The subtitle of this contribution is ‘a sketch of a philosophy of childhood and the child’. The article introduces a new perspective on childhood and the child, which may be characterised as psychological, or rather which draws on psychology for its starting point. Childhood is perceived as a period in which every individual experiences sorrows. These sorrows are of two types – sorrows which stem from painful experiences and sorrows which stem from the loss of love and safety, and which are therefore the result of the positive, beautiful, good. These sorrows ultimately pass into the memories of each individual. A person is thus constituted by their sorrows and by their memories. The author in this article treats the causes of these sorrows in detail and goes on to use them in grounding an attempt at a philosophical understanding of the child itself, and of childhood. On the basis of memories, which are treated from a philosophical vantage point, as well as from the author‘s own inquiry into the recollections of young people (students aged from 19-24), certain theses are advanced which enable one to understand not only childhood, but also help to delineate a philosophy of the child, an area which has not yet been properly developed.
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