1st Edition

Philosophy for Kids
40 Fun Questions That Help You Wonder About Everything!

ISBN 9781882664702
Published January 1, 2001 by Routledge
212 Pages

USD $29.95

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Book Description

Inspire animated discussions of questions that concern kids—and all of us—with this innovative, interactive book. Open your students' minds to the wonders of philosophy.

Allow them to grapple with the questions philosophers have discussed since the ancient Greeks. Questions include: “Who are your friends?,” “Can computers think?,” “Can something logical not make sense?,” and “Can you think about nothing?” Young minds will find these questions to be both entertaining and informative. If you have ever wondered about questions like these, you are well on your way to becoming a philosopher!

Philosophy for Kids offers young people the opportunity to become acquainted with the wonders of philosophy. Packed with exciting activities arranged around the topics of values, knowledge, reality, and critical thinking, this book can be used individually or by the whole class. Each activity allows kids to increase their understanding of philosophical concepts and issues and enjoy themselves at the same time.

In addition to learning about a challenging subject, students philosophizing in a classroom setting, as well as the casual reader of Philosophy for Kids, will sharpen their ability to think critically about these and similar questions. Experiencing the enjoyment of philosophical thought enhances a young person's appreciation for the importance of reasoning throughout the traditional curriculum of subjects.

The book includes activities, teaching tips, a glossary of terms, and suggestions for further reading.

Grades 4-12

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Introduction About This Book Philosophy and Questioning Important Things to Remember About the Activities Notes for Teachers and Parents About the Cover Part I—Values Question #1. Are you a fair and just person? Question #2. How do you know who your friends are? Question #3. Should you be rewarded for your efforts in school? Question #4. Should you let little things bother you? Question #5. Is it your duty to give to charity? Question #6. Will having fun make you happier than studying? Question #7. Should you ever tell a lie? Question #8. Are there times when you should be violent? Question #9. Do you sometimes feel weird when you are with others? Question #10. Do we control technology or does technology control us? Part II—Knowledge Question #11. How do you know for certain that things move? Question #12. What makes something you say true? Question #13. Can you doubt that you exist? Question #14. Does a tree make a sound if it falls in a forest with no one around? Question #15. Are you certain that the law of gravity is really a law? Question #16. How can you tell when you know something? Question #17. Can another person understand your feelings? Question #18. Can you lie to yourself? Question #19. Do you perceive things as they are or only as they seem to be? Question #20. Can computers think? Part III—Reality Question #21. Can you think about nothing at all? Question #22. Does anything ever happen by chance? Question #23. What happens to numbers when you are not using them? Question #24. Are numbers and people equally real? Question #25. Is time what you see when you look at a clock? Question #26. If the universe came from the Big Bang, where did the Big Bang come from? Question #27. Are you the same person you were five years ago? Question #28. Do you have a free will? Question #29. Does anything depend on everything? Question #30. Are impossible things ever possible? Part IV—Critical Thinking Question #31. Is it important to speak and write so you can be understood? Question #32. Should you always listen to the opinions of others? Question #33. Should you criticize people or the opinions people have? Question #34. Why is “because” such an important word? Question #35. Is it always easy to tell what causes things to happen? Question #36. If many people think something is true, is it true? Question #37. Do two wrongs balance out and make an action right? Question #38. “I am lying.” True or false? Question #39. Can something logical ever not make sense? Question #40. “I wonder . . .” what it means to define something? How to Philosophize if You Are Not a Philosopher Organization Classroom Procedures Question Review and Teaching Tips Curricular Integration Additional Reading in Philosophy Glossary Index About the Author

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David A. White has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto and has taught philosophy in colleges and universities since 1967. He has written nine books and over 50 articles in philosophy, literary criticism and educational theory. In 1985, he received a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to study the function of myth in Platoís philosophy. Since 1993, he has taught programs in philosophy for the gifted centers and various magnet schools of the Chicago Public School system, the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago and Northwestern Universityís Center for Talent Development, grades 4-9. David is married to a philosopher, Mary Jeanne Larrabee, and has two sons, Daniel and Colin, both of whom, as demonstrated by their advanced knowledge of mathematics and the principles of computer science, are much smarter than he is.


"Start honing critical thinking skills early with a philosophy curriculum designed for elementary-aged kids. Think you have to wait until high school to dig into Socrates and Sartre? Think again!… Taking subject matter that many might initially find intimidating, White presents philosophy as highly relevant, playful, challenging, and fun. Philosophy for Kids is a thought-provoking resource that will appeal to curious learners who enjoy puzzling over life's mysteries. As a parent, you are likely to gain new insight into the wonderful ways that your child views the world as you delve into fascinating new subject matter together." – Rebecca Pickens, home/school/life magazine, 3/10/16