Ph D Presentation

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Ph D Presentation

  1. 1. A Phenomenological Approach to Philosophy for Children Jason Pietzner PhD Conversion Seminar
  2. 2. The Research Question <ul><li>To what extent does phenomenological philosophy provide a critical framework for P4C? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What criticisms does it make? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What solutions does it offer? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What changes does it demand? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What is Philosophy for Children? <ul><li>Matthew Lipman </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts should developed </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry should begin in personal interest </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired by progressivism and constructivism </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Philosophy for Children? <ul><li>Caring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition of values and emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis of arguments and use of criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generation of ideas and solutions </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Philosophy of Philosophy for Children <ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul><ul><li>Dewey/Peirce </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalism/science </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual development </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is defined as a solution to a human/practical problem </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Philosophy of Philosophy for Children <ul><li>Socratic method </li></ul><ul><li>Refinement of beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is defined as a well-reasoned concept </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Philosophy of Philosophy for Children <ul><li>The scientific method </li></ul><ul><li>The Socratic method </li></ul><ul><li>The method of Philosophy for Children </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generating a question (abduction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inquiring in a community (deduction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding a solution in terms of a conceptual definition (induction) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rational conversation in a community of inquiry </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Practice of Philosophy for Children Today <ul><li>Read a story </li></ul><ul><li>Look at a picture </li></ul><ul><li>Examine an artefact </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Practice of Philosophy for Children Today <ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Vote </li></ul><ul><li>Set an agenda </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Practice of Philosophy for Children Today <ul><li>Discuss </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul><ul><li>Define a concept </li></ul><ul><li>Answer a question </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is Phenomenology <ul><li>Studies the structures of consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Human experience is constituted in the life-world </li></ul><ul><li>There is no ‘natural’ world </li></ul><ul><li>There is no ‘final’ truth </li></ul><ul><li>The methods of science are inadequate to the task of truth finding </li></ul>
  12. 12. Husserl: the epoché <ul><li>‘ This universal depriving of acceptance, this “inhibiting” or “putting out of play” of all positions taken towards the already given Objective world… does not leave us confronting nothing… what we acquire by it is my pure living…’ </li></ul><ul><li>Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations : An Introduction to Phenomenology (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1999): 12 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Heidegger: Being and Dasein <ul><li>‘ Dasein itself… gets its understanding of itself in the first instance from those entities which it itself is not but which it encounters ‘within’ its world and from the Being which they possess.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962).58 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Merleau-Ponty: embodiment <ul><li>‘ I cannot conceive of myself as nothing but a bit of the world, a mere object of biological, psychological or sociological examination. I cannot shut myself up in the realm of science.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The World of Perception (London ; New York: Routledge, 2004) ix. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Differences/Similarities Pragmatism naturalistic objective/outward truth is ‘solution’ scientific ontology Leads to… conceptual definitions Phenomenology anti-naturalistic subjective/inward truth is ‘unconcealment’ interpretive ontology Leads to… ontological analysis engaged ‘in the world’ anti-dualist humanistic
  16. 16. The fundamental divide… <ul><li>Pragmatism, with its basis in scientific naturalism, believes that scientific knowledge can account for all facets of existence including human existence. This means that scientific methods are best placed to examine any aspects of human experience and explain them in terms of objective laws and rationales. </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenology sees the naturalised world not as a fundamental but a construct of the objective sciences; one built on humans’ pre-naturalised fundamental experience of existence in the world. Real objects do exist but their naturalisation requires some work on behalf of the perceiver to maintain this theoretical construct. </li></ul><ul><li>The phenomenologist is unable to accept the ontological premise of the pragmatist, and so despite their shared humanist concerns a divide must lie between their methods. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Phenomenology’s critique of pragmatism <ul><li>Pragmatists rely on scientific methods with which to investigate human existence. Consequently phenomenology might reject pragmatism as a humanism. </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism’s regard for truth is teleological, in that truth is fixed, but due to the fallibility of humans applying the scientific methods it is always out of their reach. Phenomenologists believe that a finite truth does not exist but that their inquiry is a process of ‘unconcealment,’ where layers of truth are gradually revealed. </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism binds up its truth in the form of practical concepts that are used to guide actions and resolve doubt. The phenomenologist’s truth is embedded in the logos, or the ability to articulate with clarity the essence of objects. Their truths can be found in descriptions of entities and experiences which articulate authentic experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalism reduces phenomena to a set of objective properties whose bedrock is the real world. This ontic fixing reduces the scope for an examination of an object’s further ontological richness. For phenomenologists this naturalism prevents basic realms of inquiry into the Being of all entities including humans. </li></ul>
  18. 18. What does this mean for P4C <ul><li>The artefact guides the inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>The aim of inquiry is the logos of Being </li></ul><ul><li>Analyses are hermeneutic </li></ul><ul><li>Truth is ‘ unconcealment’ </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is on description </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenological ideas are used </li></ul><ul><ul><li>authenticity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>embodiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>presence/absence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>involvements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fundamental ontology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>manifolds of identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scientism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>linguistic community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dasein </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. The artefact guides the inquiry
