TEXTS

 

New IPP books for free download

The practice of philosophy with children

The idea of practicing philosophy with children is considered rather surprising, since young adults who have to engage in it already have a difficult time with this strange activity. The author of this book wonders in an opposite manner: When you are eighteen, is it not almost too late to start philosophizing? To philosophize it to learn to think, to think consciously, by oneself, through the others, it is to deepen and to analyze ideas and problems. Throughout this book, many practical and theoretical suggestions are provided for the teacher or the parent who thinks that it is never too early too learn how to think, who believes that the questioning of the child should be valued and encouraged.

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Learning to philosophize with Nasreddin Hodja

Tales are traditionally a way to transmit wisdom and make everyone think. This is definitely the case with Nasreddin Hodja, a hero known throughout the Muslim world for his absurd, caricatural and hilarious narrations. Each story carries some kind of problematic about human existence, actions or behavior, about the order of the world and epistemological issues. In this book, we present twelve narrations bearing on problems such as being and appearance, truth and pretention, knowledge and ignorance, choosing and responsibility, etc. Each one will be followed by a philosophical analysis and two series of questions in order to meditate: understanding questions and reflection questions. Finally, an exercise that bears on the particular theme. An exciting philosophical adventure for either children or adults.

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 Learning to philosophize with Nasruddin Hodja


By Oscar Brenifier

A - Introduction

 Nasruddin Hodja, a master of the negative way

Nasruddin is a myth more than anything else, even though in the city of Akshehir (Anatolia) in Turkey, some will pretend to show you the grave where he was apparently buried in 1284.. If such a historical being did exist, he was only the starting point for a very large body of stories. The hero of those numerous funny and absurd tales encounters many situations and can alternately be a peasant, an imam, a boatman, a roaming predicator, a king’s councellor, a a teacher, or a judge,

Like Ulysses, Nasruddin is no one and everyone, he represents a tradition – oral and written – more than a specific person, from which he

draws his strength as a school of life more than as a petrified hero or a petrified opus. Even his name changes totally, since in his fame around the Mediterranean and beyond, even outside the Muslim world, he will come to bear different names such as: Jiha in Maghreb, Afandi in China, Nastradhin Chotzas in Greece and Hersch’le in Israel. The tales being told are efficient and pedagogical. Out of those stories, each listener will hear and understand what he can, with his own means. The apparent lightness of many of them reveal and hide a profound understanding of the reality of being, even if one can easily remain on a superficial external apprehension of them.

A. The negative way

In the beginning of the Hippias minor dialogue, a discussion sets in between Hippias and Socrates, on the question of who is the best man in the Iliad, between Odysseus (Ulysses) and Achilles. The debate centers on the issue of lying, and Hippias claims

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 Training in Philosophical Practice

For a number of years, Isabelle Millon and Oscar Brenifier (Philosopher and author of numerous books of philosophy for children and teenagers) have been working on didactics of philosophy and on the development of philosophical practice. They founded the Institute of Practical Philosophy, whose goal is to promote philosophy as practice in the city (workshops - in libraries, theaters, jails, cultural centers. individual consultations, seminars) and as pedagogical tools in schools.

Training in Philosophical Practice

What is to philosophize? Is it to know ideas and doctrines, or is it learning to think and exist? Is the philosopher the one who knows or the one who knows that he does not know? Is the work on ourself part of the philosophical process?

Socrates said: I know that I don’t know. This is the paradox of acquired ignorance: we learn not to know.

During a workshop, we work on both attitudes and competencies, what we call as well "philosophical requirements", which we have to examine in order to establish whether a discussion is actually philosophical. What is then the function of the facilitator, if he is not there only to make the participants speak, but to initiate them to questioning and critical analysis?

But there is a recurring obstacle that prevents us from understanding the nature and elements of the philosophical exercise when it takes the

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 Philosophizing through antinomies

 

Oscar Brenifier & Isabelle Millon

What is it that permits us to label a discussion as a philosophical one? Is it not the same characteristics that make us qualify a thesis to be of a philosophical nature? As every teacher of philosophy knows, even if one tends to forget it from time to time, it is not sufficient for the writing or the discussion to take place within the course of a philosophy class to be considered philosophical:

the philosophical nature is not determined by the context. Even the most brilliant teachers cannot induce substantial intellectual achievements of high quality in their students by their mere presence. And indeed, just to put forward some opinions that are not well worked out, or establish some list of random points, or draw a collection of statements that are not quite substantial or well supported, in an inconsistent way, or which change the subject without any justified reason, jumping unconsciously from one issue to the next, does not amount to any viable philosophical achievement, be it in oral discussions or in writing. An overloaded qualification

Everyone will use criteria of his own to determine the philosophical value or content of a given proposition or an exchange of opinions. These assessments will be of an intuitive or a formalized kind, explicit or implicit, arbitrary or justified. But before one is to put forward some

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