This term I experimented with special weekend gatherings for our boarders called ‘Philosophy Nights’. It’s been quite a while since I last ran our philosophy club. Current global events have curtailed normal operations of our clubs and societies over the past year but the return of Flying Hall Philosophical Society’s is most welcome.
The idea was to introduce the basic ideas of philosophy and the rules of engagement. I lead with the Socratic method in that I would question the students’ views, to prod and probe them into thinking deeper about their opinions on the big questions that face us.
Philosophy is ‘the love of wisdom’ and deals with questions that don’t always have a direct or clear-cut answer. It exposes our lazy thinking and assumptions, posing the question ‘why?’ rather than the ‘how?’ of science.
We discussed, among other topics, the essence of the self – what makes us, us; what would happen if we found life beyond the Earth; is there a God; are there such things as ghosts; is war inevitable and is it sometimes right to break the law…
Having well-formed thought-through opinions that can be expressed clearly is a valuable thing to have. Perhaps one day soon we can once again open the doors of Fyling Hall’s Philosophical Society to more members and more questions. In the meantime, it remains a special weekend gatherings for our boarders.
(In the photos you may see blue playing cards. These are from a board game version of the best-selling novel ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder which feature big philosophical questions. Groups picked their questions to discuss at random.)
Mr Ayd Instone, Head of Enrichment