International : Portugal - A proposal on how to inspire philosophizing
Carlos Reis, University of Coimbra, CEIS20, firstname.lastname@example.org, et Maria Formosinho, University of Coimbra, CEIS20, email@example.com.
We start by discussing philosophy as being the art of attuning life through reflected examination, in order to achieve an accord between the saying and the being, which expresses the concern of taking care of one's own self. This brings us to envisage philosophy as thinking for oneself, as engaging in one's own problems that may arise in facing life, reading texts or admiring art, while looking at things as if it was for the first time and introducing new meanings by creating new concepts.
Such a conception entails a shift regarding philosophical education, which has to be understood and defined not as a straightforward increase in some well-known entity called 'knowledge', but rather as a journey of the soul; meaning we should not focus on teaching what philosophers have said but on the problematics they have raised. Such an endeavour claims for an accordant process of inspiring philosophising, which always implies a critical mode of approach. Our proposal sequences the process by starting with focusing in problematics, considered as a motivational ground, for being developed by encouraging it with a sort of tasks, considered as congruent, suggestive and motivational, to end up achieving personal philosophising, that can produce an integration of logical-conceptual networks as well as of functionally structured subject areas.
The afore-mentioned issues take us to discuss the concept of competence, as a complex "ability to mobilise and deploy relevant psychological resources (i.e. values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and/or understanding) in order to respond appropriately and effectively to the demands, challenges and opportunities" (Council of Europe, 2016, 23-24). So, we conclude by trying to show how a philosophical education ought to inspire what we tried to present as the core of philosophising: concepts creation through critical thinking (which is also defined). Philosophical competences that allow and support such desideratum are then presented.
I) Philosophising or "How the Philosopher killed the Sage"
The "historical method" used to teach philosophy has been discussed and criticized recurrently until it turned to be a never ending story of the deaf. Although, since its burst in Ancient Greece, philosophy has always been a question of embarking in a way of life, a question of an examined life (Plato, Apology, 38a5-6) or, as Foucault (1999) exposes it, a question of taking care of oneself (epimeleia heautou), thus conveying an accordance between the saying (logos) and the being (bios)1. Not surprisingly did Deleuze and Guattari (1994) declare that, as the art of looking at things as if it was for the first time and creatively inserting new meanings into life, philosophy (the friendship of wisdom) represents the killing of the Sage (the one who arrogates to own wisdom). Such archaeological approach discovers that after all, until late XIII century, philosophy was not an erudite practice of producing treatises, but rather an existential option of perseveringly search for the love of wisdom, while envisaging living accordingly to it (Hadot, 1995).
The famous admonishing from Kant about the practice of leading students to learn about renown authors and doctrines that could not correspond to philosophizing but to a mere historical knowledge about philosophy, expresses the recovery of the tradition very congruent to the principle of "daring to think by oneself", that was at Enlightenment's core. For Kant "it is not thoughts but thinking which the understanding ought to learn. The understanding ought to be led, if you wish, but not carried, so that in future it will be capable of walking on its own, and doing so without stumbling." (ap. Belas & Zakutna, 2016, 32). In such case, as Deleuze & Guattari (1994) have noticed, we have only reviews of solutions without knowing what the problems are. Thus, "when they do not let us produce our own questions, with elements coming from anywhere, if they already state them ready, we will not have much to say". Through this we may, at best, learn what one thought, but without knowing why he thought it. This is why, the authors warn, we must be very wary of the concepts we do not create.
When Kant explains that there could be no book stating "look, here is wisdom or knowledge you can rely on" (ap. Belas & Zakutna, 2016, 32)2, he is not far from Deleuze, when he declares that "the truths of philosophy are lacking in necessity and the mark of necessity. As a matter of fact, the truth is not revealed, it is betrayed; it is not communicated, it is interpreted; it is not willed, it is involuntary" (2000, 95). In our point of view, in this sense, truths are not in the philosophical texts, not because they could not be found there, but because the question is, precisely, that the "finding" cannot be attained if we are simply not "looking for it". At the basis of our relation with the text we do not have a necessity, a desire or an interest, neither a hint of the circumstances of its creation. Which is, according to Deleuze & Guattari (1994), what must be at the base of the art of philosophy understood as the creation of concepts. Texts always constitute a defiance to retake the once thought, consisting in a repetition waiting for an inflection, the introduction of a difference, thus operating a kind of theft, which does not correspond to imitation. Texts require, from a philosophical attitude standpoint, the same that world claims: a constant attention to the present; a looking into as if it was for the first time, in order to (re)prospect, (re)learn, (re)signify the world and the lived. In any case it is not a question of intuiting from nothing, but rather of articulating concepts and of creating new concepts.
