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Philosophy for Children (S)

Here is the Jackson handout from the last class: Download file

Here is the Jackson quiz: Download file


In the next part of the course, we will think about some practical initiatives that respond to some of the challenges presented by reading in the first half of the course. We will ask how these initiative help with the problems and the basic tasks that our authors have identified.

The topic for next week is “Philosophy for Children.� Over the next three days, please go to the library reserve secion) and read the first 66 pages of Gareth Matthews’ Philosophy and the Young Child. (Note: these are very small pages, with lots of examples. There are several copies on reserve. ) Also read the selection from Matthews in the Cahn text, pages 477-487. Finally, look at my piece on Margaret Wise Brown at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/shea0017/philosophy/mwbfinal.htm.

Be ready for a quiz addressing these issues:

1. What does Matthews think a philosophic problem or question is like? How is it different from other kinds of questions? (Chapter 1)
2. In chapters 1, 2 and 3 of his book, Matthews shows respect for the comments of young children by explaining the philosophical strategies, concepts and problems that they raise. Be ready to identify the children’s version of these notions: the problem of induction (pages 3, 4); sense-datum view (5); the logic of relative terms (13); asteismus (14,15); purposive accounts of things (19); maximizing (29); empty names (31).
3. In chapters 4, Matthews criticizes Piaget’s view of the intellectual development of the child. What is that view, as Matthews summarizes it, and at what points does Matthews disagree? What reasons does he give for disagreeing?
4. In his article in the Cahn anthology, Matthews criticizes Kohlerg’s view of the moral development of the child. What is that view, as Matthews summarizes it, and at what points does Matthews disagree? What reasons does he give for disagreeing.
5. In Philosophy and the Young Child, chapter 5, Matthews illustrates how simple children’s books raise philosophic problems. Be able to identify some of the problems raised in these books: The Bear that Wasn’t, Many Moons, Winnie the Pooh, and Frog and Toad Together.
6. What two basic intentions does Margaret Wise Brown state as the guiding principles of her writing? What is my general thesis about the philosophic usefulness of her work? How do The Important Book, The Noisy Books, and The Dead Bird illustrate her basic approach to writing? How is her work related to the philosophy of the Bank Street School?