We need to talk about Wittgenstein: The practice of dialogue in the classroom and in assessment

Yasemin J. Erden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Is philosophy the pursuit of knowledge, as first year students with a dictionary sometimes write? With an aim to inspire and encourage philosophical inquiry, offering an invitation to participate in a process of discovery? Or are philosophers charged with teaching the history of such pursuits – who argued, proved, disproved what? On the first account, philosophy is a subject that resists information-transmission, and requires exploration, creativity, discussion and dialogue. On the second, teaching centres on information-transmission, etching old ideas into the minds of budding scholars, in short time slots. Though there need not be a division, there is a need to recognise where approaches differ. In this way, we can ensure sufficient time and space for the sometimes unquantifiable: imaginative, creative pursuits in philosophy, with space for independent, original thinking. This paper explores these ideas alongside approaches to teaching, and offers a paradigm for incorporating dialogue in the learning and practice of philosophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-48
Number of pages15
JournalArts and humanities in higher education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dialogue
  • education
  • Newman
  • philosophy
  • Wittgenstein


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