This paper explores the philosophy of young children’s. How can philosophy happen
in early childhood (education)? What can philosophy look like in early childhood
education? What does it mean to hear philosophy in young children’s expression?
What kind of listening does it require? In order to explore such questions I will turn
to the ordinary language philosophy of Austin, Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell. In
Cavell’s discussion of Austin’s elaboration on the notion of performative utterances
he suggest a passionate dimension of philosophizing that involves not just “the
responsibility of implication”, as Cavell puts it, but also “the rights of desire”. I shall
suggest that in order to see the philosophical aspects of children’s questions and
expressions we need to look beyond mere words, look at how children’s expressions
are used and the several uses they have, involving understanding the context, the
place, and the body as expressions used for philosophical inquiry. Going on from
Cavell, I will suggest that there are passionate dimensions of children’s philosophical
expressions that call for improvisatory responses, a pedagogy of immediacy.
Philosophy for children, early childhood, pre-school, passion, immediacy, Wittgenstein, Cavell
Education and the Figure of the Child in Wittgenstein and Cavell, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 11 & 12 March 2016