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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 31, Issue 2, Fall 2017

Susan T. Gardner
Pages 207-216

Human Agency
Its Pedagogical Implications

Let us suppose that we accept that humans can be correctly characterized as agents (and hence held responsible for their actions). Let us further presume that this capacity contrasts with most non-human animals. Thus, since agency is what uniquely constitutes what it is to be human, it must be of supreme importance. If these claims have any merit, it would seem to follow that, if agency can be nurtured through education, then it is an overarching moral imperative that educational initiatives be undertaken to do that. In this paper, it will be argued that agency can indeed be enhanced, and that the worldwide educational initiative called Philosophy for Children (P 4C), and others like it, are in a unique position to do just that, and, therefore, that P4C deserves our praise and support; while denigrations of such efforts for not being “real philosophy” ought to be thoroughly renounced.

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