Einstein didn’t. He thought they can take a grown-up answer. Our current education system underestimates children. Philosophy classes are facultative, at best. And they start when students are about 18 (in Germany). Teaching children how to think — how to do philosophy — is the most important thing our education system can do. Everything else follows. So why don’t we?
I was relieved when I heard about Philosophy for Children. Because doing philosophy is something children like to do, as I experienced in the following exchange with a kindergarten kid. She asked me: “What time is it?” — “2 o’clock.” — “And why?” She was 5. And ready for the answer, although it goes quite deep. By inquiring, we often find that things we adults took for granted are more complex than we thought.
Children care about their self and want to know more about it. They care about what’s the right thing to do. They care about profound questions. When we start doing philosophy with children, they’ll learn how to think and how to argue. And they’ll force us to think better.
(I apologize to any children reading this post for assuming that all readers are adults.)