Philosophy For Parents

Holly Hamilton-Bleakley has started a promising looking new blog called Philosophy for Parents:

philosophy is about making sense of the human condition.  It tries to do this by exploring concepts and phenomena that we encounter as part of our human experience, such as truth, knowledge, reality, goodness, beauty, right and wrong, reason, emotion, the soul, free will, determinism, choice, action, virtue, and so on.

Parenting, too, is about making sense of the human condition.  As parents we have to teach our children how to make sense of the world, of the concepts of right and wrong, of what is good and what is beautiful.  We help them to make sense of themselves – their thoughts and feelings, their choices, their actions, their relationships with others, etc.

So, parenting has the potential to be a very important philosophical activity.  Yet, it is safe to say that philosophers do not generally engage directly with parents.  No, those engaging directly with parents tend to be psychologists, counselors, educators, doctors, sometimes management consultants and other parents.  The advice and help that these people offer for family challenges is, for the most part, fantastic, and sometimes even vital.  But philosophy can give us a perspective on our children that is different from the perspective of child experts.  And it can give us different tools for solving the problems we have with them.

The fact that philosophers rarely talk to parents, then, is a problem that needs to be addressed.  That’s what I want to do with this blog.

I want to talk to parents about philosophy, in a way that makes philosophy seem accessible and useful to them.  I want to show how philosophy gets us to think about our job as parents by challenging our assumptions about what sort of life we want our children to lead.  I want to show how philosophy can be practical, because it can be used to shed light on the various problems we may have with our children.

Sounds like the kind of thing I do through my philosophical advice services and columns, only parenting focused and coming from someone not only with a PhD in intellectual history but experience raising six kids.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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