matthew lipman’s philosophy for children program: a liberal conception of education

renê josé trentin silveira


This article argues that Matthew Lipman’s Philosophy for Children Program is based on a liberal conception of the relationship between education and society--a conception from which the idealist and non-critical character of his pedagogy derives. In order to demonstrate this, a short characterization of this conception is initially presented, emphasizing the equalizing and “redeeming” social mission that it entrusts to the schools. Afterwards, it briefly describes some of the main aspects of Lipman’s program, then explains the way in which it incorporates the liberal doctrine of the “redeeming” school. Finally, it discusses some of the political and ideological implications that follow from this incorporation. It is important to clarify that the reflection here presented does not refer to any of the actual practices of philosophy with children, but to Lipman’s own position, which is developed in two of his most important works, Philosophy Goes to School and Thinking in Education. Keywords: Philosophy for children; teaching of philosophy; philosophy and education; Matthew Lipman


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e-issn 1984-5987 | p-issn 2525-5061