Philosophy for 5th and 6th years

Philosophy for 5th and 6th years

The correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fuel to be ignited” – Plutarch

Always keen to provide ways for students to enrich their education, the Philosophy programme at the Institute has gone from strength to strength. Offering a way for students to develop critical thinking skills in an enjoyable manner, the classes help cultivate a sense of intellectual dynamism: students are in charge of and responsible for their learning.

5th year philosophy classes began in early September with an intriguing thought experiment. Taking inspiration from Daniel C. Dennett’s article “Where am I?” the students explored, analysed and debated different theories of consciousness and self.

In order to make the course more personal to the students they are able to pitch their own topics for classes. These have ranged from the philosophy of war, dreams, music, Lord of the Rings, comic books and video games.

The 6th year classes began later in October, giving the students a chance to settle into the routine of final year. The first few weeks follow a pattern of posing questions, offering solutions and then seeing how other luminaries criticise and expand on that which went before. As a result we’ve had a crash course on the turbulent debates of classical metaphysics.

Next term we will expand out horizons into the fields of ethics (made topical by NBC’s The Good Place) and epistemology.

Despite the apparent density of the material the classes are geared to always be accessible and open to students of different abilities. The goal of the classes is to show students that philosophy isn’t a passive exercise in repetition but an active process of reflection and discovery.

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