the third subject position


  • marjan simenc University of Ljubljana



philosophy with children, subject position, knowledge


The article refers to Biesta's distinction between two subject positions that are related to what philosophy with children (PWC) is and what it could be. The author attempts to demonstrate – by referring to a different philosophical practice, the philosophy café – that a third subject position can be found in the existing practice of PWC. Two forms of this practice could be described as the argumentative and the hermeneutic approach to conducting a philosophical dialogue. The argumentative interpretation considers the philosophical element of philosophy cafés to lie in following the philosophical method which is determined by three fundamental philosophical competences. What is characteristic of the third subject position is subject’s embeddedness in the world which changes the world itself. This is no longer a world observed by the subject from a distance but a world which essentially determines the subject. Even though this third subject position could arguably be derived from the first one, it is nevertheless relevant for reflections on PWC. On the one hand, it highlights the diversity and complexity of existing practices of PWC; on the other, it raises the question of the relationship between the first and second subject positions by addressing the meaning of the concept of the world.

Author Biography

marjan simenc, University of Ljubljana

Faculty of Education, Ljubljana, assistant professor




How to Cite

simenc, marjan. (2017). the third subject position. Childhood & Philosophy, 13(28), 547–555.