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Is there an age for philosophizing?



Why teach preschool or elementary school children to think when it is not obvious to the older ones? Because it is never too early to develop their reasoning skills, their critical thinking and, therefore, their free will.

Recently, Nicole Prieur, philosopher and psychotherapist, received a call from a mother: “Her little girl, 4 years old, was fine, but the teacher thought she was asking strange questions. The girl wanted to talk about death. Her teacher was worried: did she have morbid preoccupations? In reality, the child was immersed in existential questioning. “From the age of 3 or 4, when they realize that their birthdays come and go, that a tree loses its flowers or that a dog can die, children ask themselves questions about time and death: “Where was I when I wasn’t born?”, “Why can’t I stay small?”, “Where do we go when we die?”, “Where do we go when we die?”, “Where do we go when we die?”. Their ability to philosophize is prodigious. It is much earlier and more natural than we think.”

Too often, however, we give them hasty answers in the belief that we must reassure them. Either the answer seems too complicated for their age, or we don’t know anything ourselves. Hence the importance of listening to their questions and taking the time to reflect on them together.

An elaboration of the self

“Why should children be excluded from philosophy?” asks philosopher Oscar Brenifie, author, among others, of the collection “PhiloZenfants“(Nathan). Of course, it all depends on what is meant by “philosophizing”. On the one hand, there is philosophy as a subject: the academic knowledge we were taught in the last year of high school, a history of thinkers and ideas, which we had to assimilate and be able to reconstruct around often obscure statements. And, on the other hand, philosophy, which consists in “thinking thought”, that is, in being able to look at it as an object whose clarity and accuracy can be evaluated, whose implications can be examined, whose limits and inconsistencies can be grasped. And that it can be subjected to criticism and contradiction. “Is it ever too early to dare to think for oneself, to dare to speak for oneself, to dare to speak to others? At 18, is it ever too late to learn this?”, adds Oscar Brenifier. At 3, 12 or 50, only the choice of topics, the richness of the vocabulary and the complexity of the arguments vary. But the objective is the same: to allow, explains the philosopher, “an elaboration of being through the construction of thought”.

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For a better understanding, you can consult their website (, a video in which we see him working with children from 6 to 9 years old. One of them wants to talk about horses, the others about nature, pollution, sheep…. And it is clear from the questions the philosopher asks that the subject is less important than the path he invites the children to follow. “What do you want to talk about?”, “Why do you want to talk about that?”, “Do you agree with what he just said?”, “What do you care that I don’t agree?”, “What do you care that I don’t agree?”, “Why do you want to talk about that?”. At first they are surprised by the process, but they become more and more comfortable with it. One child learns to curb his impulsiveness to speak, another takes more risks in speaking, the third tries to clarify his comments, the fourth learns to put up with disagreement…. The exercise of philosophizing modifies their way of being.

Discussions, not lessons

For Oscar Brenifier, the place for the practice of philosophy must be the family. It is not a matter of lecturing our children, or even setting aside time for philosophy, but of cultivating questioning in our exchanges with them, to develop their freedom of expression, their critical spirit… and ours. “Our role as parents is to help our children build the ‘inner narrative’ that constitutes the fabric of their identity and their freedom,” says the doctor. Philippe Presles, who has just published The Flight of Consciousness (Robert Laffont, 2013). For an attentive and benevolent presence. By a great availability to philosophical dialogue. And by helping them to develop a culture of happiness. The collection “PhiloZenfants”, published by Nathan, or “Les Goûters philo”, published by Milan, include works on innumerable themes: life, freedom, feelings, being and having, good and evil, justice and injustice, etc. The approach is in no way dogmatic or moralistic: on the contrary, it proposes open questions, which expect neither good nor bad answers, but lend themselves to discussion, to the search for fruitful contradictions or unexpected developments. One will be surprised at the level of elaboration and the pleasure felt by children, even the youngest.

Everything is food for thought

Brigitte Labbé conducts philosophy workshops in elementary school classes and municipal libraries. If the room is set up with chairs lined up in front of her, she pushes them aside, preferring the discussion to take place in a circle, with everyone sitting on the floor, at the same distance from the center. Philosophy, she explains, is very physical, the children get animated, they jump, the circle narrows or widens depending on the development of the discussion: “Freedom of movement allows freedom of thought. The topic of the debate is chosen by the children, from among the proposals he makes: “Voting is already a topic of reflection for them. But he invites them to “use anything: a film, a current event that has made them think.

Recently, with 8-9 year olds, the discussion began after a screening of Alexandre le Bienheureux. Yves Robert’s film (1968) stars Philippe Noiret as Alexandre, who decides to crawl into bed for several weeks to indulge in laziness. “His wife is a pain in the ass,” commented one boy. Why is she a pain in the ass? Because she stops him from doing what he wants. Does she stop him or is he not assertive? One thing led to another and the discussion moved on to bravery, cowardice, self-assertion and dominance, all topics with obvious philosophical implications.

Sometimes the philosopher also proposes games to concretize certain themes. On a topic such as “belief and knowledge”, he makes the following proposal to the children: imagine two peoples; one knows that God exists, the other believes that God exists. What will happen? The important thing, he insists, is not to conclude, not to summarize what has been said, not to look for a moral to the story that puts an end to the children’s reflection. The goal of philosophy is to learn to walk with questions that will not necessarily be answered and to remain agile, not to fossilize with certainties.

