listening to the children: what do they give us to think?

silmara lídia marton, dagmar de mello e silva

Abstract


This paper is the result of our work in “philosophy with children," whose goal is to bring about a philosophical experience through art, in the sense of art as the aesthetic creation of meaning for oneself and the world. Here we describe the collective and individual experiences that have led us to the exercise of thinking in a philosophical register that exceeds the strict limits of the discipline, thereby presenting us with a rich experience of thinking. We use movies, music, soundscapes, paintings, stories, tales, and other resources as devices of inventive cognition or cognitive operators, in order to trigger diffuse states of sensitivity, leading to thought experiences as events that emerge in the encounter between subject and the signs-in-the-world, in the subject’s own process of selfformation. We assume a childhood not reduced to a chronological time, but as the emergence of the interiority of the subject, and thus an exploration of the possibilities of the human condition. Children allow us to glimpse philosophy as immanent in the condition of infantia, which implies finding oneself along with others and creating new ways of being in the world. We argue that listening to the child is a specific exercise for adults, which necessarily involves the act of stopping to listen to the child in us. In this listening process, our own human condition opens, searches, expands, increases. We note that the introduction of this listening exercise in the school environment presents multiple possibilities for triggering internal processes in children whereby they create their own "landscapes," thus reorganizing their patterns of understanding of the world and of life. We argue, finally, that philosophy is an expression of life with deep affinities with art and childhood; all three are dedicated to the creation of self and the creation of worlds.

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childhood & philosophy Creative Commons License
e-issn 1984-5987 | p-issn 2525-5061