Does engaging in philosophical inquiry improve kids' critical thinking skills?

Iris Oved

Paradox Center (nonprofit)

This project ended on:
30 September 2013

WHERE IS DANIEL? Daniel is sent on a mission to go underground at a site in Tulsa Oklahoma to retrieve some equipment that is toxic to the brain but is harmless to the body. For safety, Daniel agrees to have his brain removed from his body and placed in a glass jar in Houston Texas. The neurons in his brain are set up to communicate long-distance with the nerves in his body by signals much like the ones in cell phones. [From Daniel Dennett's "Where Am I?"]


Budget Overview

The budget will be used to allow Dr. Oved to work half-time on this project for 3 months, for 3 of her student assistants to work for a total of 40 hours at $15/hr, supplies, and transportation.

Meet the Researcher


For my PhD I studied concept acquisition (category learning) at one of the top Philosophy and Cognitive Science institutions in the world. I then did a postdoctoral fellowship in Cognitive Robotics, where I helped to implement my theory of concept acquisition in softbots and robots that explore their worlds in much the way that children and scientists do. This work has inspired me to create a philosophy for children center ( to help bring exploratory learning to public education. I hope soon to move into childhood education full-time.

A Lego Escher Castle built by some of my students:

Like many of Escher's drawings, the castle depicts a kind of paradox. To me, every interesting question (philosophical, scientific, mathematical, ...) can be framed as a paradox, and paradox appreciation is what I really want to spread.

Project Backers

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