La formation du citoyen : Une perspective philosophique

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Luc Vigneault


Starting from the idea that the present concern with citizenship education is a form of reminiscence of the philosophical interest of the Ancients regarding this question, this article attempts to demonstrate that the recovery of this tradition is apt to enlighten the pedagogical stakes of this concern. Not only is the critical formation of the citizen posited by the philosophers as an essential structure for the vitality and the political balance of a society but it is found very often at the centre of their philosophical project. By adopting a historical-critical approach, I wish in this way to develop the idea that the formation of critical thinking, beyond all acquisition of transversal competence, constitutes the pillar of civic competence. This last point will allow us to bring out certain paradoxes regarding the finality of civic education. Finally it is by restoring the ancient dilemma of the conflict between the critical and the civic, as illustrated by the Socratic figure, that I shall propose a model of citizenship practice.

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How to Cite
VIGNEAULT, Luc. La formation du citoyen : Une perspective philosophique. Encounters in Theory and History of Education, [S.l.], v. 4, june 2008. ISSN 2560-8371. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 july 2017.
Socratic citizenship; philosophy; civic virtues; critical thinking
Part I: Conceptual models of citizenship and citizenship education