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!
Many of us take for granted a clear divide between the animate and inanimate. For instance: I am alive, but the chair I sit in is not. My dog is probably alive, as is the oak tree just outside my window. I am somewhat less certain about grass. Or viruses. What does this distinction between the living and nonliving mean to us? Why do we care so deeply about finding a firm line between the two? What might we discover about our world, our own assumptions, and our own ethical action if we are willing to question these categories? Many cultures and peoples throughout the world have never bothered to make such clean distinctions, and even in our contemporary western culture, a movement of philosophers has been challenging this divide from within. In this ZOOM workshop led by philosophers Henry Kramer & David Nowakowski, we explored the philosophy of animism – an orientation toward the world where everything is encountered as meaningfully alive. Access the video and other resources here!
In these two 2½-hour ZOOM workshops led by philosopher David Nowakowski we investigated Stoic ethics, providence and the world. These two workshops represented our first ZOOM workshops of the year (or ever for that matter — ZOOM was new to us as we typically hold in-person workshops). However, we were grateful to have so many workshop attendees join us and participate in the conversation! See what sorts of things we discussed and access the workshop handouts, activities, and reading recommendations here!
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!
We had so much fun on our October Philosophy Walk. Our group of 15 enjoyed the splendors of Mother Nature on Merlin Nature Preserve and explored the role of story and imagination across cultures. As a special treat, we also got to experience drumming & singing with Shane Doyle, an immersive “imagination cultivation” exercise with Henry Kramer, and to be part of the joyous news delivered by some of our walk-goers that (as of the morning of the walk) they had become new grandparents! What a great way to start a story!!! Access audio recordings & photos from the walk here!
We had a delightful time on our September Philosophy Walk. Our group of 9 — technically, 10 counting our furry four-legged companion named Bella (and Beast) — enjoyed a splendid hike on Mount Ascension. Led by David Nowakowski, our group enjoyed a delightful conversation about the principles of ecology…and what sorts of things it might be able to teach us about how to flourish and thrive. Access resources & photos here!