Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice

Volume 2, Spring 2020

Rika TsujiOrcid-ID
Pages 1-17

Revisiting the Community of Philosophical Inquiry through the Lens of Arendt and Butler

The purpose of this paper is to reimagine philosophy programs in schools, such as philosophy for/with children, through a critical analysis of the work of Hannah Arendt and Judith Butler, especially in light of their understanding of the space of appearance and plurality. ​Drawing on a critical reading of Hannah Arendt along with Butler’s critique, I argue that during the enactment of the community of philosophical inquiry (CPI), the classroom becomes a space of appearance through the collective willingness of those present to be exposed to and recognize unknown others and matters in the condition of plurality. I begin by summarizing Arendt’s notions of the space of appearance and plurality. Next, I introduce Butler’s critique and reading of Arendt to focus on sociopolitical aspects of the space of appearance. Finally, I synthesize both Arendt’s and Butler’s analyses to show the phenomenological and sociopolitical aspects of the CPI.