Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
Critical Thinking in Colombian High School Philosophy through Paul Ricoeur’s Phronesis
Fredy Hernán Prieto Galindo
Today it is necessary to look for educational possibilities in schools that support critical thinking and invite greater openness to different voices. In my experience, current training of critical thinking in Colombian high school philosophy courses is grounded in logic and modern epistemology deemed to be neutral, universal, and objective. Any view outside this framework is commonly disregarded. In order to question and challenge such a way of teaching critical thinking and propose alternatives, this research draws upon philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s (1913‒2005) theory of phronesis (practical wisdom). In other words, I explore how Ricoeurean phronesis may (or may not) beneficially inform and revitalize secondary school philosophy curricula. My methodology is constituted by applied hermeneutics, as it is understood by some scholars of the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary in Canada. I follow too the particular writing style nurtured by connections to personal experiences, deployment of etymologies, comparisons, and other language resources that open and deepen the interpretation of the phenomenon. In this conference, I focus on three possible ways in which Ricoeurean phronesis might inform critical thinking: 1) the conjunction between reason and other human dimensions in critique; 2) the participation of otherness and difference in building a good life, and 3) the creation of new possibilities before the situation at hand.
keywords: Critical thinking; hermeneutics; high school; philosophy; phronesis.