These free sessions are exclusively for students in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil schools.
When booking, please add the name of your school in the notes section.
**If you have not received an email with the link for your session by the day of the session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and school and we will send you the link. We have had a few emails bounce back which could be typos**
Dear Seren Students of Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf,
Welcome to your page on P4HE! Each Thursday in March, there's an opportunity for you to participate in an online philosophy session on zoom - at 6 p.m. for Years 8/9, and 7.30 p.m. for Years 10/11.
Philosophy explores some of the deepest questions of life, and many interesting puzzles. It prizes questions that are hard to resolve, where great minds will think differently, and everyone can develop a point of view and arguments to support it. It’s a great training for the mind and an interesting way of being with other thoughtful people. It’s also fun and sometimes very weird.
These sessions are funded by Seren, a Welsh Government initiative dedicated to helping Wales’s brightest state educated learners achieve their full academic potential and support their education pathway into leading universities in Wales, the UK, and overseas.There will also be an online forum with links to relevant resources for those who want to explore further, and where you'll be able to add your thoughts after a session (comments are pre-moderated).
Each session focuses on philosophical questions connected to a different area - history, literature, technology, Greek mythology and the ethics of science. Your host is Jason Buckley, a leading expert in philosophy with young people who also specialises in supporting bright students to get the most out of their studies. The sessions take place on zoom and are one hour long.
Sessions are free. You can book on for just one session, or all five. Places are limited so if you discover you can’t make it to a session, let us know so that we can release your space.
Philosophy of Artificial intelligence Thursday 2nd March
If you found out a friend was a computer, should you still be friends? What would it take for a robot to have a mind of its own? Could switching one off ever be robotslaughter? If we can develop super intelligent machines, should we? If we do, how can we control them? Lots of questions that are sci-fi now but may become sci-fact during your lifetimes.
The Paradox of Spooky Fiction Thursday 9th March
Fear is an unpleasant emotion. Yet from dark fairytales to the latest horror films, there's nothing that audiences are drawn to more than a good scare. How can fear become a pleasure? Do we seek out scary fiction as a rehearsal for dangerous situations, or to help us avoid them, or to prove our courage?
Philosophy Through Greek Mythology Thursday 16th March
Greek mythology is full of extreme situations that invite deep questions. We'll use the epic story of Odysseus, drawing on Peter Worley's "The If Odyssey" and other materials that raise issues of duty, freedom, lies and virtue. Are you more free if you can do what you want, or if you can choose what you want to want in the first place? Is being able to deceive
people a heroic trait? Is a fake happiness better than a tough reality?
History & Futurology of Good and Evil Thursday 23rd March
Gladiatorial combat, ducking witches, burning heretics at the stake – history is full of things that were widely considered normal and proper at the time, but which we now think of as cruel and misguided. But what things that we do now will future generations view with just as much disgust? Is there such a thing as progress when it comes to knowledge of right and wrong, or are our moral standards no better than those of slave-owners in the Southern States of America in the 19th century?
What Shouldn’t Science Do? Thursday 30th March
Science brings knowledge, but sometimes at a price. When is that price too high? In this session, you'll explore some of the issues faced by ethics committees that have to decide whether or not a particular scientific experiment should be allowed. Drawing on experiments from both fact and fiction, we'll look at how you might weigh issues such as consent, the benefits of scientific progress, human and animal suffering and the powers for good and ill that scientific knowledge and the choices it enables can bring.