We came to the point, where it becomes clear that the previous expertise selection some authors and doctrines followed by a proficient presentation of such assortment could guarantee that the addressees will philosophize. Moreover, as Boyum (2010) explains, philosophical education does not turn out to be merely cognitive or intellectual, simply conveying a knowledge increase -although it is expected that this will also happen-, because it implies a transformation, a change of attitude and character, a transformation of the individual, a kind of conversion, though different people may reach different destinations, having different experiences and attaining different results. Philosophy cannot be taught, because it is never in fact completed, it can only be learned by personal experience, "a philosophical education cannot be defined as a straightforward increase in some well-known entity called 'knowledge', but is cast as a journey of the soul" (Boyum, 2010, 558).
As we have above suggested it seems impossible to philosophise without becoming involved in a critical thinking process. Although it should be expected that such process results from a long term unfolding, like "a quest of the soul" through which a dispositional competence is acquired. A commonly quoted definition of critical thinking comes from Michael Scriven & Richard Paul (1987, ap. The Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2016), which states that
"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference".
As we can infer from the last paragraph critical thinking is of a second ranking order of thought: a metacognition process. By doing so, "skilfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them", one compromises in improving one's own patterns of thought as well as achieves autonomy of thinking,
"according to which spirit imposes itself its own law (nomos); thinking is its own ground thus managing each step it makes [...] This principle is decisive, since it implies that it is allowed to the one who things to get away from the facts, it allows him/her to make a distance, necessary for examination, analysis and evaluation, meaning that it is possible to criticize when needed, i.e. it prevents us to, due to brutal evidence of reality capitulate. In short: the principle of independence is an absolute condition for the effects of autonomy to be manifested" (Gojkov, Stojanovic, Rajic, 2014).
Therefore, critical thinking requires the individual to be free from the ego and social centric ways of approaching subjects. However, on this matter, a human atavism is widely recognized: when left to itself human thought often tends to establish beliefs without questioning, or rather, tends to uncritically assume those absorbed from an established social-cultural identity. Among the most common mechanisms of producing deceiving beliefs, we can distinguish prejudice, hasty generalization, fallacies, self-deception (rationalization and "wishful thinking") and narrow approaches.
As main consequences of these processes, we produce errors, misconceptions, and distortions. In fact, the world is full of uncritical persons that
"have been socially conditioned (indoctrinated) into their beliefs. They are unreflective thinkers. Their minds are products of social and personal forces they neither understand, control, nor concern themselves with. Their personal beliefs are often based in prejudices. Their thinking is largely comprised of stereotypes, caricatures, oversimplifications, sweeping generalizations, illusions, delusions, rationalizations, false dilemmas, and begged questions. Their motivations are often traceable to irrational fears and attachments, personal vanity and envy, intellectual arrogance and simple-mindedness. These constructs have become a part of their identity" (Paul & Elder, 2006a, 3).
Critical Thinking must be applied with sensitivity to the elements of thought -v.g., questions at issue, information interpretations and inferences, concepts, assumptions, implications and consequences, viewpoints, purposes-, while following some standards: clarity (by elaborating or exemplifying); accuracy (by checking and verifying); precision (by being specific, detailing and exact); relevance (by ascertain relations and implications); depth (by considering the difficulties and complexity); breath (by considering alternative viewpoints); significance (considering the importance or centrality); logic (by verifying coherence); fairness (by avoiding vested interests). The whole process of unfolding critical thinking could be represented as follows
As an autonomous way of thinking, CT includes a set of competences that we have deduced by comparing the proposals of Kurland (2016), Olin (2015) and Paul & Elder (2006b) (Vd. Figure 1).
