Socratic Philosophizing with the Five Finger Model: The Theoretical Approach of Ekkehard Martens

  • Eva Marsal


Socratic Philosophizing is an open process of thinking that follows a net of methods. Martens develops his Five Finger Model in accordance with Socrates and the history of philosophy. Philosophizing within the community of inquiry is characterized by attitudes of curiosity, openness, and the willingness to make oneself understandable as well as to understand the other person in return. There are five core philosophical methods that assist in making such philosophizing successful: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Analysis, Dialectics and Speculation. These five methods are understood as reflective operations which are learned in an elementary way and practiced step-by-step: (phenomenological) to be able to describe something exactly, (hermeneutial) to understand oneself and others, (analytical) to clarify in a conceptual and argumentative way how something is understood), (dialectical) to ask and to disagree, (speculative), to fantasize how something could be understood. Marten’s Five Finger Model builds on these methods in order to help children build broader and distinct questions through philosophizing. To illustrate this we will present an interactive game that can be used to introduce the teaching themes of Who am I?, Partnership, Tolerance, and Foreign Cultures. The game is called “Distance and Closeness.” The game was evaluated afterward using the framework of the five finger method.