inverting questions: an invitation to take a stroll on another side of questions




inversion, anastrophé, questions, rhizome, Deleuze.


This paper has two objectives: to explore how inverting questions in the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (Kennedy, 2004) can be a useful tool for triggering thought processes; and, more generally, to explore the importance of inverting the role traditionally given to children as bystanders to their own education and thought processes. On this basis, we will assume that children have an epistemic and political voice and that this voicing, placed on equal standing with the adult voice, is long overdue. It is undeniable that questions have a central role in P4C sessions (Costa-Carvalho E Mendonça, 2020; Costa-Carvalho E Kohan, 2020) and that, in the context of any given community of philosophical inquiry, they can trigger (Kennedy, 2004) a wide range of thought processes. Some questions may be too vague and require sharpening to adequately address the problem at hand, while others may promote a metacognitive approach to the issue under discussion, and to the entire thought process that sustains it. We will explore how inverting questions may be useful in this context. Moreover, we will consider how this thought anastrophé may emerge in concrete philosophical discussions with children. Our argument will, therefore, navigate the intersection between language and thought, logic and semantics, and theory and practice. Assuming that the term “inversion” may offer different understandings, we will try to outline this rhizomatic approach (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987) to the concept. We will focus primarily on the child’s point of view, which we hold to be epistemologically privileged (Kennedy, 2020). It is our core belief that children´s voices should be granted scientific and political standing and that an epistemic inversion between adulthood and childhood in education must be explored.

Author Biography

júlio miguel araújo sousa, Universidade dos Açores

Professor of Philosophy at the Basic and Secondary School of Calheta. Member of the research group escuto.te: children's voices between philosophy and politics


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How to Cite

sousa, júlio miguel araújo. (2023). inverting questions: an invitation to take a stroll on another side of questions. Childhood & Philosophy, 19, 01–23.



dossier: philosophy in and beyond the classroom: P4C across cultural, social, and political differences.