Figure 1: Critical Thinking competences
Finally, it must be noticed that critical thinking, and the above discussed, creation of concepts refer mutually to each other: to create a concept one must produce a kind of "robbery", which introduces a deviation of meaning that expresses the subject's genuine relation to the problem he lives. This means that the subject takes a fresh look at the world -at life itself-, which can only happen through a critical approach. Conversely, critical thinking is always responsible for initiating a dynamic that inevitably leads to a creative movement through which, at large, the subject can give way to a personal and original concept creation.
II) Inspiring to philosophise or "The encounter with the Cheshire cat"
It can, sometimes, make much difference to know where we want to get to for the purpose of choosing the path. This may be crucial, not so much due to the length of the trail, but because the very journey could be the most important, especially if the steps are determinant to the whole. When it comes to teaching to philosophise, this means that we need to find the adequate didactic paths, congruent to the understanding of the educational purpose above presented; a pedagogical dynamic that focuses on education in a way that allows to really induce philosophical activity in itself. A similar challenge has been continuously and consistently addressed by Boavida (1991; 2010), who proposed an operative didactic established on philosophical grounds for the teaching of philosophy, by relying on, in the line of Kant (1985), that such task refers to teach to philosophize and not to the mere transmission of knowledge. Firstly, because transmission of knowledge does not guarantee per se that one learns to philosophize -which is here the essential and critical end or "t????"-; secondly because, in regard to philosophy, personal experience -being in itself non-transferable- can only be induced through a living process that takes the learner to a new dimension which allows him/her to achieve a new kind of competence.
So being, we must come to the conclusion that philosophy can be taught by simple transmission of content as neither virtue by prescription. Teaching philosophy is to introduce the learner to a personal process that the term etymologically expresses by itself: the love of learning, a search that can only be deployed by a zetetic3 mode, as Kant himself had proposed, saying that the text should not serve as a judgment model but as an opportunity for everyone attempting to pronounce a judgment on it (ap. Boavida, 2010, 127-128).
We are so bound to an approach in which the very philosophical activity is the heart and the function of teaching philosophy. An approach in which the meaning of a philosophical education is envisaged in the wake of what Boyum (2010) defines as a type of growth or transformation that philosophical reflection can and should induce: namely, the effects or consequences as well as the emerging significance by and through which the process of learning to philosophize unfolds, that is, the intrinsic aspects of a philosophical education that cannot be obtained by other means. In such a case, we assume that a philosophical education would be internally related to the very nature of the philosophical activity. Thus expecting that a set of competencies is developed by the process of philosophical education, which can not correspond to anything else than the very commitment to learning how to philosophize. Hence it does not imply giving the learners some ready-made problems to be discussed, on the contrary, it entails grounding the problems in the soil from where the dynamic that supports them emerges and guides a personal elaboration the learner has to produce.
Our proposal is that philosophical didactics, while consisting in a task of teaching to philosophize and not a simple acquisition of knowledge, ought to take "problematics" themselves as a starting point, meaning the activation of the learning process. It assumes that a certain sequence of tasks can induce philosophizing. Consequently, though, contents will be instrumentally requested to feed the process; they will not appear the answers without the questions but as the trails to be experienced, the trails where a smile can pop out from a tree, materializing a Cheshire cat, which is not every cat...
This sequence calls for a diverse set of methodologies, but within it direct trade with the philosophical texts must always intervene. As Deleuze and Guattari (1994) stressed, the already thought must be recovered, as nobody produces anything out of nothing. Among the various methodological possibilities, and not forgetting the pedagogical-didactic sequence, we highlight the following: 1. Viewing and/or reading information items (movies, news and a variety of programs); 2. Interactive Lecture; 3. Research as individual field work or in small groups; 4. Individual and/or collective reading; 5. Group work; 6. Debate; 7. Demonstrations (argumentative, factual, experimental or even artistical); 8. Problem-based work; 9. Project-based Work.
