How far is the moon?

How far is the moon?

Hi little philosophers,

today our philosophy lesson will be a little different than usual. In fact, I will ask you a question: how far is the moon? No, I don’t mean in terms of kilometers but in terms of imagination and dreams.

Have you ever imagined to travel in space and to reach the lunar soil taking a few steps? Actually we should say “jumps” and not steps because the lunar force of gravity is different than the earth one and you are so light that you can practically walk making small leaps.

Photo by Dom Le Roy on

What would you do on the moon? Who or what could you see but, above all, why all these strange questions? Simple. I would like to know how important your dreams are and how far you can go to make them come true.

Which is your closest dream and which is the most distant one? Can all dreams be achieved or is there someone who, once they have fled to the moon, cannot be captured? How far are your dreams from you? How far is the moon?

Photo by Rok Romih on

Maria Domenica Depalo

Quanto è lontana la luna?

Quanto è lontana la luna?

Bambini, oggi la nostra lezione di filosofia sarà un po’ diversa dal solito. Infatti vi porrò una domanda: quanto è lontana la luna? No, non intendo in termini di chilometri ma in termini di immaginazione e di sogni.

Avete mai immaginato di viaggiare nello spazio e di raggiungere il suolo lunare e di compiervi qualche passo? Più che passo sarebbe più corretto dire salto, visto che lassù la forza di gravità ha un valore differente rispetto a quella terrestre e si è talmente leggeri da poter praticamente camminare compiendo piccoli balzi.

Photo by Rok Romih on

Cosa fareste sulla luna? Chi o cosa potreste vedere ma soprattutto, se incontraste un extraterrestre, cosa fareste?

Ma perché tutte queste strane domande, vi starete chiedendo. Semplice. Vorrei sapere quanto sono importanti i vostri sogni e quanto lontano siete disposti ad andare per realizzarli.

Qual è il vostro sogno più vicino e qual è quello più distante? Tutti i sogni possono essere raggiunti o ce n’è qualcuno che, una volta fuggito sulla luna, non può essere catturato?

Photo by Dom Le Roy on

Quanto distano i vostri sogni da voi? Quanto dista la luna?

Maria Domenica Depalo

Ability and duty to choose: Søren Kierkegaard

Ability and duty to choose: Søren Kierkegaard

Little dear philosophers,

Have you ever had to choose between two or more equally attractive proposals, or have you ever thought what it would have been like if you had made one decision rather than another?

Making choices is part of our life: it gives us the opportunity to mature, evolve and become better. Choosing makes us conscientious and more aware of who we are, of our actions and their consequences for ourselves and others.


If we didn’t choose what kind of human beings would we be? Certainly we aren’t tree trunks that are dragged by the water of a river: we are people with a reason that makes us different from others, that determines and that helps us to understand what to do.


To talk about the ability and also the duty to choose was the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in his work “Aut-Aut” of 1843. In his interesting investigation, he starts from the idea that each of us can choose. However, the many possibilities before us can lead us incredibly to a state of distress precisely because we do not know what might be the right choice for us. But choosing is necessary: you have to decide between the various options the one that is right for you.


How do you choose? Do you let yourself be guided by reason or by heart?

Maria Domenica Depalo

Friendship and Enmity according to Empedocle

Friendship and Enmity according to Empedocle

Welcome back little philosophers to our monthly space. Today we will start with two words that will guide our lesson: are you ready to start?
The terms in question will be Philia and Neikos. The first word corresponds to Friendship while the second to Enmity. Empedocle used them in his scientific and philosophical researches. Lived in the 5th century BC he was a philosopher, a doctor and a poet but above all he was an extremely curious man. Consider him a detective. Actually every philosopher should be considered this way.

Detective, Ricerca, Uomo, Ingrandimento, Inchiesta

According to Empedocle, Philia and Neikos are the reasons of the union or the disjunction of the four roots of our world, namely air, earth, water and fire. Even birth and death would be closely linked to those two causes.

But let us try to understand better. What happens when you argue? Everyone tries to prevail over the other. So, this is what happens to our two principles: when Philia prevails, the roots of our world come together creating the reality in which we live while when Neikos prevails the roots move away and the creative process ends.

However, just as we fight, we are looking for a balance, an agreement that is good for all parties so friendship and enmity also seek a balance that satisfies both of them. Because if one succumbs the other succumbs too, because they are closely linked to each other.

Albero, Fiori, Prato, Tronco D'Albero, Luce Del Sole

So, that’s all for now. See you next time, little wise kids.

Maria Domenica Depalo

Amicizia ed Inimicizia secondo Empedocle

Amicizia ed Inimicizia secondo Empedocle

Bentornati piccoli filosofi allo spazio mensile dedicato a voi. Oggi partiremo da due parole che fungeranno da guida proprio per la nostra lezione: siete pronti?

