Childhood is our primary launching pad, a time of life when learning is more intense than at any other, when we gain the critical knowledge and skills that can help ensure that we remain adaptable. This book weaves together the thinking of philosophers from across the ages who make the unsettling assertion that with the passage of time we are apt to shrink mentally, emotionally, and cognitively. If we follow what has become an all-too-common course, we denature our original naturewhich brims with curiosity, empathy, reason, wonder, and a will to experiment and understandand we regress, our sense of who we are will become fuzzier and everyone in our orbit will pay a price.
Mounting evidence shows that we begin our lives with a moral, intellectual, and creative bang, and in this groundbreaking, heavily researched, and highly engaging volume, Christopher Phillips makes the provocative case that childhood isn't merely a state of becoming, while adulthood is one of being, as if we've "arrived" and reached the summit. His life-changing proposition is that if we embrace the defining qualities of youth, we're not destined to become frail, dispirited, or unhinged, we'll grow in a way defined by wonder, curiosity, imaginativeness, playfulness, and compassionin essence, unlimited potential.
SubtitleUnlocking Your Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason at Every Age and Stage of Life
AuthorBy Christopher Phillips
Published13 March 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
About the author
Christopher Phillips, PhD, is the bestselling author of Socrates Café. He was an ethics network fellow at Harvard University, a senior writing fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, a senior education fellow at the National Constitution Center, and a recipient of the Distinguished American Leader award. His writing and activism inspired the Socrates Café and Democracy Café gatheringsmeet-ups in which people of all ages exchange ideas and philosophies while embracing the Socratic Methodand today there are more than six hundred ongoing gatherings around the world. Visit his websites at ChristopherPhillips.com and DemocracyCafe.org.
"A springboard for debate . . . [Phillips] mediates and gently guides while uncovering or recovering some of the most basic and fundamental joys of being a child, at any age." —Foreword Reviews
"If you think that you understand the stages of human development, think again. You won’t agree with everything in Christopher Phillips’s book, but your understanding of human development will be enriched and enhanced." —Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"Christopher Phillips and other participants in meetings of Socrates Café cultivate a self-aware climate of ongoing inquiry and reflection. A commitment to lifelong learning may not answer all our questions, but it does make us more fully alive." —Science of Mind
"[Phillips's writing is] a bracing, rollicking read about the spark that ignites when people start asking meaningful questions." —O, The Oprah Magazine
"Christopher Phillips offers what America’s moms and dads, and children and youth, want and need—an inclusive approach for caring for not only our youngest, but our oldest as well, and everyone in between. As Phillips stresses, when we make 'people raising' a cooperative affair, our deep-rooted altruistic inclinations come to the fore. This pays enormous dividends to society itself, which at its most foundational level needs to be organized in a certain way if we are fully to tap into our basic nurturing instincts and meet one another’s most cherished expectations throughout our lives." —Joan Blades, coauthor of The Motherhood Manifesto and cofounder of MomsRising.org