The viewing/reading of pieces of information that may serve to set the tone for a problem, taking advantage of its sensitizing and motivating value, may also appear at the end of the sequence to request a problematical conceptualization, at this point well informed, thus giving step to the arguments of structured debate. Take the case of the recent movie entitled "That's what I am", directed by Michael Pavone, in which the meaning and nature of the educational process are poignantly related to the youth of today.
The very interactive lecture, that combines exposure with a dynamic of questions and answers, pledge activation of students, may intervene in relation to a strategic framework, but also to supplement a theming or a search. This means that we continue to recognize the importance of the "lectio", while not in the simple sense of an effective transmission through neutral words that can be understood by all in the same way, but rather as an inspiring conversation, in itself necessarily inspired: "words inspired to capture the attention and mobilize the gaze "(Vansieleghem & Masschelein, 2012, 97). Which brings us to a kind of conversation that, by its very nature, invites the other to interlocutory action, meaning an educational design framed as an invitation to talk, or to make use of one's own voice. The debate, in particular, may appear following an individual or group work which gave the opportunity to adduce information, view points, and arguments, but may also arise as an epilogue for confronting the motions of a well-travelled problematic.
Alternatively, one can, for example, propose that each group expresses their perspective through a performance, leaving the exploration then to the large group, or, if such is the option, to invite a critical interpretive essay. We recall here the criticism made by Tozzi (2008, 2) to its own didactic approach:
"Our model is part of a rationalist Western tradition-oriented to the learning of 'thought process', rather than to, for instance, practical ethics (such as in Belgium), or the ancient oriental art of living; inspired by a Cartesian perspective rather than modern hermeneutics or the linguistic turn. It's pretty suspicious vis-à-vis the emotions inscribed in the body, which are seen as obstacles to reflection. Now the Belgian non-confessional ethics course has taught us that reason, and the wider sense culture, did not protect us from barbarism, as the sensitivity (which recognizes the 'face of the other', as Levinas says) and imagination could be the breeding ground of a reflexive resumption (hence our current focus on literature or myths as supports for reflection). We have didactically articulated a rationalist reflection useful by its rigor with a broader and global existential depth rather than just cognitive."
Overall, the process can, of course, be contextualized within a project leading to a thematic exhibition, with the preparation of an enriched catalog produced by problematizations and the respective argumentative and/or factual statements.
Between the starting points -the problematics- and the arrival point -the expected learning outcomes, which in this case should be the competence to philosophize expressed by possible personal proposals contextually informed- a path is extended opening to a multiplicity of individual routes, possible to be typified in their essential components.
The initiator element is, therefore, the problematic that in order to fulfill its function must respond to some requirements: to be open enough to be philosophical and challenging; to be clear; to be suitable; to be significant, and motivating4 ; and it is not to be forgotten that, most specifically, all this can only be set for concrete learners .
Document (format PDF) : Figure 2
The underlying prerequisite of the problematic situation is to be able to stimulate the achievement of the objectives "conditioned by the philosophical activity and the requirements it imposes. So, the goals' definition is prevented from being specified from outside the philosophical process. Rather it must be intrinsic to the philosophical quest and the conditions it demands" (Boavida, 2010, 166-167).
It is now of crucial importance to elucidate what are the conditions correspondent to the general objectives of philosophising, as well as the core competencies of such activity could be. Tozzi, (2008) has proposed three basic "capacities"5, or interdependent processes of thought specific of philosophizing6 :
- To be able to philosophically problematize a notion or a question;
- To be able to philosophically conceptualize an issue or an idea and make distinctions between them;
- To be able to philosophically argue a thesis or an objection.
But as Tozzi himself (2008) comes to recognize, the educational model lacked a "relativization" under several orders of reasons, among which he highlights the rationalistic nature of the approach -not didactically addressing the affective domain-, as well as the limitations, that we must add, inherent to the capacities's conception, to be further analysed. In our view, this is exactly what Boavida (2010) has taken further, by acutely explaining the set of general objectives entailed by the philosophising process. After analysing the distinctive notes of philosophising, the author lists in a summary table the corresponding general objectives (for the intellectual, emotional and expressive domains) regarding the sui generis praxis to be induced (Cf. Figure 4).
