Ann Sharp's Contribution: A Conversation With Matthew Lipman

Childhood and Philosophy 6 (12):11-19 (2010)

The recent passing of Ann Sharp, Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children, at the age of 68, has left many of us involved in the movement of philosophy for/with children bereft, no doubt in many different ways. The warmth and intensity of her personal and professional focus, the simple clarity of her thinking, and her boundless energy in the work of international dissemination of the concept and practice of philosophizing with children, resonate even more sonorously in her death. We thought it appropriate to try following at least one pathway backwards in her life story through the memory and testimony of her chief collaborator over a period of 35 years, Matthew Lipman. I interviewed Lipman, age 87, in the single room of the eldercare center in New Jersey that has become the site for his dogged and tenacious struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, and asked him to reflect on their long partnership. The transcript ends suddenly, not because we stopped talking, but because I stopped taping, sensing his fatigue, and suggesting that we return for another round, at which point we turned to other, less somber matters
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