Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children

Volume 20, Issue 3/4, 2014

Roger Sutcliffe
Pages 30-39

Towards a Kinder Philosophy

This paper supports Dewey’s call for the ‘recovery’ of philosophy as a practice addressing the ordinary problems of humans. It suggests that Lipman’s development of communities of philosophical inquiry, and particularly his emphasis on caring thinking, have helped considerably towards this recovery – rendering philosophy ‘kinder’ or more compassionate in its tone. But it argues that there has to be an equal emphasis on collaborative, or dialogical, thinking. Without that drive towards mutual understanding and the common good, philosophy as a practice can easily become too narrowly critical, or too broadly sentimental. We must think together, or we shall die apart.