We should now face the problem of the nomenclature proliferation: we see that some author refers to objectives, other to capacities and, more recently to skills and competences.
After an intense and prolific debate, near the end of the last century, that made competence a popular issue within the business world, the concept was then transferred to the educational domain under the influence of the so-called managerial trend. According to Durand (1998), the use of the concept, initially relied upon a "resource-based view" and lead to a "knowledge-based approach" that in turn motivated a theory of "competence-based strategy". However, at that time the term competence was simply being used to enlarge the concept of resource without really dissipating its blatant equivocity; although the author foresees that competences can give a substantially contribute if the resource-based view is transcended7.
However, problems immediately arise from the author statement of having borrowed from educational research the concepts of knowledge, know-how and attitudes as the three key constitutive elements of competences, while then referring to them as the three generic forms of competences, or the three categories of competence, which he figures as being competence's interdependent dimensions, as well as the generic axes of the competence referential. Such amphibological discourse opens up a perplexity never clearly resolved by the author's discussion.
Durand defines the three dimensions or generic axes of the competence referential as follows:
"Knowledge corresponds to the structured sets of assimilated information which make it possible to understand the world, obviously with partial and somewhat contradictory interpretations. Knowledge thus encompasses the access to data, the ability to enact them into acceptable information and to integrate them into pre-existing schemes which obviously evolve along the way8.
Know-how relates to the ability to act in a concrete way according to predefined objectives or processes. Know-how does not exclude knowledge but does not necessitate a full understanding of why the skills and capabilities, when put to operations, actually work. Know-how thus in part relates to empiricism and tacitness9.
Attitudes are too often neglected in the resource-based view as well as in the competence-based theory of the firm. This may be due to the traditional lack of interest of economists in behavioural and social aspects. We believe that behaviour but even more so identity and will (determination) are an essential part of the capability of an individual or an organization to achieve anything. This is a matter of choice in defining concepts. We argue that a dedicated organization, eager to succeed, is more competent than a demoralized, passive one with exactly the same knowledge and know-how." (Durand, 1998, 21-22)
The main achievement of Durand's work is, in our point of view, to have produced an integrative perspective of interdependent competence's dimensions which gains clarification with the following representation10.
Figure 3: Enriching the three basic categories of competence (Adapted from Durand, 1998)
Relying on a Piagetian approach, Durand (1998, 33) stresses that "Knowledge and know-how are in fact built simultaneously as learning needs action." [Morevor, he extrapolates that] learning actually takes place in organizations simultaneously for the three generic dimensions [...] This happens, in parallel but in an interrelated mode, through exposure to external data, action and interaction." Therefore, we have to acknowledge that the author advances within a constructive practical and psychosocial framework for describing the learning process. Such idea will become clearer when his understanding of the role action and interaction plays in learning is detailed.
While skills refer to tacit know-how -understood as a composite dimension-, competences are the result of a confluence between knowledge, know-how and attitudes. Therefore, one must keep in mind that the three dimensions of competences are to be taken as interdependent: there is no learning (knowledge building) without action; all know-how is vulnerable without knowledge; know-how cannot be built without a social context where attitudes play a significant role; knowledge is sterile without being embodied in attitudes; as attitudes are useless without meaning and know-how for action. Expertise can then emerge by transcendently combining the three generic dimensions into an integrated higher level of competence: experts understand, can explain why they perform as they do and perform with state-of-the-art ability, going beyond simple assimilation.
The author takes further the enrichment of the three dimensions by, for instance, incorporating motivation in the attitudes category and referring to "identity (the shared values, rites, taboos and beliefs) [as] operating as a cement holding the organizational pieces together at least as efficiently as any other coordinating and integrating mechanism" (Durand, 1998, 29).
One cannot miss that Durand's approach was crafted for companies' strategic management; that is why his definition of competence consists of "an organizational alchemy" that describes the "capabilities to combine, bundle and integrate resources into products and services" (1998, 2), through operations and management processes that eventually guarantee "a potentially significant and sustainable competitive advantage" (ibid.).
