Published on: 24 March 2016

Last week, the Year 12 Philosophy and Ethics cohort travelled to Wesley College where they joined senior students from around Western Australia to hear UK lecturer Robert Kirkwood present on the topic, ‘Why should I be moral when it is not in my best interests to be so?’.

The Year 12 Philosophy and Ethics WACE syllabus expects boys to be familiar with ethical theories such as Utilitarianism and Deontology. These theories are then applied to discussions concerning political, ethical and existential philosophy.

Kirkwood covered a lot of ground, starting with Nietzsche’s views on nihilism before discussing the contributions of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant. He concluded with an attempt to outline a theistic response to the question, ‘How should we live?’

Kirkwood made good use of film clips and even psychological experiments to help illustrate his points. He provided the opportunity for students to voice their own ideas and the Christ Church boys were not shy in taking the microphone and offering concise, informed and relevant contributions.