Towards a Better Understanding of Emotions: The Impact of Philosophizing with Children on Their Emotion Comprehension – A Review of Developmental Studies

Keywords: emotion comprehension, emotion understanding, Philosophy for Children, P4C, Lipman, dialog


The article discusses Philosophy for Children (P4C) in the context of understanding emotions. First, we present the origins of Philosophy for Children as a pedagogical method designed to support critical thinking, and its subsequent evolution into a research tool based on psychological interventions. We then show how P4C can be applied in research on children’s understanding of emotions. We argue that not only does P4C serve to build knowledge and improve cognitive abilities, but also promotes understanding of affective phenomena. We show that the benefits of philosophizing about emotions are being observed in increasingly younger children. We point out that P4C has only recently been used for supporting the development of emotion comprehension, and that research using P4C interventions with preschoolers is also a recent development. We believe both of these to result from a change over the recent decades in how the child’s mind is conceptualized in developmental psychology.


Author Biographies

Jakub Janczura, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

Jakub Janczura, MA — Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Department of Cognitive Science, PhD student

Anna Karczmarczyk, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

Anna Karczmarczyk, PhD — Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Department of Cognitive Science

Arkadiusz Gut, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

Dr. habil. Arkadiusz Gut, Prof. at NCU — Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Department of Cognitive Science

Robert Mirski, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland

Robert Mirski, MA — Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Department of Cognitive Science, PhD student


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