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A possible step before shrinkage

The trivialization of psychology has led to children being very ego-centered,” says Nicole Prieur. The advantage is that we respect them more in their uniqueness. But they also have to live with others, become citizens and build the world of tomorrow. And in this respect, philosophy can help them to decenter themselves, to open up to others and to the community. It leads them to look at the world from another point of view than their own, in search of universal truths. In her practice, Nicole Prieur uses the tools of psychology as much as those of philosophy. “When I work with children from same-parent families, they question their origins. Philosophy allows us to ask the question “who am I?” in a way that is not based solely on filiation. It helps them to get out of family determinism and to have a broader sense of belonging. It also helps to work better with parents: “When I invite them to discuss with their child, to feel pleasure in questioning him, because these unanswered questions that we think together mobilize the child’s creativity and potential, then they feel good in their place, in their role of support and transmission. And that gets everyone moving again.

Philosophy also offers help to children who may be tempted to rush to the psychiatrist. For example, we can help an unmotivated young adolescent in class to think about his own existence, what is important to him, what he would be glad to have achieved when he is very old. Children are sometimes crushed by the weight of their parents’ limitations and worries about the future,” says Nicole Prieur. Philosophy can help them not to be locked into a single vision and to cultivate their own way of looking at life. It highlights the idea that one is the architect of one’s own path and is an act of freedom and independence.

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Family / Couple

The 4 favorite methods of women to achieve clitoral orgasm



Despite scientific advances, female pleasure is still synonymous with mystery. Many studies have investigated the clitoris and its secrets, but never has the word been so free on the subject. It is in this continuity that American researchers compiled the responses of a panel of 3,017 women between the ages of 18 and 93 to make their way the secrets of sexual pleasure and clitoral orgasm. Published in April 2021, this study highlights 4 techniques women use to make vaginal penetration more pleasurable: angling, rocking, shallow penetration, and pairing.

Shallowing: multiply the pleasure by a superficial touch

84% of women resort to superficiality to, once again, increase pleasure during vaginal penetration. Behind this name, which translates into French as “superficial”, hides a pretty shallow touch, penetrating right at the entrance of the vagina. It can be done with the tip of the finger, a toy, the tip of the penis, the tongue, or the lips.

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Breath play or erotic suffocation, a dangerous sexual practice



It is sexual behavior that is controversial. the breathing game which literally means “breath play”, is a form of erotic asphyxiation practiced during sexual intercourse. But its dangerousness is often overlooked.

What is the breathing game?

ends sexual arousal”, defines the English version of Wikipedia. In practice, “erotic asphyxia” consists ofchoking your partner in the middle of a sexual act. However, playing with your breath can be very dangerous, even deadly. “May result in accidental death by suffocation,” the definition says.

However, despite the risk of injury or fainting, this practice has many adherents. A study conducted in 2021 among 4,000 American students indicates that 26.5% of those surveyed had drowned during their last sexual encounter. Another study carried out the same year on other students reveals more worrying figures: 58% of them have already been suffocated by a partner.

L’suffocation erotic it is also very popular in BSDM circles. A french website dedicated to this type of sexual practices, explains that this restriction of breathing is “practiced in different ways: hanging, suffocation, placing the head in a plastic bag or strangulation,” reports an article in female earth.

A sexual practice that can be deadly

Very risky, the breathing game was popularized by the porn industry, making it an act in its own right, especially in sexual relations marked by domination. But in reality, the consequences of this sexual practice can be fatal. Too much pressure on the larynx can cause death.

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Although there are no official figures on the number of deaths caused by this practice, Grace Millane, a 22-year-old woman, died from it in 2018. Police found traces of strangulation that could correspond to a “four to five minute” suffocation. His partner, Jesse Kempton, was convicted of femicide and sentenced to life in prison. The defense had confided “that the young woman had accidentally died at the end of a sexual game that had gone wrong, a version that had been categorically rejected by the jury,” he recalls. paris party.

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Couple: what your position on the sofa says about your relationship



the posture adopted by couples when they sit on a sofait’s a window into your relationship status. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by Georgina Barnett, a British psychologist, on 2,000 cohabiting couples. “Tell me how you’re sitting, I’ll tell you if everything is fine in your relationship,” says the specialist in an interview with Stylish Maternity.

Sitting next to each other: a sign of imbalance?

While most couples tend to sit on the couch together, there are some pretty subtle signs that it can be signs of relationship problems. When the partners occupy only one corner of the bench and are too close together, this is synonymous with imbalance in your relationship. “The comfortable person in the corner takes up the space, is confident, and has power in the relationship. The other, on the other hand, seems less confident. He is looking for contact and reassurance, ”explains Georgina Barnett.

However, there is a nuance when they sit more in the center of the sofa, maintaining physical contact, such as a hand on the thigh or another. “Couples established in this way have trust your relationship and therefore can afford personal space. It is a mixture of intimacy and freedom”, analyzes the psychologist. But although in love, the latter no longer experience the passion of the first days, according to the expert.

When the position on the sofa heralds a crisis

According to the psychologist, time is serious in the event that the two partners are sitting at two different ends. “It’s even worse if her legs are crossed in opposite directions,” she says. This posture is generally a sign of a Tension in the couple. It can also be a sign that something was left unsaid or resentment, according to Georgina Barnett.

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And contrary to what one might think, if the partners are based on different bases, distanced from each other, it does not necessarily mean that they are in crisis. can only be couples comfortable enough with each other to have their own space. Although this study is based on a fairly large sample, its conclusions must be taken with caution.

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