“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) – Winter 2019-2020

During our Winter session we continued our journey into the world of film & philosophy via the Twilight Zone! Our young thinkers split into two groups — with one group focusing their efforts on a philosophical piece exploring time travel, consciousness, and environmental justice and another group focusing their sights on a piece about time travel and racial injustice. Filming began….and the kids were on their way. But then….(as if in our own modern day Twilight Zone)…COVID-19 hit. And things changed. Our young philosophers responded brilliantly. Access photos & videos here!

Continue reading

“Thinking About A Place”: An Invitation to Explore Helena Afoot

This project invites people to explore Helena afoot & consider questions about “place.”  A space is abstract; a place is a space with meaning. From its historic storefronts and iconic architecture to its meandering natural walls and pathways, Helena is packed with “place.” But why? What is it about Helena that continues to call out — not as a dot on map but as a unique lived experience that beckons and makes one feel at home? 

Continue reading

‘What Say You?” — Philosophical Musings with Dr. Barry Ferst (An Internet Dialogue)

“What Say You?” is a fun and casual internet-based philosophy in the community activity inspired by our belief that physical distancing need not equate to social distancing.  Each week philosopher Dr. Barry Ferst will share some of his philosophical musings on our Merlin Facebook page and invite readers to comment and discuss. Think SNL’s “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy”….only with somewhat more gravity (maybe).

Continue reading

“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) – Fall 2019

During the Fall session, our group first watched a series of selected short films & Twilight Zone episodes, followed by youth-led, facilitated classroom discussions. Young thinkers were asked to identify, reflect and respond to various philosophical elements and themes present in the films, as well as make comparisons to experiences in their own communities and lives. Later in the Fall session, we began a series of story creation endeavors inspired by our classroom discussions and a little game we called “And the Moral of the Story Is…” . Access photos & videos here!

Continue reading

Ancient Greek Insights for Today’s America: A Philosophical Conversation

Sponsored by Merlin CCC and the Carroll College Philosophy Department, this free evening program was an informal conversation about greek philosophical insights and how they relate to and can help us navigate our everyday lived experiences. Invited guest scholars included: Barry Ferst, Professor of Philosophy (Carroll College); David Nowakowksi, Philosopher & Senior Mentor for Fellowship Scholars (Merlin CCC; and, Mark Smillie, Professor of Philosophy (Carroll College). 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer, served as moderator. Access audio-video & photos here!

Continue reading

“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) – Summer 2019

During phase 2 of our BiLP program, our young thinkers engaged in a “Know Thyself” project aimed at helping them gain insight about what examination of things that brings us joy can tell us about ourselves. The “Know Thyself” project culminated in a community showcase — in the form of an art exhibition highlighting their philosophical work and Q & A session — at the 5th Annual Reeder’s Alley Block Party. Check out details, photos, and more here!

Continue reading

“Big Ideas by Little Philosophers” (BiLP) — Spring 2019

We had an amazing time with our young philosophers during the first phase of our “Big Ideas by Little Philosopher’s” (BiLP) program at Cottonwood ALC. Check out what sorts of things we explored, photos & our fun video with HCTV!

Continue reading

4 American Perspectives on Islam: A Conversation

Sponsored by the Carroll College Philosophy Department and Merlin CCC, this evening program took place in the Sage Room of the Corrette Library at Carroll College.  Directed by philosopher Dr. Barry Ferst, who also served as the moderator, this symposium was an informal conversation about different understandings of the Islamic faith and Middle-East Islamic culture.

Continue reading