American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy


published on February 7, 2023

Gaia Ferrari, Samantha Dragar

PWOL as Situated Pedagogy: Adapting Hadot’s Model for Today’s Classroom

This article pursues the goal of articulating a pedagogical paradigm of philosophy as a way of life that can effectively re-invigorate the teaching of philosophy in today’s academic world. This re-invigoration should take direct inspiration from Hadot’s hermeneutical framework of how to live philosophically, while still recognizing the intrinsic limitations that his model presents when applied to the modern educational practices of academia. In particular, we maintain that a literal application of Hadot’s model would require we turn the teaching of philosophy as a way of life into a systemic affair that demands from students a full commitment to particular schools of thought. Conversely, we argue for a pedagogical paradigm of philosophy as a way of life (“PWOL-as-Situated-Pedagogy”) that enacts a triple balancing between theory and practice, progress and assessment, and depth and breadth. In this way, the problem of self-cultivation is tackled by engaging students with a broader consideration of philosophies and spiritual exercises.