-250 (2011)
Abstract
Philosophy for Children claims to foster not only critical thinking, but also creative and caring thinking. However, its theoretical foundations draw mainly on the analytic and pragmatist philosophical tradition. Consequently, and made evident by the choice of the terms ‘caring thinking’ and ‘creative thinking’, it seem to reduce these concepts mostly to ‘thinking skills’. In this article I will first briefly explicate the difficulties of such a reduction. Secondly I will try to resolve this problem by embedding rationality, creativity and caring in a more holistic anthropology. To this end I will refer to the German philosopher and poet Friedrich Schiller, who anchors reason and the emotions in aesthetics (that is, the relationship with the sensuous world). Finally, the article calls on the thought of D. W. Winnicott in order to show how Philosophy for Children can embrace an active creation of an emotionally meaningful (caring) and rationally reflected (critical thinking) reality through the sensuous play with concepts (creativity)
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