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How do we come to believe in particular ways about what and who a child is? What shapes and forms common perceptions of the child, and indeed, what it is like to be a child? Historical and contemporary philosophy plays a large part in these conceptions. As historian of philosophy Rom Harré explains, the purpose of philosophy is to examine life and the way that we live it. This entry considers some of the ways in which the notion of the child has been situated in historical and contemporary philosophies, in their examinations of life and how it is (to be) lived. Viewing the notion of the child through philosophy removes our thinking from a biological or medical perspective. It brings to light the ways ...

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