Discovery Group get philosophical

Throughout Winter term, Inside Out alumni have facilitated lessons at Serbu Youth Detention Center two to three times a week. The youth there choose the topics and together we have learned about Surreal Art, Groundhog Day, optical illusions, the life cycle of butterflies, the issue of endangered turtles and interesting architecture around the world.

We also held an engaged discussion on the broad topic of Philosophy. Discovery Group talked about the history of philosophers and the importance of asking questions about the world around you. We emphasized that philosophy isn’t necessarily a highly academic or intellectual subject, but instead it allows us to think more critically about society and gives us an opportunity to see the world from other people’s perspectives. Thinking philosophically helps to improve our communication and problem solving skills.

In relation to our lesson on Philosophy, Discovery Group facilitated a conversation about the story of The Ship of Theseus. In the metaphysics of identity, the ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether a ship—standing for an object in general—that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object. The students at Serbu all had wonderful contributions to the conversation. Some students were questioning how much of an item needs to change before it is no longer the same item. Is it all of it? Or the first piece? Another student pointed out that he believed he is still the same person, even as his body continues to grow and change.