Because of their innocent approach to things, do children make good philosophers? Or do they lack the equipment for clear-thinking? Is exposure to philosophy good for children? Or will it under
While licking a pot, six-year-old Tim asks: "Papa, how can we be sure that everything is not a dream?" His father admits he has no idea. Tim says "Well, I don't think everything is a dream, ‘cause in a dream people wouldn't go around asking if it was a dream."
That’s an example from Gareth Matthews, a philosopher who has gotten interested in the idea that children are natural philosophers; they ask interesting philosophical questions and come up with interesting answers.
This week’s program was recorded at the Northwest Center for Philosophy for Children. We talk with the founder and director, Jana Mohr Lone, about the work of the Center. But for most of the program, we talk to fourth-graders about identity, personal identity, the mind and the body and the nature of happiness.
Confronted with issues like the ship of Theseus, what to say about brain transplants, whether the mind is the brain, and whether happiness is a feeling or something more complicated, the children come up with a range of responses that pretty much corresponds to the solutions philosophers have offered.
I think you’ll enjoy it!