We cannot follow such "managerial" conceptualization all the way, although we recognize in it an insightful approach to establish a theoretical grounding regarding an active didactic for philosophising. On the negative side, it is evident that the purpose of the model is inextricably compromised with a companies' strategic based focus, missing the incorporations required by philosophising; secondly the know-how dimension is biased in such a way we cannot, for instance, find the cognitive processes integrated by Bloom's Taxonomy (De Landsheere & De Landsheere, 1977), meaning that Durand oversimplifies the knowledge competence and the same could be said about know-how. On the positive side, it is true he deploys three interdependent and integrative dimensions of the learning processes; produces a reasoning explanation of its acquisition sequence; and offers a framework to understand complex learning objectives we can now put under the concept of competences.
Nevertheless, a reframed approach is possible and even necessary if we want to shake off the "managerial" corset that originally grounded the proposal. In order to go further we will draw on the definition recently presented by the Council of Europe (2016), for its project entitled "Competences for democratic culture: Living together as equals in culturally diverse democratic societies". Aside the specific domain that the model wants to address, which maintains close connections to our subject, it provides a twofold definition of competence understood as "the ability to meet complex demands within a given context" (Council of Europe, 2016, 23-24), which we found very insightful and inspiring for our purposes:
"Competence is the ability to mobilise and deploy relevant psychological resources (i.e. values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and/or understanding) in order to respond appropriately and effectively to the demands, challenges and opportunities [...] The present model treats competence as a dynamic process. This is because competence involves the selection, activation, organisation and co-ordination of relevant psychological resources which are then applied through behaviour in such a way that the individual adapts appropriately and effectively to a given situation. [...] In addition to this global and holistic use of the term "competence" (in the singular), the term "competences" (in the plural) is used in the current account to refer to the specific individual resources (i.e. the specific values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and understanding) that are mobilised and deployed in the production of competent behaviour. Hence, on the present account, competence consists of the selection, activation and organisation of competences and the application of these competences in a co-ordinated, adaptive and dynamic manner to concrete situations." (Council of Europe, 2016, 23-24).
The twenty competences, resulting from a long sieving and refining process, are summarised in the following Figure.
Figure 4 : The 20 "Competences for democratic culture" (Council of Europe, 2016, 35)
At a first glance there remains no doubt that the requirements of interconnectedness between the dimensions, as well as the reference to "competence" and "competences" and the dynamic way of their acquisition are common to Durand's Model. However, there are also very striking differences: a new category termed "values" is proposed; and Durand's knowledge category is now labelled as "Knowledge and critical understanding".
Such a dynamic approach evokes an underlying model that seems to assume a holistic competence understanding based on other competences from different nature: as values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical thinking. This takes us to assume that the author regards competences as complex and high level forms of proceeding, in different realms, possibly also leaning in other middle or low level modes of the same realm and level. Thus, what we discern here is a network of competences that mutually support each other. Such theoretical framework seems possible to advocate since complex competences could not be understood as insulated dynamics, but rather as interconnected active "meta-neurons", forming constellations or clusters, depending on a subjective activation elicited by a given situation (problematic).
However, a perplexity emerges instantly from the reference to skills as competences and vice-versa; an ambiguity which is not congruent with Durand's theory, where know-how outranks skills, being of higher complex order while the later standing for a conditional prior phase of the former's acquisition. Another perplexity arises from the fact that the model includes critical thinking in the skills domain while advancing a different dimension termed "knowledge and critical understanding". We have no problem in admitting some critical thinking conditional competences, as intermediate tasks supporting the higher order process of critical thinking. However, it is difficult to reduce critical thinking to the skill level and at the same time merging it with knowledge, which could, obviously, be critical if produced by critical thinking processes. It must be recalled here that skills stand for tacit know-how, something that cannot ever be admitted for critical thinking, without risking a paradox similar to saying a train is autonomously conducted when running in computer mode. Besides, as above mentioned, critical thinking requires self-knowledge and reflexivity as supporting competences. One last remark needs to be made in relation to the inconsistent distribution of the elements included in each category. So being we will essay a complete reformulation on how to address the contradictory, inconsistent, and amphibological issue of capabilities, objectives, skills and competences, while trying on the way to launch a didactical framework for philosophising.
