Finding Treasures: Is the Community of Philosophical Inquiry a Methodology?

  • Walter Omar KohanEmail author
  • Magda Costa Carvalho


In the world of Philosophy for Children (P4C), the word “method” is found frequently in its literature and in its practitioner’s handbooks. This paper focuses on the idea of community of philosophical inquiry (CPI) as P4C’s methodological framework for educational purposes, and evaluates that framework and those purposes in light of the question, what does it mean to bring children and philosophy together, and what methodological framework, if any, is appropriate to that project? Our broader aim is to highlight a problem with regards to the concept of method in P4C, and to question the consequences of that concept in the practice of philosophical dialogue with children. To better situate the concept of method within P4C (which, we think, will help to clarify some of the dialogues and debates within P4C as a philosophical field), we will identify two different historical understandings—represented by Rene Descartes and Hans Georg Gadamer—of the concept, and suggest new possibilities for understanding philosophical practice with children in light of their difference.


Method Methodology Philosophy for children Inquiry 



Funding was provided by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Grant No. 202447/2017-0) and Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Grant No. E_03/2018).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Childhood Studies (DEDI)State University of Rio de Janeiro, CNPq/FAPERJRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e HumanasUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  3. 3.Núcleo Interdisciplinar da Criança e do AdolescenteUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal

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