existential urgency: a provocation to thinking “different”





Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, embodiment, thinking, sensibility.


In this essay we expand the notion of thinking by emphasizing the provocation and urgency to think and by reconceptualizing thinking as an embodied practice. The aim is to expand Lipman and Sharp’s approach to philosophical inquiry with children and show how other ways of thinking can be included. We strive to unfold a way of “thinking” that is both different from rationality (critical thinking) as well as from creative and caring thinking. In the first part of the paper, we discuss the merits of Lipman and Sharp’s critical, creative and caring thinking within the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI). We then expand Lipman/Sharp’s philosophical method through Ekkehart Marten’s Five-finger Model, which allows for different philosophical approaches. In the second half of the paper, we draw on Martin Heidegger’s What is called thinking? to develop his concept of the “call” to think together with its related notions of provocation and urgency. Building on this, we draw on Maurice Merleau-Ponty to show how this call is not an intellectual activity or mere exercise of the “mind” but rather affects our entire existence. As such, thinking becomes a response to an existential urgency that is an embodied practice. Using concepts like embodiment, affect, and sensibility, we try to widen our conception of thinking in a CPI. Finally, we hope this will allow facilitators to hear the unique voice of every child so that no one is left unheard.


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How to Cite

wolf, arthur c, & weber, barbara. (2023). existential urgency: a provocation to thinking “different”. Childhood & Philosophy, 19, 01–25. https://doi.org/10.12957/childphilo.2023.71997



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