Philosophy and Children’s Literature
As *every* thoughtful elementary school teacher knows, the great children’s picture books raise philosophical questions which young people are eager to discuss. Philosophy professor Thomas Wartenberg has studied the intersection of philosophy and the picture book for years. This Master Class will examine two classic picture books by William Steig and pair them with classic philosophical texts. Steig’s Shrek! will be compared with excerpts from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment and his Yellow and Pink with passages from David Hume’s Dialogues on Natural Religion. By considering the way picture books express important philosophical ideas, participants will expand their understanding of what philosophy is and the role it plays in our culture.
Thomas E. Wartenberg teachers philosophy at Mount Holyoke College. His areas of interest are the philosophy of film, the philosophy of art, and philosophy for children, for which he has received worldwide attention. He is the author of many books, including Big Ideas for Little People: Teaching Philosophy through Children’s Literature; A Sneetch is A Sneetch and Other Philosophical Discoveries: Finding Wisdom in Children’s Literature; Existentialism: A Beginner’s Guide; and Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy.