Common Ground: Francisco Giner de los Rios, John Dewey and Matthew Lipman

  • Fernando Martinez


Introduction: When in the Autumn of 1991 I learned of the program in Philosophy for Children originated by Matthew Lipman, I discovered that it had a definite relationship with Francisco Giner de los Rios, a Spanish author with whom I was familiar. The same philosophic and pegagogic interests and the same goals could be observed in both Lipman and Giner. Searching for Giner's sources of inspiration, I found that American pedagogy occupied a very important place in his thoughts. The presence of "American philosopher", John Dewey, along with others, could be discerned in his writings. Dewey's contributions to the formation of a philosophy and a theory of American education, with its own character, makes it inevitable that every American philosopher has an important debt to him. Lipman's Philosophy for Children is no exception. Dewey is an author referred to and commented upon frequently in the Philosophy for Children literature, although some of his positions are criticized. He belongs, along with Socrates, Plato and Wittgenstein, to the main philosophic antecedents of Philosophy for Children.