Volume 3, Spring 2021
On Philosophizing as Education
In my article I offer an argument in favor of philosophy as a practical activity that is intrinsically educative. In responding to the crisis of our discipline, I make a case for a beneficial relationship between philosophy and the community, especially from the point of view of the discipline itself. I propose that the practicality of philosophy needs to be experienced in concrete activities involving others, therefore recasting the relation of theory to practice in the modality of translation as a never-completed task to take on. I suggest that philosophizing could be characterized by a position of vulnerability, which complicates notions of inside/outside, belonging, home, and dialogue. I offer examples drawn from my experience of integrating philosophical discussion with children (inspired by P4C pedagogy) in my college courses to suggest that philosophizing with others in varied contexts should be an integral part of education. By emphasizing the benefits accruing to undergraduate students and to the discipline itself from the practice, I do not intend to downplay or marginalize the voices and experiences of the children and teachers who are such an essential part of the practice. Rather than being a zero-sum game, the engagement of philosophy with the world expands and lifts the experience of everybody involved.