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Monday, June 8th 2015

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Lumen "Philosophy Thinking" Excursion


Last month, the Year 10 Lumen ‘Philosophical Thinking’ class, along with Mr Richards and Mrs Wills, travelled to St Hilda's to engage in several open lectures on philosophical ideas and take part in a philosophical debate.
Around 20 other philosophy classes from different schools attended, with the event taking place in St Hilda’s brand new glass Auditorium. We were introduced to two speakers, Julie Arliss and Jeffrey Hodges, both of whom spoke to us on a range of topics, deepening our philosophical horizons and understandings.
Julie first questioned our views in relation to the philosophical topic, "the Death of Individuality". This topic focused upon our society’s reliance on technology, how groups in power have access to that recorded information, our personnel likes, dislikes, where we go, and who we were with, all in chronological order.
Jeffrey, a Sports Psychologist, spoke to us about how to use our gifts to achieve our best, whether it be in the fields of sports, academia or anything else.
After a short break we listened to Julie explain to us how to get into Oxford University through answering a question that requires lateral thinking in a more philosophical way. The question was, ‘How do you tell the farmer their cow has died?” We could answer this question literally, “Sir, your cow has died”, however this will not get you into the university. Instead you yourself would create the situation unique to you, creating it in a way that involves a lot more than simply saying the cow is dead. Julie gave us some very funny and interesting examples, that involved a great deal of creative and lateral thinking. This was a very intriguing and interesting topic to explore.
After lunch, Julie again took centre stage discussing “Sexuality and Civilisation”. This actually involved the stereotypes and treatment of both genders, mainly women and how it has changed over time. Some of the evidence we learnt was quite shocking, especially when Julie showed us a document from the 1950's instructing women on how to be married, which stated, “You shall wake up before him, have his breakfast ready for him.” It made me realise it was a truly terrible time to be a woman during this period and just how much things have changed.
Finally Jeffrey tried and failed to win the educational debate (being on the affirmative side) of the topic, “Science is the driving factor of civilisation without it, we would fall to barbarism”. Julie won with her persuasive argument against the statement, making us consider the arts as the driving factor for civilisation. It was also very interesting to hear from students from other schools who shared their opinions on the topic.
Overall, the experience was quite enjoyable, humorous and intellectually challenging. We thank Mr Richards and Mrs Wills for allowing us the opportunity to listen to Julie and Jeffrey. Hopefully, future philosophers could solve the unanswered question, “How do you tell the cow, that the farmer has died?”
Sam Spadek, Year 10 student

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