The Philosophy of Childhood

Linked on our blogs with Philosophy for Children USA, with PHILO – ACTION, POUR PENSER ET CHANGER L’ECOLE and with Philosophy and children.

Published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First published Fri Sep 13, 2002; substantive revision Tue Nov 9, 2010.

The philosophy of childhood has recently come to be recognized as an area of inquiry analogous to the philosophy of science, the philosophy of history, the philosophy of religion, and the many other “philosophy of” subjects that are already considered legitimate areas of philosophical study. Just as the philosophy of art, say, concerns itself with philosophically interesting questions about art and about what people say and think about art, so the philosophy of childhood takes up philosophically interesting questions about childhood, about conceptions people have of childhood and attitudes they have toward children; about theories of what childhood is, as well as theories of cognitive and moral development; about theories of children’s rights, notions concerning the status and significance of child art and child poetry; about claims concerning the history of childhood, as well as comparative studies of childhood in different cultures; and finally about theories concerning the proper place of children in society. Almost all these theories, ideas, studies, and attitudes invite philosophical scrutiny, reflection, and analysis … (full long text and Bibliography).


Children as Philosophers, by Joanna Haynes, 2002, on Amazon; same on informaworld; same on Google Books;

when children are philosophers, on engaged intellectuals, September 8, 2009.

Philosophy for Children on wikipedia.

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