In dealing with the philosophers of any school of thought we should not contend ourselves with explaining and unraveling their views and teachings only. Rather, we proceed to ask ourselves that had they been alive today how could they look at our present problems with their own philosophical and epistemological spectacles? How this world and its problems would loom up before them and which solutions they would sort out as the way out. Hence, the present paper is an attempt to explore various cognitive development theories of children based on the foregoing viewpoint on philosophy and philosophers. To do so, four major Iranian philosophers have been selected in this study and their views on cognitive development theory have been assessed. As a matter of fact, early Iranian philosophers had no specific view or independent work on cognitive development, but if it is supposed to explore their views on this issue we should first of all try to deal with their epistemology, which in the tradition of Iranian philosophy is called “self-knowledge”.
Following the introduction of “Philosophy and Children” to Iranians, most of the respective people hastily sought to hold workshops and communities of inquiry in schools and research centers in order to analyze it statistically and descriptively without assessing critically its foundations, principles, and background, most of which seemed to be inconsistent with our culture and Iranian philosophy. Seemingly, both proponents and opponents of “Philosophy and Children” are unaware of its theoretical principles. In this paper, for the first time, cognitive development theories of children will be studied critically in the context of Iranian philosophy with reference to the views of four great Iranian philosophers such as Farabi, Ibn Sina, Suhrawardi, and Mulla Sadra. It is impossible and illogical to lay the foundation of any new philosophical system without tracing its background and foundations to its culture, for acquiring any knowledge based on which the end of any action is attainable is possible only through a previous knowledge.