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Qionghua Cai


CAI de Qionghua, organizadora y facilitadora del taller de diálogos filosóficos, Lyon, Francia.

Ex estudiante de doctorado en filosofía estética, con maestrías en estudios ingleses así como en filosofía estética y culturas visuales, decidió participar en la comunidad de investigación y organizar talleres de diálogos filosóficos con niños y adultos. Asistió al curso de DU "Pratiques du dialog philosophique dans la cité" en la Universidad de Grenoble Alpes y luego siguió dos pasantías como observadora y facilitadora. También dirigió un proyecto para facilitar talleres de diálogo filosófico con niños alófonos en un barrio popular de Lyon. La directriz, que recorre sus proyectos, es: aplicar la filosofía a la vida cotidiana, construyendo diálogos entre personas de diferentes estructuras y repensando nuestra forma de ver el mundo.

Correo electró

Addressing conflict through imagination, in communities of philosophical inquiry (CPI)

The struggle for peace has always been present in human culture, whether it be preserving
their environment, defining rights, or simply attaining freedom. Ironically, these common
experiences of life are often best defined by the language of war, i.e. that nothing is won
without conflict, everything has to be earned. But what might it mean to fight for peace? And
what place would thought have in this “fight”?
Starting with this principle, we assume that, in a way, a community of philosophical inquiry, or
any form of dialogue or philosophy, is also based in conflict (the theme of 'philosophy and
conflict' was recently discussed at the Sophia network meeting in June 2022, in Istanbul): in
the process of dialogue, conflict arises through the divergences of opinions, cultures, values,
customs. Just as in a CPI there is no absolute answer, with dialogues remaining open and
unfinished, an ideal peace, a state of serenity without disturbance, cannot be truly achieved.
Peace would thus be what can be co-constructed. According to Paolo Freire: "Knowledge
emerges only through invention and reinvention, through the restless, impatient, continuing,
hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other" (1970,
p. 72).
Our study intends to explore the ways in which a CPI on topics of conflict can contribute to
fostering a culture of peace in children and adolescents.
Previous research in Philosophy for children has already been collected and analysed using
conversations about conflict with children from second (7-8 years old) and fifth grade (10-11
years old) classrooms in American schools (Kennedy, 2006). It has been observed, for
example, that when given a “collaborative and dialogical context” and “interactive guidance
from an adult” (Kennedy, 2006, p. 177), 7 year old children are capable of finding a
meaningful way to deal with “the conflict in their own lives and with the conflict they see
around them” (Kennedy, 2006, p. 133).  
This presentation intends to continue these studies in 11-14 year old students in secondary
schools from disadvantaged areas of South East France, including multicultural classes. We
are interested in observing how participants from different backgrounds engage in a
collective reflection about conflict, and how they imagine dealing with elements of conflict
that may arise. According to Dewey (1916/2004), exercising the imagination is a necessary
condition for understanding the experience of others, as well as contextualizing our own. 
In our design, children start by sharing their first spontaneous reactions to the concept of
conflict and reflecting on those key words. They will use creativity as a tool to express their
different opinions on this notion, in an interpretative approach. Following the sharing of their
diversity of attitudes on the basic concept of the word, they can then approach different kinds
of conflicts. This first discussion will enable the creation of a common ground on which
deeper inquiry can develop. The next step is to build on their representations, nourishing
their imaginations with varying cultural narratives about conflict. We will share myths,
founding texts and narratives from several origins that each relate to the principle of conflict
differently (conflict that leads to disputes, war, figures of conflict, third intervention,
consequences). Thus, the participants can build upon this notion. Finally, we invite children to
create their own stories of conflict together and imagine their endings. These stories will be

shared within the group, leading to further discussion. Throughout the project, the
participants are invited to explore through cooperative games and to reflect on conflict in
dialogue itself.
Through qualitative research conducted during these experiments, we can analyse what
actually happens when dialogue is opened; How children experience differences and
conflicts not only through protocol but also through the social dimension of language. Can
"conflict" (in a sense to be clarified) be the engine of a rich and creative thought process that
leads to a better understanding of others? It is likely that the social aspect of the CPI, beyond
the topics discussed, is in itself an element that fosters a culture of peace among
participants. However, other findings may exceed our expectations and enrich our
understanding of conflict as a quintessential element of peace.


Dewey, J. (1916/2004). Democracy and Education. An Introduction to the Philosophy of
, Aakar Books.
Freire, P. (September 2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.), Bloomsbury
Publishing, New York
Kennedy, D. (2006). Young children discuss conflict. Childhood & philosophy, Rio de Janeiro,
Vol 2, No. 3.

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