Teacher in Charge

Mr Sa-eed Slamdien

The Philosophy Society is run by a committee of 8 boys under the guidance of Mrs Douglas and the aim is to stimulate critical thought and discussion. Boys interested in ‘bigger issues’, who enjoy lateral thinking and discussion are encouraged to attend meetings. Boys volunteer to be on the committee and then have the responsibility to organise one meeting during the course of the year and the topic and format of the meeting is determined by the committee member but must include time for discussion. Some members like to organise an outside speaker to talk on a stimulating topic and then to lead a discussion, others prefer to research a topic and lead the discussion. Discussions are always lively and often controversial. The society has been running in its present format since 2003.

Past Activities

Past discussions have included: ‘The Ethics of Killing’, ‘The Mind Body Problem', ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’, ‘Medicine during Apartheid and the Ethics surrounding it’, ‘How to read body language’, ‘Sex: What place does it have in today’s society’, ‘Uncertainty is for sure’, ‘Rites of passage – when does a boy become a man’, ‘Plato’s attack on Art and Poetry’, ‘The Ethics of circumcision’, ‘Climate Change and South Africa’ and the ‘Fundamentals of Western Philosophy’.

Boys are also encouraged to attend a four week Foundations in Philosophy course run annually during the second term at UCT. Boys who complete the course and submit an essay are awarded a certificate of attendance. Philosophy society members are sent notification of this course but any boy in Grades 9 -12 may sign up.