Teaching to philosophize, or to recognize the centrality of the other


  • Salvatore Savoia Università del Salento




In the booklet entitled Notizia on the address of his lectures in the winter semester 1765-1766, with which Kant illustrated the courses of metaphysics, ethics, logic and physical geography, and in the Critique of pure reason the philosophical teaching is thematized around the distinction “Learn philosophy” and “learn to philosophize”. For Kant, the teacher can only teach the student to philosophize, that is, to build his own opinion. Otherwise the student would be a plaster copy of another living being, having simply learned the philosophical system of a thinker.

Taking systems theory as an observation perspective and keeping Kant's thought in mind, a different approach to the issue is proposed. Systems theory, according to the elaboration of Niklas Luhmann and Raffaele De Giorgi, revolves around the concept of communication, which is realized only when there is an understanding of meaning by the other. In any communication process, then, the centrality of the other emerges, of the one who understands, that is, of the one who builds meaning. The master's task becomes that of teaching the technique from which philosophizing is born. You can teach how to build worlds in a shared manner, so that the function of the other in the dialogic exchange is central. Teaching to philosophize therefore means making sure that habits of behavior are learned that consider the centrality of the other.