The Generic Argument for teaching philosophy

Philip Cam

Abstract


John Dewey wished to place development of the ability to think at the core of school education. The kind of thinking that Dewey had in mind was based on his conception of scientific inquiry. Matthew Lipman was likewise committed to an education centred on thinking, but he claimed that we should turn to philosophy rather than to science in order to secure this end. In his view, philosophy has a stronger claim to this mantle than does science, or any other subject, when it is appropriately reconstructed and taught. He developed various arguments to that effect, but the one considered here is that philosophical thinking has a generic character that especially suits it for the role. I examine this argument to see how compelling a case it makes for the inclusion of philosophy in the school curriculum.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/JPS.v5i1.1485

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