Philosophy and cultivating questioning
Philosophy for Children shows how philosophical questions can help the general population to cultivate lively questioning. In 2004, a kindergarten classroom highlighted how questions were strangely absent from the school environment and that a philosophy session was just what was needed to explore and cultivate the powers of questioning. From then on, doing philosophy sessions in a variety of settings (museums, schools and university, council training, etc) prove again and again how questions have a revolutionary impact for thinking processes.
Thinking philosophically supports creativity
Sessions which foster and promote philosophical thinking can become material to contribute to creative processes. When the choreographer Aldara Bizarro contacted me in 2007 to contribute to a performance (A preguiça Ataca?), we transferred the methodology invented by Matthew Lipman to contribute to artistic endeavours. This proved to be especially crucial for artistic projects that depended on collaborative thinking processes (Aldara Bizarro, Sombra; Companhia Caótica – Crevescer. Um thriller Existencial; Maria Gil (Teatro do Silêncio), Paradoxos de Alice; Sofia Cabrita (Cepa Torta), Como Assim?).
Philosophical writing and thinking
Finally, dissemination of philosophical research revealed how philosophical writing can be an important part of improving thinking in general. Writing is often taken as an activity in which one puts down the thinking that was done previously. Yet, there is an important part of thinking that is given by the very process of writing. Philosophy is ideal to practice expository, critical, analytic, evaluative, and creative writing skills in connection to thinking abilities because writing is essential for philosophical research.
Purposely designed philosophical writing exercises are ideal to promote everyone’s ability to think more deeply because they help people phrase questions, explore ideas, logically follow an argument, identify problems, and work out thought-provoking objections.
To summarise, philosophy promotes rigorous thinking by providing people opportunities for revising thinking both in dialogue and in writing, revealing the complexity of thought processes which often surprise even their own authors.