With two of the dimensions already defined, and the remaining at least identified, the time has come for critically composing our own Competences' Trefoil (vd. Figure 5), taking for support the Model presented by the Council of Europe (2016), combined with Durand's (1998), Boavida's (2010) and Anderson's et al. (2001) contributions. In Figure 5, we present, for philosophy, a framework upraised in order to include the four categories devised so far: knowledge, cognitive processes, attitudes and values. The two last dimensions still need to be commented, while the first two are to be filled in with the twofold Bloom's Revised Taxonomy from Anderson et al. (2002).
In relation to the knowledge and cognitive processes dimensions, one could ask what about the items listed by Boavida (2010). Checking one by one it could be verified they were all covered by the introduced revised taxonomies.
Now, concerning attitudes and values we have to present some considerations. The first one is common to both categories, but it pertains originally to values. In our view, values ??are intensively and extensively unlimited. If we cannot exhaust completely the meaning of a higher value it is also true that one cannot provide the complete and definitive list of values ??(Cabanas 1988); such audacity could even be considered an attack on human creativity as it implies arbitrarily limiting the possibility of producing new values. A person's set of values can be outlined ??based on the knowledge that a human being can have of them: a certain group can be defined as the constellation of personal values, encompassing those, we might say, are commonly known and that a given subject also knows them personally; the second group corresponds to the values ??that are known within certain socio-cultural contexts, but may not be known by certain individuals who integrate the referred contexts; finally, the third group corresponding to the subset awaiting to be brought into existence, depending on human creativity.
Regarding attitudes, we want to advance the provisional hypothesis that is also impossible to fix their complete and definitive set. Such a statement can be inferred from the facts that they relate to values, through their evaluative component and that the number of objects and subjects are potentially infinite.
Fur our purpose a selection must be exercised over the "galaxy" of possibilities one may imagine, however it should be taken in consideration that our subject imposes at least some priorities that are empirically or theoretically derived. When we say "empirically" we mean we are relying on the good reasons that philosophical tradition has endowed us along the centuries. For example, it is visible that the competences referred by Plato and Aristotle, namely curiosity and astonishment or wonder are included in our Competences' Trefoil. Besides, the four categories of competences could be seen as the required conditions that can support the learner's self-lifting -while grounded on a set of suitable and challenging activities- to the stance of facing all thinking from the point of view of the Heideggerian radical question about "Being and Nothing". A stance from where the neophyte can start a personal journey of critically creating the concepts related to the problems raised by the dynamics of personal existence.
As to Boavida's (2010) "taxonomy" of general objectives, we have kept some of his suggestions, while introducing the above-mentioned reformulation. Regarding theorization and frameworking we envisage them as creative cognitive processes. Problematizing is a kind of complexification, or vice-versa, and are both attitudes related to analyzing, evaluating and creating, which entail reflexivity11 as a general attitude that has its parallel at the metacognive category of the knowledge domain. Finally, in respect to the expressive12 general competences we insert them as manifest correlates of creative intellectual processes and we envisage the arguing competence13 as embodied in logicalness, theorization, frameworking and other cognitive competences14 where the arguing process plays its part. Under the Anderson, Krathwohl and colleagues (2001) approach, we contemplate arguing along the ladder of the cognitive processes, depending on the depth and/or breadth of the issue taken into consideration. It can represent recalling a set of arguments, demonstrating one's understanding by enumerating the reasons that underpin a certain perspective, applying arguments to a given case, identifying the arguments and/or arguing process of a given discourse, evaluating the arguments and/or of a given discourse, creating arguments and/or an arguing process while producing an original approach to an issue. In fact, arguments and arguing processes could the subjects of philosophical didactic plans, as we have above foreseen them.
