"who deserves respect?" german children philosophize in dialogs and drawings their concept of respect


  • eva marsal Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe
  • takara dobashi Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe


Respekt, Philosophie, Dialoge, Community of Inquiry


In this paper we first discuss the categorical classification of the philosophical concept “respect,” and then demonstrate how children (aged 6-14) in their dialogs and drawings work through problems associated with the conceptual field of “respect” in a philosophical community of inquiry. From among the philosophical categories we focus on the categories of “epistemic and moral virtue,” on the one hand, and on the other, “feeling,” to show that the philosophical concept “respect” as “respect for someone or something” alters its requirement profile as the proximity to its object changes. Men and women carry out the duties implied by their humanity or personhood in various ways, thereby evoking in the spectator various evaluative judgments accompanied by corresponding feelings covering the entire spectrum from horror, disgust, rejection, and disapproval all the way to admiration. The subjective feeling that arises leads to the formulation: “I don’t respect X because...,” or “I respect X because...”--in other words, we specify the reasons that cause us to feel respect. The sole condition that “the other is a human being, a person” seems insufficient to call forth deep emotional acceptance. Respect is now tied to a many-faceted conditional web of qualities. Because of these feelings, the previous premise that respect is owed to every human being and every person as such is mitigated by questions such as: Must persons always be respected? Who merits respect? Which actions merit respect? Can one earn respect? Can one buy respect? Must you respect yourself in order to be respected by others? Is there a false respect? These questions demonstrate that, depending on the context and category to which the referent belongs, “respect” has different connotations. The philosophical challenge is to bring this field of connotations into a logically and also emotionally satisfactory equilibrium.




How to Cite

marsal, eva, & dobashi, takara. (2013). "who deserves respect?" german children philosophize in dialogs and drawings their concept of respect. Childhood & Philosophy, 9(17), 129–151. Retrieved from https://www.e-publicacoes.uerj.br/childhood/article/view/20672