  20. 20. The aim of inquiry is the logos of Being
  21. 21. Inquiries turn existential
  22. 22. Truth is ‘unconcealment’ Student A: The interface is good, the design is good… and everyone’s going to know how to use an ipod. I think everyone in this class would know how to use an ipod. Student B: You can take it everywhere with you. People use to carry boomboxes on their shoulders. How they managed to do that I don’t know. Because they’re smaller you can just take them wherever you need it, wherever you want it…. on the advertisements. It shows that they’re smaller than anything else. Student C: I think that one of the things that’s so appealing is the fact that it’s with itunes… probably everyone has itunes even if they don’t have an ipod. I know I had itunes before I had an ipod. Student D: I think that, especially in this day and age… humans don’t want clutter… for example with the iphone you don’t have to have an ipod and a phone and a camera… It’s the idea that you can have something so much in something so little.
  23. 23. Analyses are hermeneutic Student A: I don’t think a symbol only has to be visual. Because with numbers, they’re symbolising a certain amount, and you can say them as well. They’re not just on a piece of paper. Student B: Can you say symbols? … symbols are different from words because they’re not words…. They’re little pictures. I’m sure there’s symbols with letters in them and stuff like that. But having a symbol as a word just defeats the purpose of having it as a symbol. Student C: You know with like food chains and all those big logos. Their symbol is like their name. Like KFC or McDonalds. Student B: What about Prince’s thing? Prince the musician changed his name to a symbol. And no one could say the symbol. So he was known as the artist formally known as Prince. Me: Why do you think he wanted to be known as a symbol rather than a word? Student B: Maybe it better represented him… Maybe you can’t describe him in words. You can only describe him in a picture. Or a logo or something.
  24. 24. Emphasis is on description
  25. 25. Phenomenological ideas are used (authenticity)
  26. 26. Phenomenological ideas are used (others) ‘ Well I guess say if you were the person that discovered the Great Barrier Reef… like if say the Great Barrier Reef had never been seen before and you discovered it, I reckon you’d be pretty happy. Because nobody else had ever seen it before… because you’d be the person to discover it, you’d be feeling oh cool, nobody else has ever seen this before, and I’m the first person to see it. Sort of being like the first person to go on the moon. When I went overseas and I saw a game of their football I hadn’t seen anything like it before. And I was in the crowd so I kind of felt compelled to join in, so I kind of got overwhelmed and started joining in. I think I took it a bit too far. And it made me feel like I see this form of entertainment differently, because I didn’t do that in Melbourne. And I guess it kind of made me feel more enriched cause it was something different.
  27. 27. Phenomenological ideas are used (embodiment) Student A: I was going to say that when you’re actually at the Great Barrier Reef it’s different to seeing it on TV because when you see it on TV you’re just looking at it. When you’re there you can actually smell the salt and the sea and stuff. Me: Tell us what else is different about it. Student A: Well I guess you could go into the water and see all the creatures and stuff. That kind of brings out more of a feeling that you’re there and kind of like, I don’t know, that it’s a new world that you’re in and it’s really pretty. Student B: Just adding onto what she said, you can choose what you want to do when actually you’re there. Me: Talk about that. Student B: So you can like. Instead of watching TV. Pick what you want to do. Go down there. Go down there. Me: That’s really good. How would that make the experience different. Student B: Freedom of doing stuff… you choose what you want to do.
  28. 28. Phenomenological ideas are used (presence and absence) Obviously it’s got the union jack on it which is British, so it kind of represents the settlers, like the white settlers who came… the flag is almost ignoring the fact that the Aborigines where there. There’s nothing on there to symbolise that they ever existed.
  29. 29. Phenomenological ideas are used (involvements)
  30. 30. Phenomenological ideas are used (fundamental ontology)
  31. 31. Phenomenological ideas are used (Dasein) Me: In our discussion about why we care about the environment what was revealed about how we see ourselves as human beings in the world. Student A: Maybe as like, we’re different and we can actually control stuff. We can control if you cut down the forests and we can do stuff about it. Student B: Well, I guess men might see themselves as superior to everything else, even though we do live within the environment, the environment sustains us. It is a home for us I suppose. We still see ourselves as superior. And I guess because we do see ourselves as higher up… I guess we feel almost obliged to use the environment however we want to… Even though what we do do may destroy it. Or harm it.
  32. 32. Phenomenological ideas are used (linguistic community) ‘ Well, I think by communicative action it means stuff that involves meeting people. It’s more of a team sort of a thing. Just say if they were construction workers building something. They’d need to work together or do their own parts and communicate and that’s why it’s called communicative action because they need to communicate for it to work.’ ‘ I think that it’s kind of different to strategic action because. They’re thinking more about I guess the journey rather than the destination and trying to make the other person understand them rather than just win the argument. So make the other person understand that point and reach and understanding rather than just defeat their argument.’
  33. 33. Phenomenological ideas are used (scientism) Me: The way that an experiencing person might experience the Great Barrier Reef compared to the way a scientist might experience the Great Barrier Reef are two very different things…. Student: I think something that’s really special about the reef for some people is, because that it makes them wonder. And think about things. It brings up things that haven’t really been brought up before. And that’s just like life… You might just go to the beach. Say people live near the beach. It’s just an everyday thing. And you see a shell. And it makes you think about something. And then you’ll remember that thing, cause it’s made you think about something that you’ve never thought about before. So it’s opened up your perspective.
  34. 34. Some Modifications… <ul><li>Philosophy for Children </li></ul><ul><li>Good thinking is: </li></ul><ul><li>Critical (analytical) </li></ul><ul><li>Creative (solutions) </li></ul><ul><li>Caring (values) </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenology for Children </li></ul><ul><li>Good thinking is </li></ul><ul><li>Emancipatory (utopian) </li></ul><ul><li>Ontological (interpretive) </li></ul><ul><li>Involved (life-world/others) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Further work required… <ul><li>Consolidation of research so far </li></ul><ul><li>Development of an inquiry method </li></ul><ul><li>A third research cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Extend knowledge of phenomenology </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gadamer (hermeneutics) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Levinas (ethics) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Derrida (deconstruction) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Text production </li></ul>

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