Figure 5 : General and nuclear competences for philosophising (Inspired upon the Council of Europe, 2016; Boavida, 2010; Durand, 1998)
As to the standards and traits, of Critical Thinking, that Paul and Elder (2006b) predicate, we can find them distributed among the different competences, depending on the domain to which, we feel, they belong. For instance, Depth and Breath are respectively contemplated in problematizing/complexifying and being openmindedness, which in turn always requires some sort of empathy and tolerance.
- Anderson, L. (2002). Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(4): 212-218.
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- Boyum, S. (2010). The concept of philosophical education. Educational Theory, 60, 5: 543-560.
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(1) In so being it corresponds also to an act of parrhesia, in this case, towards, oneself.
(2) In another text Kant says that there "not even the slightest degree of wisdom can be poured into a man by others; rather he must bring it forth from himself." (2007, 307).
(3) Proceeding by inquiry.
(4) We would like to stress here that the tasks must also possess an equal motivation power so as to feed the process dynamics, as well as to be congruent with the outset problematics.
(5) Which could be taken, in our point of view, as nuclear competences. In fact, Tozzi distinguishes philosophical competencies from the so-called capacities -a denomination much more prone to substantialistic conceptions-, namely: reading; writing; and conducting discussions of reflexive insight. On their part, competencies would correspond to the "forms of articulating, within the unity and movement of a kind of thought impregnated by a report to meaning and truth, the basic capabilities through complex tasks: 1. ofreading; 2. of writing; 3. and of discussion under a reflexive insight" (Tozzi, 2008, p. 1). In our point of view, such competences seem more activities, or propaedeutic competencies required by -but not especially- philosophy. Furthermore no sound reason are given in order to distinguish between what is labelled as capacity and competence, meaning they could all be termed by both substantives. Finally, not only Tozzi recognizes that the concept of competence has evolved towards a non-reductionist, non-mechanistic, and non-prescriptive understanding, safe from risking to preclude creativity and autonomous philosophising, as he also draws on the concept and comes to recognized its operability under several conditions, namely the safeguarding of a dialogic combination of deterministic procedures and random processes. This is precisely what we envisage with the proposed didactical approach based on problematics, where competencies appear as components eventually developed through open and negotiated processes.
(6) Deemed to be transversal to philosophical initiation programmes, within which they would support the development of precise exercises.
(7) Still, one must keep in mind that the developing of such a new conceptual model relates to a competence based theory of the firm, i.e., the management context and purpose.
(8) We can accept the late statement, as long as it is supposed to be a result of intellectual processes, meaning, and the deployment of intellectual competences or know-how: it is not expected that data enact all by itself into acceptable information and the later integrates all by itself into pre-existing schemes. In fact, the very reference to the "ability to" denounces the required underlying cognitive activity. We shall comeback to this issue later on.
(9) Here Durand is referring to a specific level of Know-how, the simple doing and skills, which rely in tacit knowledge. Skill means I can do it based on tacit ability, on the contrary know-how means "I know how to do it, I can do it and I can show how to do it to someone else". We infer from Durand's explanation that all know-how could have passed through a tacit phase corresponding to a skillfulness way of performing, either physically, manually or intellectually. It is also important to notice here that know-how does not necessarily pertains psychomotor or mechanical processes, they can also be related to cognitive procedures.
(10) One must notice that "identity" stands here for "the shared vision and organizational structure" (Durand, 1998, p. 35), in fact, according to Durand "Shared values, beliefs, rites and taboos are symptoms of the identity" (Durand, 1998, p. 12).
(11) Reflexivity is the attitude of being actively weighted towards what ones' own thinking or doing as well as towards a given statement, behavior or situation.
(12) Verbal or aesthetic.
(13) Purported by Tozzi et al. (1992).
(14) Which could not be split from the affective and axiological domains, without risking a Cartesian dualism. We can find here a homology with the Cartesian dualistic relationship between body and soul -res extensa and res cogitans- in which spirit appears as something that does not belong to the bodily machine, for they supposedly entertain a merely transitory relationship, given their absolutely distinctive type of res, i.e., their ontological distinctiveness (Koestler, 1967). Such an approach disregards that minds are partly constructed in the pragmatic affairs of life (Habermas, 1984, 1987).
Diotime, n°77 (07/2018)