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Philosophy of Childhood Today

Exploring the Boundaries

Edited by Brock Bahler and David Kennedy - Contributions by Thomas J. J. Storme; Giuseppe Ferraro; Walter Omar Kohan; Andrew Komasinski; Karin Fry; Tyson Lewis; Daniel Contage; Stefano Oliverio; Joshua M. Hall; Natalie M. Fletcher; James Stillwaggon; Bernardina Leal; Nancy Vansieleghem and Karin Murris

Although philosophy of childhood has always played some part in philosophical discourse, its emergence as a field of postmodern theory follows the rise, in the late nineteenth century, of psychoanalysis, for which childhood is a key signifier. Then in the mid-twentieth century Philipe Aries’s seminal Centuries of Childhood introduced the master-concept of childhood as a social and cultural invention, thereby weakening the strong grip of biological metaphors on imagining childhood. Today, while philosophy of childhood per se is a relatively boundaryless field of inquiry, it is one that has clear distinctions from history, anthropology, sociology, and even psychology of childhood. This volume of essays, which represents the work of a diverse, international set of scholars, explores the shapes and boundaries of the emergent field, and the possibilities for mediating encounters between its multiple sectors, including history of philosophy, philosophy of education, pedagogy, literature and film, psychoanalysis, family studies, developmental theory, ethics, history of subjectivity, history of culture, and evolutionary theory. The result is an engaging introduction to philosophy of childhood for those unfamiliar with this area of scholarship, and a timely compendium and resource for those for whom it is a new disciplinary articulation.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 238Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-4260-9 • Hardback • October 2016 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-4261-6 • eBook • October 2016 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
David Kennedy is professor of educational foundations at Montclair State University.

Brock Bahler is visiting assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
David Kennedy and Brock Bahler
The Child in Ancient Philosophy
1. What Is the Sound of a Child Growing Up? The Question of the Child
Thomas J. J. Storme
2. Heraclitus and the Child
Giuseppe Ferarro, translated by Stefano Oliverio and Brock Bahler
3. Childhood, Philosophy, and the Polis: Exclusion and Resistance
Walter Omar Kohan
4. Ethics is for Children: Revisiting Aristotle’s Virtue Theory
Andrew Komasinski
The Child in Continental Philosophy
5. The Parent-Child Relation and the Decentered Self: A Phenomenological Basis for an Originary Peace
Brock Bahler
6. Lyotard and the Philosopher Child
Karin Fry
7. Beyond the Developmental Machine: The Politics of Philosophy for Infancy
Tyson Lewis
Philosophy of Childhood and Education
8. Traveling Children: Thinking about Education as Displacement
Daniel Contage
9. The Re-childed Teacher: A Philosophical-Educational Perspective on the Child and Culture
Stefano Oliverio
10. Tyrannized Childhood of the Liberator-Philosopher: J. S. Mill and Poetry as Second Childhood
Joshua M. Hall
Philosophy of Childhood and the Arts
11. Negotiating the Pseudoenvironments of Childhood
Natalie M. Fletcher
12. Mourning, Melancholia, and the Maintenance of the Lost Child: Questioning Tribunella on the Uses of Trauma in Children’s Literature
James Stillwaggon
13. Childhood between Literature and Philosophy: Readings of Childhood in Manoel De Barros’s Poetry
Bernardina Leal
14. Nobody Knows—Infancy and the Experience of Being Not Unable
Nancy Vansieleghem
The Future of Philosophy of Childhood
15. The Posthuman Child: iii
Karin Murris
For too long, conceptions of childhood have been in thrall to linear, teleological, normative, developmental notions of child growth. Educational prescriptions are often built on this narrow epistemological foundation, further narrowed by disciplinary regimes focused on compliance, and curriculum regimes focused on mastery of testable factoids of information. This book with its diverse, multidisciplinary scholarship, and searching inquiry into the meaning and experiences of children, offers a powerful counter-narrative, and opens up a space for thinking of children in terms that refuse fixity and binaries, and offers up powerful metaphors for how we might assist children in coming to be and in experiencing the liberatory possibilities of expansive subjectivity and critical imagination.
Michael O’Loughlin, Adelphi University

This insightful collection makes a significant and critical contribution to our understanding of Philosophy of Childhood. Key issues are comprehensively addressed and important questions are raised that demand consideration in determining the place of children in society.
Claire Cassidy, University of Strathclyde

This is a timely and welcome contribution to the increasingly important and diverse field of childhood studies. The essays span a wide range of topics and perspectives and offers a radical and deep theoretical perspective that will empower practitioners and researchers in this field. Contributors include respected authorities and newer voices, who ensure that this book needs to be read by anyone who values children’s voices and lives in dialogic meaning-making.
Darren Garside, Bath Spa University