I termini in questione saranno Philia e Neikos. La prima parola corrisponde ad Amicizia mentre la seconda ad Inimicizia. Ad averle usate nelle proprie indagini scientifiche fu Empedocle. Vissuto nel V secolo a. C. egli fu filosofo, medico e poeta ma soprattutto fu un uomo estremamente curioso. Consideratelo un detective. Anzi, in realtà tutti i filosofi andrebbero considerati tali.

Detective, Ricerca, Uomo, Ingrandimento, Inchiesta

Secondo Empedocle, Philia e Neikos sarebbero i principi alla base dell’unione o della disgiunzione delle quattro radici o archai del nostro mondo, cioè aria, terra, acqua e fuoco. Persino la nascita e la morte sarebbero strettamente legate a quelle due cause.

Ma cerchiamo di comprendere meglio questo aspetto. Cosa succede quando si litiga? Si tende a far prevalere le proprie ragioni prevaricando sull’altro. Ecco, questo è quello che succede ai nostri due principi: quando prevale Philia, le radici del nostro mondo si uniscono creando la realtà nella quale viviamo mentre invece quando prevale Neikos le radici si allontanano ed il processo creativo ha fine.

Albero, Fiori, Prato, Tronco D'Albero, Luce Del Sole

Tuttavia, esattamente come quando si litiga, si cerca un punto di equilibrio, un accordo che vada bene per tutte le parti così anche Amicizia ed Inimicizia cercano un equilibrio che le soddisfi entrambe. Perché se soccombe una soccombe l’altra, essendo strettamente legate l’una all’altra.

Alla prossima, piccoli saggi.

Maria Domenica Depalo

Love according to Plato

Hello little thinkers and welcome back to our monthly appointment with the philosophical thought. Are you curious to discover the topic of February and to know the philosopher who will accompany us during our reflections? Good. So let’s start.

What month are we in? February. And February is the month of… Yes, exactly. This is the month of love. But what is love? Can you define it?

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

We will try to give a definition of it through the help of one of the most interesting philosophers of the past. He spoke about it extensively in two of his works the Phaedrus and the Symposium.

We are talking about Plato. Member of a noble family, he was born in Athens around 428 a.C. Interested in politics and how to educate every person so to have a good citizen, he founded a school, the Academy, where he dedicated himself to his political and philosophical studies. He writes many dialogues and the main character of almost his writings was Socrates, an extraordinary man and thinker that we will talk about in the future.

Plato deals with politics, knowledge, body and spiritual reality but also love. In the Symposium he ideally invites each of us to attend a banquet precisely in the company of Socrates, but also that of the playwright Aristophanes and the tragic poet Agathone to talk about this topic.

Photo by Suvan Chowdhury on

Love is described as son of Penìa (poverty) and Pòros (richness). According to Plato, in fact, the man is “poor” because he misses something. That something is the Beauty that is far from us. To achieve it we are ready to overcome our limits and imperfections, approaching the true beauty and perfection that will allow us to “enrich ourselves”.

Love just does that: it helps us to lose our ugly sides and to become better and more beautiful. What do you think? How should love make each of us? And do you feel enriched or impoverished by it?

Photo by Nothing Ahead on

Maria Domenica Depalo


Welcome children to the space dedicated to you and your questions, thoughts, ideas and philosophical reflections. From today, my little philosophers, we continue a path interrupted some time ago and we do it with a topic that concerns us all closely: friendship. As good thinkers, we are not satisfied by the obvious but, as detective as we are, we investigate trying to discover the reasons and causes of any phenomenon, from the most simple to the most complex: after all, philosophy means love for knowledge and wisdom. That is why we will deal with this topic. Are you ready to answer some questions but above all to reflect on them?

What value have your friends and what kind of friend are you?

Many philosophers have already addressed this topic in the past. One of these was the Stagyrite Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) who spoke of it in the Nicomachean Ethics. We will get to know this wiseman better in the future when we talk about logic and science. For now, you have to know that he studied…. everything (he was in fact a polymath) and therefore also friendship.

It was Aristotle himself who uttered a thought on which we will be able to linger a little. He states that there are three types of friendship: friendship based on pleasure; friendship based on interest; friendship based on goodness (from Arist). So according to this, there could friendship for fun (therefore temporarily) or for interest (if you want something from another person).

However, trust, respect and affection are the bases of a solid and true friendship, which he speaks about at last, aren’t they? So I ask you: do you become friends just to have fun, to get something in return or for affection? How do you relate to your friends?

