“I love the Camp dynamic. We all, and I mean campers AND counsellors, cycle through the motions. Not just because we’re busy, but we think and feel along with each other. Every time I’m amazed to see the campers being engaged with all the exciting philosophical inquiries and activities. When that last day of camp moves towards the end I cannot help but have a profound sense of being part of an amazing event.”
Arthur did his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and wrote a dissertation called ‘Intensive Resonances: A Deleuzian Pedagogy of Difference in Philosophizing with Children.’ Its main topics are Philosophy for Children (P4C) and the work of 20th century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and focuses on the concepts of Learning Affect and Thinking Immanence. By developing an affective conception of thinking, he shows that the manner in which thinking and learning operate has important pedagogical implications for philosophical inquiry with children and the theoretical and practical cornerstone of P4C: The Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CPI). Based on these implications, he suggests several pedagogical innovations. Most recently, he has two articles that have been accepted for publication. First, a book chapter entitled ‘Existential Urgency: Towards a Provocation to Thinking Different,’ which combines a reading of Heidegger’s provocation to think and Merleau-Ponty’s concept of embodiment to reconceptualize thinking as embodied practice. Second, an essay entitled ‘Affect and Philosophical Inquiry with Children’ for which he was awarded the 2022 essay prize by the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) and which will be published in the journal Childhood & Philosophy. In 2018 he also co-wrote an article (see the media page) and children’s book with the director of the camp Susan T. Gardner. Arthur has also published with UNESCO on, for example, the Asia-Arab Philosophical Dialogues, and academic articles with Routledge and various journals.
In addition, Arthur has more that 15 years of experience doing philosophy with children and is the Education Director at the Thinking Playground and assistant director at the Vancouver Institute of Philosophy for Children. He was also on the executive board of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC). His main interests are the relationship between philosophy and pedagogy from a theoretical and practical perspective and how they may benefit people of all ages to live life well. To realize this he designs philosophical curricula for the camps, has taught courses at UBC, and works with teachers and students in schools. Some of the key questions guiding this work: “What are the roles of affect, emotions, and feelings in thinking and learning?” and, following from that, “What does an affective conception of thinking look like?” and “What are the pedagogical implications of this?”
Before his Ph.D. Arthur has worked, amongst others, with UNESCO Bangkok on the philosophy and education program in Asia and the Pacific, helped organise the 2011 (South Korea) and 2015 (Canada) International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) conference, taught at the P4C institute in South Korea, organised philosophy cafés in Japan, and did workshops and presentations.