on the risks of approaching a philosophical movement outside philosophy

David Knowles Kennedy, Walter Omar Kohan

Biesta states at the beginning of his intervention that he will speak “as an educationalist” outside not only of “philosophical work with children” but “outside of philosophy”. What are the implications of these assumptions in terms of “what is philosophy?” and “what is education?” Can we really speak about “philosophical work with children” outside philosophy? What are the consequences of taking this position? From this initial questioning, in this response some other questions are offered to Biesta’s presentation: is philosophical work with children about asking better questions or asking questions better as he states in his presentation? Finally, pfc risks as presented by Biesta are examined: a) being reduce to critical thinking, i.e., “to keep a clear head”; b) even being extended to creative and caring thinking, it could “stay in the head” and “not touch the soul”; c) that through the building of communities of inquiry in the classroom, we establish a kind of artificial setting where “we end up living in an idea about the world rather than the world”. The response ends with a last reference to Biesta’s approach of education in terms of “growing” and existence in terms of a “grown-up way” of being in the world.

philosophy with children; critical thinking; risks; dogmatic image of thinking