2013 IAPC Symposium at American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meeting”

Posted: 11 de March de 2013 by Fernando Furtado in Event

Call for Papers: “The Philosophical Novel for Children: History, Theory and Prospects”  

Symposium of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at the 2013 American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Annual Meeting, December 27-30 2013, at the Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Overview: Recent years have seen the passing of the three great pioneers in the Philosophy for Children (P4C) movement: Matthew Lipman (2010), Ann Margaret Sharp (2010), and Gareth Mathews (2011).  In appraising their monumental work and legacy, scholars have tended to focus solely on the impact Lipman, Sharp, and Matthews have had on educational philosophy and theory.  In addition to these areas of scholarly contribution, however, all three devoted considerable effort to the construction and reconstruction of the philosophical curriculum.  In this regard, Matthews experimented with short philosophical stories and offered interpretations of countless works by other authors in the light of his view that good literature provides children with the material for forming philosophical questions and dialogue, while Lipman and Sharp both pioneered the intentional use of the philosophical novel as a way of both initiating and teaching children to do philosophy in classroom settings.  But important questions remain about the philosophical novel for children, not only with regard to its function as the curricular centerpiece of P4C, but about the theory and practice of narrative in both education and philosophy, the location of the novel within the history of philosophy, and the future of the philosophical novel and curriculum in pre-college philosophy.

Lipman saw his own philosophical novels for children as “models of doing philosophy that are clear, practical, and specific.”  In this sense, teaching philosophy requires more than exposing students to its logical form—that is, it’s most distinctive and essential qualities—but also to its function and the circumstances of its emergence and practice.  Thus philosophical novels are a way of “dramatizing philosophy” that allow students to both recognize and assimilate its praxis. This Lipmanian understanding of the philosophical role and its role in education has been celebrated and championed by some scholars (eg., De Marzio, Kennedy, et al), while criticized and tempered by others (eg., Murris, Hand, et al).  Given the diversity of current perspectives on the philosophical novel, the time is ripe for furthering the conversation on the history, theory, and prospect of this highly significant and contested area of philosophical and educational inquiry.

The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) is calling for papers that explore the theoretical and pedagogical significance of the philosophical novel for children, to be presented at the IAPC group session of the 2013 American Philosophical Association Eastern Division Annual Meeting, December 27-30, in Baltimore, MD.  Presented papers will also be considered as part of a proposal for an edited book collection published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Possible Topics Include:

  • Theories and forms of narrative and narrativity that support and/or challenge the theory and practice of children’s philosophy;
  • The construction and/or reconstruction of the history of philosophy via the philosophical novel / stories;
  • The relationship between philosophical argument and philosophical narrative;
  • The question of whether philosophical novels are sufficient for the teaching of philosophy;
  • The philosophical novel / story as model of/for philosophical praxis;
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative research studies of philosophical novels;

Submissions: Electronic submissions are required and should be sent to Darryl De Marzio at darryl.demarzio@scranton.edu.  Papers must be in MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).  Papers may not exceed 3,000 words in length.  Submissions should include a word count and 150 word abstract (not counted in total word count) on the title page.  Papers should not contain any information identifying the author of the submission.  In a separate title page document, please submit the following: title of the paper, abstract of the paper, author’s name, affiliation, e-mail address and phone number.  Submission deadline: Papers must be received by Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

Notification and Presentation: Authors of accepted papers will be notified by Friday, May 31, 2013.  As requested by the APA, all papers will be posted on the IAPC website prior to the conference (www.montclair.edu/iapc).  Presenters will be required to pay the conference registration fee, and APA members are encouraged to maintain their APA memberships.  APA members are also encouraged to submit papers to the main program, in addition to participating in this group session.  At the group session, a laptop and projector will be provided.  Presenters who wish to use PowerPoint slides must submit them to darryl.demarzio@scranton.edu no later than December 5, 2013.

Questions or Comments: Darryl M. De Marzio, University of Scranton: darryl.demarzio@scranton.edu

Resource: Maughn Gregory has compiled a working bibliography of philosophical novels and stories for children, and of published scholarship on the theory and practice of writing and using them, which can be found online at:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PMiI5CRQLjftXgyBJWlVYnA8pHPh1npLVqCItdHAjkw/  (please send him additional items for this bibliography atgregorym@montclair.edu). 



Darryl Matthew De Marzio, “What Happens in Philosophical Texts: Matthew Lipman’s TheoryAnd Practice of the Philosophical Text as Model,” Childhood & Philosophy, vol. 7, no. 13 (2011): 29-47.

Michael Hand, “Can Children Be Taught Philosophy?” in Philosophy in Schools, eds. M. Hand     and C. Winstanley (London: Continuum, 2009) 3-17.

David Kennedy, “From Outer Space and Across the Street: Matthew Lipman’s Double Vision,” Childhood & Philosophy, vol. 7, no. 13 (2011): 49-74.

Matthew Lipman, “Philosophical Discussion Plans and Exercises,” Analytic Teaching, vol. 16, no.2 (1997): 64-77.

Gareth Matthews, Dialogues with Children (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984)

Karen Murris, “The Philosophy for Children Curriculum, Narrativity and Higher-OrderThinking,” paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, 2012.

Ann Margaret Sharp, “A Novel Approach to Philosophy for Children,” Momentum Vol. 9, No. 2 (1978), pp. 33-7.


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