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When we say that porn is not appropriate for children aren't we implicitly or covertly saying that porn is not appropriate for anyone?

Not sure why one might think that. We often, easily, and legitimately (I think) distinguish what's appropriate for children v. for adults, so what would be out of place in this case? Obviously we'd have to define/explain what we mean by 'appropriate' here -- and that could vary case by case, context by context -- but it seems to me the burden of proof would be on the person who holds we shouldn't make such a distinction .... So why do you think so? ap

Having an almost three year old daughter leads me into deep philosophical questions about mathematics. :-) Really, I am concerned about the concept of "being able to count". People ask me if my daughter can count and I can't avoid giving long answers people were not expecting. Firstly, my daughter is very good in "how many" questions when the things to count are one, two or three, and sometimes gives that kind of information without being asked. But she doesn't really count them, she just "sees" that there are three, two or one of these things and she tells it. Once in a while she does the same in relation to four things, but that's rare. Secondly, she can reproduce the series of the names of numbers from 1 to 12. (Then she jumps to the word for "fourteen" in our language, and that's it.) But I don't think she can count to 12. Thirdly, she is usually very exact in counting to four, five or six, but she makes some surprising mistakes. Yesterday, she was counting the legs of a (plastic) donkey (in natural...

Rather than answer I will merely invoke a classic Sesame Street episode. Grover is counting oranges: one, two, three etc. And again: one, two, three. Then someone else comes in with a basket of apples and asks him to count these as wells. But he breaks into tears. Alas, he can count oranges but he has never learned to count apples. ap

Is it wrong for little children to play "cops and robbers," wherein they simulate crime and violence?

It's hard, in general, to 'blame' children for anything, being not yet responsible and beneath the 'age of reason' ... but perhaps we might blame their parents for allowing them to learn about such things and engage in them? Perhaps -- but as the father of three small boys who turn every toy into a weapon, whose favorite form of play is 'fighting bad guys' (which often include each other), it's hard to imagine STOPPING this behavior. We do our best to shield them from it, but it's everywhere -- in kid's programming, in kid's toys, in kids' lunchbags's patterns, and in their peers at school -- you cannot shut it out, short of homeschooling and utter social isolation. So I'm not sure one can blame the parents much, either .... (and perhaps one ought to focus on restraining/steering the behavior: i.e. make sure they understand it is just play, and you cannot REALLY hurt someone, and perhaps promote the creative/fantasy elements of it .....?) best, ap

A philosopher pointed out the the big questions of philosophy are also the ones asked by all children. I'm thinking Quine, or Bertrand Russell But I can't remember. Anyone know?

I've made the same point in my book "The 60-Second Philosopher," though I think it has to made with some finesse to count as being particularly accurate. Young children seem quick to recognize questions about basic principles -- that there is a causal order -- that there may be a supreme being of some sort -- basic moral principles -- but that's still pretty far from saying they ask the same questions as the big questions from philosophy. (Tom Wartenburg has a recent book out on doing Philosophy with Children and on focus groups he's done, which might offer support for your question ....) hope that helps-- ap

Hello, and thanks for this amazing site. I am a 17 year old guy in a relationship. My girlfriend (although the word comes with a certain stigma of immaturity, which I don't like) and I have been together for well over a year. We have had a very successful relationship, even though we've had our bumps and bruises. However, our relationship is now in turmoil. My girlfriend is trying to end the relationship - although we both still love each other very much, enjoy each other's company, and feel the same as day one. The reason is her commitment issues. They come from a very troubled past, but I will not betray her privacy and give further details. This has been an issue which she has avoided for a long time. Never could we have a productive discussion on the issue. In truth, she needs therapy. She admits this, she knows this. She discontinued therapy (for PTSD and other things) a couple years ago. The reason why she refuses to go to therapy, why she is driven to break apart our relationship rather then go to...

Thanks for this thoughtful question, and I'm sorry for what you're all going through! However I'm not convinced this is, in the end, a 'philosophical' matter -- it sounds more like one that's for the professional psychologists and therapists .... and I wonder if it might be useful even for YOU to consult with one, to get some useful advice about how to deal with this complicated situation! (There are some philosophers with some psychology expertise, but I don't know if any of the panelists on this site are those!) best of luck! ap