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|The art of philosophical practice
Is life a test? Should we always tell the truth? Is old age a calamity? Is difference a problem? Do we love someone or do we love love? To address these issues, 20 stories from the Sufi tradition are proposed as a basis for reflection. Then come ten comprehension questions, in order to deepen the meaning of the various narratives and interpret their content. Ten more questions invite us to meditate on more general issues emanating from these texts. Through this anthology, the reader is invited to discover a spirituality that defines itself as “the heart” of the Muslim tradition, an inner path of Islam, just as a contemplative and poetic art of living.
Should we learn to be bored? Do we thirst for infinity? Should we give up ourselves in order to be free? Does fear prevent us from living? Should perfection be sought? ? To address these questions, 20 stories from the Japanese tradition of Zen, or Chinese Chan, are proposed as a basis for reflection. Then come ten comprehension questions, in order to deepen the meaning of the various narratives and interpret their content. Ten more questions invite us to meditate on more general issues emanating from these texts. Through this anthology, the reader is invited to discover the meditative wisdom of this branch of Buddhism which particularly cultivates the luminous and liberating simplicity of the mind.
Should we seek to know everything? Are we responsible for what is happening to us? Can we control our emotions? Should we suffer in order to realize ourselves? Is the essential urgent? To address these questions, 20 stories are proposed, which emanate from the Buddhist tradition, in India: tales, parables, or Jatakas that tell the many lives of the Buddha. Then come ten comprehension questions, in order to deepen the meaning of the various narratives and interpret their content. Ten more questions invite us to meditate on more general issues emanating from these texts. Through this anthology, the reader is invited to discover the depth and subtlety of original Buddhist thought.
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Metaphysics oscillate between an erudite or religious sacralisation, and a rejection for cause of uselessness or difficulty. Although, through its dimension of gratuitousness and distance, it allows us to think the world and ourselves, to think our thinking, to contemplate its limits, its structures, its articulations. Without dogma or fear, it invites us to tackle the thinkable and the unthinkable. In this treatise, our object is not to defend a thesis, but to enjoy the very exercise of thinking, in all its reversals, by extracting ourself from evidence, by avoiding as much as possible the short-circuits of thought. That is what we name the art of conversion.
One can philosophize through lengthy explanations and towering treaties. But there is another tradition: that of the aphorism, the art of the fragment. To make the reader think through one or a few brief sentences, a digest of thought that tries to capture in few words a vivid problematic, in a striking form. Often critical, ironic or mocking, this laconic form of philosophical expression is generous because it is trusting: the reader will understand mere implicit meaning, he will read between the lines. And when will be highlighted the sordid of the human soul, he will not be sad but joyful, for consciousness makes us free. The issue is to reconcile with our own finitude, to accept our own humanity, for better and for worse.
Tales are traditionally a way to transmit wisdom and make everyone think. This is definitely the case with Nasreddin Hodja, a hero known throughout the Muslim world for his absurd, caricatural and hilarious narrations. Each story carries some kind of problematic about human existence, actions or behavior, about the order of the world and epistemological issues. In this book, we present twelve narrations bearing on problems such as being and appearance, truth and pretention, knowledge and ignorance, choosing and responsibility, etc. Each one will be followed by a philosophical analysis and two series of questions in order to meditate: understanding questions and reflection questions. Finally, an exercise that bears on the particular theme. An exciting philosophical adventure for either children or adults.
|The practice of philosophy with children
The idea of practicing philosophy with children is considered rather surprising, since young adults who have to engage in it already have a difficult time with this strange activity. The author of this book wonders in an opposite manner: When you are eighteen, is it not almost too late to start philosophizing?
To philosophize it to learn to think, to think consciously, by oneself, through the others, it is to deepen and to analyze ideas and problems. Throughout this book, many practical and theoretical suggestions are provided for the teacher or the parent who thinks that it is never too early too learn how to think, who believes that the questioning of the child should be valued and encouraged.
This book contains a number of philosophical exercises that can be realized alone or in a group, by adults or children. They are classified in terms of difficulty, and by the nature of the skill needed to work through it. This work allows clarifying the numerous mental gestures that characterize thinking: argumentation, analysis, interpretation, problematization, conceptualization, etc. An introduction provides some tips on their realization, particularly for the teacher who wishes to introduce such a practice as a pedagogical tool.