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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

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Community of philosophical inquiry

Originally designed by Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp, the Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI) aims to foster multidimensional thinking, that is: equal parts critical, creative and caring thinking—or “a balance between the cognitive and the affective, between the perceptual and the conceptual, between the physical and the mental” (Lipman, 2003: 200-201). This dialogical approach to philosophical inquiry, initially designed to address a perceived lack of critical reasoning in the general population, consists of a group of children joined by a conceptual question they deem significant in their lives and about which they seek clarity and reasonable judgments through structured conversation guided by an adult facilitator. Since its inception, P4C has become an international movement endorsed by UNESCO; the CPI has joined the ranks of contemporary child-driven pedagogical methodologies on a promising turn to a kind of education which facilitates autonomy and which values youth as emerging citizens. The CPI gives youth the means to tackle problems that interest them through philosophical concepts—from the self to truth, to good and justice—by drawing both on their knowledge and expériences, as well as by employing specific thinking tools and self-corrective dispositions.

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