CCGS Proud Winners of Philosothon
Head of Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Dominic Hodnett led a proud team of Senior School students into victory at the 2008 Hale School Philosothon.
It was a turn of events from last year’s inaugural 2007 Hale School Philosothon, an initiative including eight schools from the metropolitan region, where the host team won. This year, Christ Church came first in the competition, followed by Hale as runners up and Perth College third. Sixteen schools competed, including one from interstate.
Participants sat in eight ‘community of inquiry’ groups alongside students from a range of schools. The groups discussed four philosophical themes during half hour time slots. This year's themes were divided into four branches of philosophical inquiry:
- First, an issue arising within the philosophy of religion, how can a good and all-powerful God permit innocent suffering?
- Second, an issue arising within the philosophy of mind, can a robot be conscious?
- Third, an ethical issue, is there a right to be rescued?
- Fourth, an issue arising within epistemology [the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge] the question here was why are human beings easily deceived?
Post-graduate philosophy students facilitated the communities of inquiry and lecturers in philosophy from all four local universities judged individual participation.
“The judges agreed there was a significant improvement in the depth and rigour of participant’s philosophical reasoning this year… [they] were interested, primarily, in the cogency of participant’s arguments,” Mr Hodnett said.
Year 8 student Alistair Morgan and Year 9 student Hugh Edwards won the awards for their year level. Ben McAllister was ranked equal third best in the Year 10 cohort. Year 11 students Tom Bransden and Robert Kwok participated in two out of four inquiries (so did not qualify to win the Year 11 award) but if their scores were doubled, Tom would have been the outright winner for Year 11 with Robert being runner up, Mr Hodnett said. Alistair and Hugh also shared the Curtin Centre for Applied Ethics and Philosophy award.
*Note: all photos are taken by Mark Lawrenson