Interrogating change

Year 9 philosophers tackle metaphysics.

Year 9 students are investigating “change” like never before as they continue to pioneer the study of Philosophy at IGS.

The first year group to study Philosophy at the School, from 2018, when they were in Year 7, the year group is embarking on metaphysics, including exploring the nature and order of things.

In a recent unit, they explored the Ship of Theseus, which was built then repaired so that there were no longer any original parts. Was it then the same ship? What was the meaning of “same”?

“We are talking about change and identity this term,” said IGS Philosopher in Residence Dr Britta Jensen.

Students looked at examples of change and classified them into groups. 

“What kinds of changes are there in the world?” Dr Jensen asked.

“What is the territory of change? some might be progressions. Are some changes natural? In the movie Frozen II, Princess Anna of Arendelle says ‘some things never change’. Is that really true?”

Student Maxime said he enoys the fact that as a class, he and her classmates are able to express their ways of thinking through challenging philosophical questions.

“It’s been interesting in a sense that you get to engage with different forms of change,” Maxime said.

“We even discussed if all parts of a boat was replaced, is it still the same boat? I particularly found this one interesting because this made us realise there isn’t a definition for what makes it a boat.

“In Year 7 we discussed if reality was real, in Year 8 we learnt about world languages and philosophical terms, and this year we’re learning about change. Even though we got given different topics and questions to explore as best we could, we still engaged with our brain in a way like no other.”

Maxime said the opportunity to discuss theoretical challenges such as “the trolley problem” had helped prepare them for approaching dilemmas which might impact them for the rest of their lives.

“Even though I found Philosophy difficult, it’s changed me and my way of thinking, and I can’t thank Dr Jensen enough for that.”

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