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Competitions and Community of Philosophical Inquiry: Compatible or not?


Félix García Moriyón ,

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, ES
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Irene Lafuente-Aliaga

Txorierri High School, Derio / University of the Basque Country, ES
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Philosophy contests proliferate today. The Philosophy Olympiads are the most common. In the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) community there is some concern about a possible contradiction between the cooperative and community-centred approach to the practice of philosophy in education and the intrinsic rivalry of competitions. The arguments against these contests focus on their main risks. It is thought that they potentially reinforce the particularly harmful meritocratic educational system while simultaneously increasing inequality and reinforcing private education. Furthermore, the belief is that they promote destructive controversy where the goal is winning the debate. 

In Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI), however, notions exist that could potentially be favoured in these competitions. CoPI focuses on demanding and cooperative argumentative dialogue and encourage parresia, the assertive and reasoned defence of one’s ideas in adversarial contexts. Likewise, the Olympic principles promote fair play; the search for excellence and the ideals of isonomy, isegory and isokratia, fostering participant skills and values which are desirable from an educational, philosophical and democratic perspective.

We consider that, from an educational perspective as well as from the Philosophy for Children educational approach, participation in competition is possible and even desirable if the negative aspects it might have are addressed.

How to Cite: García Moriyón, F. and Lafuente-Aliaga, I., 2022. Competitions and Community of Philosophical Inquiry: Compatible or not?. Journal of Philosophy in Schools, 9(2), pp.25–40.
Published on 19 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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