For centuries, philosophy has been considered as an intellectual activity requiring complex cognitive skills and predispositions related to complex (or critical) thinking. The Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach aims at the development of critical thinking in pupils through philosophical dialogue. Some contest the introduction of P4C in the classroom, suggesting that the discussions it fosters are not philosophical in essence. In this text, we argue that P4C is philosophy.
In this paper, we study the manifestations of what we call “dialogical critical thinking” in elementary school pupils when they are engaged in philosophical exchanges among peers: What are thecharacteristics of dialogical critical thinking? How does it develop in youngsters? Our research was conducted during an entire school year, with eight groups of pupils from three different cultural contexts: Australia, Mexico and Quebec. Our findings were constructed in an inductive manner, inspired by qualitative analysis as defined by Glaser and Strauss (...) (1967). From our analysis, a grid was developed, illustrating the process by which dialogical critical thinking developed among the pupils involved in our research. This process is manifested via four modes of thinking (logical, creative, responsible and meta-cognitive), which become increasingly complex according to three epistemological perspectives (egocentricity, relativism and inter-subjectivity oriented toward meaning). (shrink)
Phenomenology of the Cultural Disciplines is an interdisciplinary study, reflecting the recent emergence of various particular forms of `phenomenological philosophy of ...'. Included are such fields as psychology, social sciences and history, as well as environmental philosophy, ethnic studies, religion and even more practical disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, politics, and technology. The Introduction provides a way of understanding how these various developments are integrated. On the basis of a Husserlian notion of culture, it proposes a generic concept of `cultural (...) disciplines' (which is broader than but inclusive of `human sciences') which subsumes the more specific concepts of `cultural sciences', `axiotic disciplines' (e.g. architecture), and `practical disciplines'. (shrink)