Addressing Conflict through Imagination in Communities of Philosophical Inquiry


  • Anda Fournel
  • Chrystelle Blanc-Lanaute
  • Qionghua Cai


Existing research recognizes the crucial role played by imagination in giving meaning to our experience, thinking critically and paying attention to difference. By using a design based on what we called ‘embodied imagination’ (analogical reasoning) and ‘narrative imagination’ (contributions from universal stories), we conduct an exploratory study in a secondary school in a disadvantaged area of France, including multicultural classes. We aimed to observe how 12-15-year-old students think about conflict and how they manage tensions and conflicts that might arise during the dialogue. We have found, first, that universal stories gave students the opportunity to enrich their vision of conflict, inspiring more sophisticated thought. Secondly, we have observed that when conflicts arise during interactions, building a dialogue community is a real challenge, for teachers and students alike. Some students are able to take on the role of mediator, while others try to establish their role as speaker or find their place in the dialogue. Reflecting on the nature of peer relationships in their dialogue, one student suggests the framework of a "friendly discussion".
Keywords: conflict, imagination, community of philosophical inquiry, dialogue




How to Cite

Fournel, A., Blanc-Lanaute, C., & Cai, Q. (2024). Addressing Conflict through Imagination in Communities of Philosophical Inquiry. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis, 44(1), 19–41. Retrieved from