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Oliver Michaud


Es profesor de fundamentos educativos en la Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec, Canadá). Hizo su maestría en la Université Laval (Québec, Canadá) y su doctorado en la Universidad Estatal de Montclair. Su principal experiencia es en filosofía de la educación, filosofía para niños, educación ciudadana y metodología cualitativa.

olivier michaud

How Montaigne invites us to do philosophy: in search of peace in oneself

Philosophy for children in the Lipman and Sharp tradition has brought a certain perspective regarding what it means to practice philosophy. Philosophy firstly means to tackle the subjects that are common and central to our lives, but also contestable. We may also define a philosophical topic through the use of categories, which are, for example, ethics, epistemology, logic, ontology and aesthetic. The specificity of the philosophy for children movement is how these subjects are tackled, which is through a particular pedagogy: the community of philosophical inquiry. Through that pedagogy a group of persons (children, teenager, adults, etc.) will try to pass from a question to a reasonable judgment by dialoguing and thinking together. They will use during that process, and with the help of a facilitator, various thinking and social skills (Gregory et al., 2008; Lipman, 2003; Topping et al., 2019).


In this presentation, we want to discuss another vision of what doing philosophy can mean. Not that we think that how the practice of philosophy is seen in the philosophy for children movement is inadequate, but because we believe our practice could become richer if we could enlarge our vision what it means to do philosophy. To do so, we propose to study the work of Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), and, more specifically, how it helps us to see a particular perspective regarding the practice of philosophy. Montaigne proposes us a peculiar kind of a philosopher. His major work The Essay (1595/1992) is a collection of shorts and longer essays that were published in three books and were written over a period of almost 20 years. There is not an obvious structure of The Essays and, furthermore, there is not always a clear structure in each essay. In them, Montaigne explicitly says that he wants to test himself by reflecting on a subject matter. However, this movement toward understanding a subject is at the same time a movement toward himself, to understand and transform himself.


One aspect of that self-transformation that aims Montaigne is to reach peace in himself (2017). Thus, we think the perspective developed by Montaigne in The Essays regarding the practice of philosophy is interesting to reflect on the topic of NAACI 2023, peace education. On the importance to reach, or at least, to search peace in ourselves if we want to contribute in the other forms of peace: economic, social, environmental, etc.


Format of the proposal: 3) single paper, presentation 15 minutes, followed by ½ of a community of inquiry



Gregory, M., Brubaker, N., Burdick, S., Cevallos-Estarellas, P., Heinegg, J., Jackson, T. E., Kennedy, D., Laverty, M., Lipman, M., Perry, A., Sharp, A. M., Splitter, L., Turgeon, W., & Williams, M. J. (2008). Philosophy for Children: Practitioner handbook. Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children.


Jouanna, A. (2017). Montaigne. Gallimard.


Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in education. Cambridge University Press.


Montaigne, M. d. (1595/1992). Les essays. Arléa.


Topping, K. J., Trickey, S., & Cleghorn, P. (2019). A teacher's guide to philosophy for children. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

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