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The Castaway

BACKGROUND This session is about an issue that comes up in the philosophy of law. One problem for philosophers of law is why some bad things are against the law and some are not. So it is bad to invite someone out for a date and then stand them up. But no-one thinks it should be against the law. But if someone invited me out for a date and di...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: RE

The Cat That Barked

Dialogues have a long relationship with thinking. Probably the most famous philosophical dialogues were those written by Plato approximately 2500 years ago, though the genre has been found even earlier with the Sumerian Disputations and the Indian Vedas. Almost all of Plato’s philosophical writing was written in this form. The word dialogu...

Ages: Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: Language and Meaning

Themes: Language, Meaning

The Donkey

BACKGROUND There are many versions of this story throughout history and across the world. It may go back as far as the Greeks in one for or another. The first version we have is from the 13th C poet scholar Ibn Said. The story was picked up and circulated by Europeans over the centuries. All the different versions involve a man (and usuall...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: RE

The Experience Machine

Stimulus: Imagine there is a machine that you can attach to your head and it makes you have an experience of whatever you want so that it seems real. It’s like having a dream which you can choose that seems like real life. When you are having the experience, however, you think it’s real. The machine is called ‘the experience...

Ages: Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Ethics, Epistemology

Themes: Well being, Self, Future, Choice, Autonomy

The Foundling

Stimulus Once upon a time there was a city that was full of all kinds of different people. People looked different, spoke different languages, ate different food, and had different religions. There were… Muslims from Africa, Christians from India, Muslims from India, Christians from Africa, French-speakers from Canada, English-speak...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: RE

The Holy Man

  BACKGROUND The belief in heaven, where we are rewarded for what we do on Earth is widespread and powerful. These days, beliefs in the afterlife vary widely. Some believe literally in what the Bible, Koran, or other holy book says heaven will be like. Others have a more vague idea that their spirit will somehow live on. Whatever the ...

Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2), Ages 5-7 (KS1)

Subjects: RE

The Hypothesis Box - thinking about science

Taken from Peter Worley's book '40 Lessons to Get Children Thinking', Bloomsbury September 2015 Equipment needed and preparation: An enclosed non-transparent box, A ball (optional - see below) Starting age: 10 years Key concept / vocabulary: Hypothesis, test, show, demonstrate, true, false, knowledge Subject lin...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3)

Subjects: Science , RE

Themes: Truth & Falsity, Reasoning, Hypothesis

The Lucky Necklace

Philosophy This session can either lead to the session here on causation and the post-hoc fallacy (this is a fallacy where someone has a mistaken view of what makes something happen), or you could follow the first stimulus with the Truth and Falsity session, depending on what the class say. Stimulus 1 "I can make clocks move round ...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Post-hoc fallacy, Causation

The Magician's Tricks Part 2: The Flying Man & The Falling Man

The Philosophy This is a slightly different session in that we are asking the children to consider an argument directly, and it is a continuation of the first Magician's Tricks stories. It is important that the first story is run so that the children are prepared for this argument. To find out more about Avicenna you can hear podcast o...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Sense and reference, Sense, Knowledge

The Magician's Tricks: Honest Sa'id and The Magician

The Philosophy You can hear an 'In Our Time' and 'Philosophy Bites' about Avicenna here: http://philosophybites.com/2007/09/peter-adamson-o.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00855lt In a colourful career Avicenna proved the existence of god, amalgamated all known medical knowledge into one big book and establish...

Ages: Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)

Subjects: Epistemology

Themes: Sense and reference, Sense, Knowledge, Behaviour