From Socrates to Lipman: Making philosophy relevant

In Daniel Shepherd & Robert Fisher (eds.), Creative engagements: Thinking with children, Vol. 31: A volume of the 'At the Interface' project. Oxford, UK: pp. 25–31 (2005)

Gilbert Burgh
University of Queensland
There is a widespread view that philosophical thinking has no application to matters pertaining to the ‘real world’. It follows from such reasoning that if the purpose of education is to prepare students for the real world, then philosophy has no place in schools or university courses, and by implication in everyday life. One of the aims of this paper is to illustrate that the reasoning behind this view is mistaken. The ability to think critically and creatively through philosophical inquiry provides an intellectual context for study and discussion of issues related to all areas of study. But the introduction of philosophy into the classroom is not without its critics. This paper, therefore, explores a major accusation aimed at philosophy, i.e., that it is necessarily adversarial. The final section of the paper argues that Matthew Lipman’s approach to philosophical inquiry offers much to remedy the more adversarial and limiting elements of the Western philosophical tradition. It is clear that we should not simply aim to reproduce traditional methods of doing philosophy in the classroom. The community of inquiry is an illustration of a positive direction in respect to participation, relatedness and relevance to those involved.
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Engagement as Dialogue: Camus, Pragmatism and Constructivist Pedagogy.Gilbert Burgh & Simone Thornton - 2015 - Education as Philosophies of Engagement, 44th Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, Kingsgate Hotel, Hamilton, New Zealand, 22–25 November 2014.

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