Philosophy for Children meets Philosophy Born of Struggle: An Interview with Leonard Harris

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This video file is an interview of Leonard Harris, a professor of philosophy at Purdue University and a leader in the field of critical pragmatism. Harris's agenda of “struggle philosophy” moves beyond analytic and instrumentalist reasoning and Socratic dialogue to incorporate an “ethics of insurrection,” “advocacy aesthetics,” and the concept of racism as “necro-being.” In addition, Harris has been largely responsible for the renewed, contemporary interest in the life and philosophy of the American philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke. In 1980 Harris attended the IAPC Summer Seminar at Mendham with Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp and a few years later he founded and directed a Philosophy for Children Center at Morgan State University. Harris established a program to introduce Philosophy for Children in Washington D.C. public schools, which he wrote about in his book, Children in Chaos: A “Philosophy for Children” Experience (Kendall Hunt, 1991). In this interview, Harris reflects on that experience, on philosophical disagreements he had with Lipman, and the politics of education. The interview was conducted March 22, 2022 via Zoom, by Maughn Rollins Gregory (Montclair State University), Megan Jane Laverty (Teachers College, Columbia University), and Darren Chetty (University College London).