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Is This A Poem?

Ever since Socrates, philosophers have tried to define terms clearly and exhaustively. This has resulted in a good deal of rigour and precision. Philosophers often speak of ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’, or, what I call ‘what’s needed and what’s enough’. The problem is: it’s not easy to do. For i...

Ages: All | All

Subjects: English

Themes: Comprehension, Categories

Nobody's Home (The Cyclops)

Philosophy On first glance, this story appears to be the least yielding when it comes to finding philosophy for discussion. But take a closer look and the philosophy starts to materialise from nothing. I say 'materialise from nothing' because I have found the most successful philosophical discussion emerging from this session to be ab...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Sense and reference, Non-existent entities, Existence, Categories


The Philosophy This session goes very well with 'Get Stuffed: Fun With Metaphysics' in The If Machine. Get Stuffed should be run after this one. This may also take a couple of sessions to complete. The aim of this session is to get them to consider whether there is one kind of thing or stuff, or many kinds of thing or stuff. Begin by ...

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

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Categories

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Session

Props needed: A bag Pieces with which a model of a caterpillar can be made Read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle in a fun and engaging way (e.g. leave out some words and refrains for them to say). Make a model of a caterpillar on the floor for them all to see and ask them to take you through the transformati...

Ages: Ages 5-7 (KS1), Ages 3-5 (EYFS)

Subjects: Metaphysics

Themes: Identity, Change, Categories, At what point