Maria Domenica Depalo


Benvenuti bambini allo spazio dedicato a voi e ai vostri quesiti, pensieri, idee e riflessioni filosofiche. Da oggi, miei piccoli filosofi, ricominciamo un percorso interrotto qualche tempo fa e lo facciamo con un argomento che riguarda tutti noi da vicino: l’amicizia. Da bravi pensatori non ci accontentiamo dell’ovvio ma, da detective quali siamo, indaghiamo cercando di scoprire le ragioni e le cause di qualsiasi fenomeno, da quello più banale a quello più complesso: d’altronde filosofia vuol dire proprio amore per il sapere e la conoscenza. Ecco perché ci occuperemo di questo argomento. Siete pronti a rispondere ad alcune domande ma soprattutto a rifletterci su?

Che valore date ai vostri amici e voi che tipo di amici siete?

Moltissimi filosofi hanno già affrontato questo tema in passato. Uno di questi fu lo stagirita Aristotele (384 a.C. – 322 a.C) che ne parlò nell’opera Etica Nicomachea. Conosceremo meglio questo studioso in futuro quando parleremo di logica e di scienza. Per adesso sappiate che fu un appassionato di…. ogni cosa (era infatti un polimata) e quindi anche di amicizia.

Fu proprio Aristotele a pronunciare un pensiero sul quale potremo indugiare un po’. Che ne dite? Egli afferma che Ci sono tre tipi di amicizia: amicizia basata sul piacere; amicizia basata sull’interesse; amicizia basata sulla bontà (cit. Arist). Quindi secondo lo stagirita, si può essere amici solo per gioco (quindi temporaneamente) oppure per interesse (se si vuole qualcosa dall’altra persona).

Tuttavia non sono proprio la fiducia, il rispetto e l’affetto le basi di una solida e vera amicizia, cioè di un’amicizia basata sulla bontà? Quindi vi chiedo: si diventa amici solo per divertirsi, per avere qualcosa in cambio oppure per affetto? E voi che amici siete?

Se vi va, rispondete alle mie domande e fatemi sapere cosa ne pensate.

Maria Domenica Depalo

The origin of everything

The origin of everything

Dear little philosophers,

how are you all? Are you enjoying your summer holiday? I really hope you don’t spend all the day with your smartphone but also with other activities, like reading books, going out with your friends, walking but above all playing.

However, even if you are on holiday we will try to keep your attention awake through our little philosophy lessons. So: let’s start!

Today we’ll try to answer these questions: “Where do we come from and what is the origin of everything”?

Thales, Anaximander and Anaximene tried to find an answer but who are they? They were philosophers of nature.

Originally from Miletus, a Turkey city, they lived about 600 years before the birth of Jesus and they were really curious, especially about the beginning of everything so each of them has thought of a primordial cause, the arché.

Thales thought that the base of all was water: in fact, without this liquid there is no life. If we observe our person, we must consider that more than 80% of our body is made of it.

Anaximander  instead believed that at the origin of life was the apeiron, something unlimited or endless. Furthermore, only what is endless can give life to what has an end and limits, like us.

Anaximene’s arché was the air. Like Thales, he believed that “… there had to be a primordial matter at the bottom of all the changes that occur in nature”.

Who was right, on your opinion? What do you think about this theme? Where does everything we know come from? And we?

Before saying goodbye waiting for the next lesson, I suggest you the title of the book from which I took the sentence in bold and an interesting video. Good reading and good vision!

The book is “The world of Sofia” written by Jostein Gaarder, ed. Longanesi. And here is the video


Maria Domenica Depalo

Philosophy lessons for children

Philosophy lessons for children

When we talk about philosophy, we often think of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and imagine them while they are formulating questions, hypotheses or are elaborating theories and concepts. But who said that all this should be the prerogative of the great thinkers of the past? In everyone of us there is a philosopher, especially in the children.

Because of their curiosity and fantasy, kids make questions but they aren’t always satisfied with the first answer and so they try to go further.

This was probably the reason of “Philosophy 4 children”, a project born in Ireland and United Kingdom, whose aim is to enhance the critical skills of the small thinkers from seven years onwards.

Literature is rich in philosophers who have tried, through their own writings, to teach the little ones the art of reflection. Let’s remember the Italian author Luciano De Crescenzo who wrote“7 ideas for 7 philosophers”, where he handles “philosophical” arguments like love, friendship or others trying to envolve the young readers. But we have to remember also  Jostein Gaarder, a Norwegian writer, philosopher and thinker, author of “The world of Sofia”, which deals with the discovery of philosophy by the little Sofia.

In a humble way, with our lessons we want to offer a moment in order to reflect on themes like love, justice, death and future but not only. We would like to narrate and describe some moments of the history of philosophy, obviously using an appropriate style and language for our extraordinary little thinkers.

Are you ready to start?

Maria Domenica Depalo