citizenship and community in the western democratic context: philosophical-educational analysis




community-based philosophical practices, philosophy for children (P4C), civic education, community, responsibility


This paper endeavors to carry out a philosophical analysis of the current state of civic education in Western democracies, in order to deal with the problematic dualism between extreme individualism and endogamic communitarianism, which alters the relational modalities and specific lifestyles that characterize human plurality. As such, the intention of this article is to understand how the formation of citizens supported by the practice of philosophy can cultivate a dialogical, open, and pluralistic community capable of facing this duality. For this purpose, we carried out a systematic and critical analysis of books and articles that, in dealing with the relationship between the individual and the community, aim to overcome the above-mentioned problematic dualism. Among the results of this study, we found that Matthew Lipman and Ann Sharp’s Philosophy for Children (P4C) program contributes significantly to the empowerment of citizens, and supports the development of their ability to engage in dialogue in search of creative and ethical solutions in the diverse circumstances of daily life. Moreover, P4C contributes to the achievement of communities characterised by solidarity, plurality, openness, and self-correction, and which are oriented toward the rigorous search for the common good. Therefore, we conclude that community-based philosophical practices such as P4C can contribute to civic education and the formation of responsible citizens, offering a possible paradigm to develop the humanistic axis of the individual and promote openness to diversity.

Author Biographies

bruno fonseca ortega, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR)

Master in Philosophy (Torino, 1997), Doctor in Cultural Sciences (Modena, 2005) and in Philosophy (Torino, 2011), Adjunct Professor of the PPGF at PUCPR.

roberto fanzini tibaldeo, ISP, Universite' Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)

Postdoctoral Researcher (FRS-FNRS Charge' de recherches)


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How to Cite

fonseca ortega, bruno, & fanzini tibaldeo, roberto. (2023). citizenship and community in the western democratic context: philosophical-educational analysis. Childhood & Philosophy, 19, 01–25.