friendship: a reflection about children participation in public space


  • diego di masi Università di Padova (Italia)


childhood, community of philsophical inquiry


The article presents an initial discussions held at the end of the project of citizenship education called Poli§ofia. In the project Poli§ofia the Municipal Council of the Children in the town of Rovigo and the counselors’ classes had been converted into the Community of Philosophical Inquiry, to develop in the students the argumentative and reasoning skills necessary for a public decision-making dialogue, through the implementation of the methodology known as Philosophy for Children (P4C). The P4C has been interpreted as a teaching and educational support to promote complex thinking declined in its critical, creative and caring dimensions, considered fundamental for the development of active and reflexive citizenship. Starting from the words used by children in the letters written at the end of the project, I proposes a change of perspective in the relationship between Child and Cities as proposed in the UNICEF program "Child Friendly Cities". The change of perspective is justified in Habermas’ definition of the interests of knowledge: instrumental, hermeneutic and emancipatory. In this theoretical framework the philosophical dialogue becomes an dialogical, hermeneutic and emancipatory activity. The focus of this educational proposal is the meaning construction generated by the inquiry, a path that follows the arguments offered by participants during the dialogue, and recover the etymological meaning of the word community as a gift, in order to building the conditions for participation in public life based on a feeling friendship (philia) to oppose at the model of phobia that seems, however, to characterize the meeting with other and the coexistence in our society.

Author Biography

diego di masi, Università di Padova (Italia)

PhD Student Dept Educational Sciences University of Padova



How to Cite

di masi, diego. (2011). friendship: a reflection about children participation in public space. Childhood & Philosophy, 6(12), pp.335–347. Retrieved from



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