Keren Sadan

Previous Courses


Philosophy as Experience

Open, Small Lecture—Spring

What does it mean to have “an experience”? When we return from a music festival, for instance, and say, “That was an amazing experience,” or when we say of a certain course that we had in college, “That was a life-changing experience,” what do we mean by it? What makes such experiences different than, say, going to the grocery store or having a family dinner (though, some family dinners we might define as an experience after all...)? In this course, we will explore these questions philosophically, reading authors for whom philosophy and experience are intertwined. Our course will be divided according to different varieties of experience: the experience of art and education (Dewey), the experience of solitude (Descartes), the experience of nature (Thoreau), the experience of walking (Rousseau), the experience of breathing (Irigaray), the experience of play (Gadamer), and the experience of love (Plato). Our ultimate objective in these inquiries is to ask about the connection between philosophy and life itself, considering whether and how lived experience might enrich philosophy and how philosophy might enrich our lives, in turn.


Philosophy with/for Children

Open, Small Lecture—Fall

Philosophy with/for Children is a movement that was started by Matthew Lipman in the early 1970s in the United States. Today, it is an established pedagogy that is practiced across dozens of countries and about which there is a rich and evolving body of research, writing, and discussion. What makes the idea of philosophy with children so interesting is, first of all, the children: listening to children, to their thoughts, ideas, and questions. But no less importantly, the it forces us to rekindle the foundational questions of philosophy: What is philosophy? What makes a thought, idea, or a question philosophical? When and how does philosophical thinking begin? And who is the subject of philosophy? Who does philosophy, and how is it “done”? In this course, we will read and watch children’s philosophical dialogues and become familiarized with theoretical texts about children’s philosophical thinking. We will be constantly shifting from theoretical to practical aspects of Philosophy for Children. During group conference, we will experience the pedagogical methods of Philosophy for Children hands-on, including games, discussion sessions, and the ways children generate philosophical questions. Our focus will be on children from the ages of five to 11. Among our readings will be texts by philosophers Matthew Lipman, Catherine McCall, Jana Mohr Lone, Gilles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray Jacques Ranacière, and Friedrich Nietzsche.