Is ignorance bliss and knowledge anguish? A big question and the mystery topic which 17 students from The Armidale School contemplated with gusto at the 4th Northern NSW Philosothon on 12-13 October, coming away with awards from the event.
Hosted by Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour, the think-a-thon is along a community-of-inquiry model, where groups of students made up of teams from each school, engage in deep thinking and explore big ideas.
The TAS senior team of Alexander Chambers, Nathan Rasmussen, Angus Simmons, Lachlan Tonkin (all Year 11) and Saxon Hughes, James Murphy, Hugh Worsley and Tom Wright (Year 10), were Division A joint winners with O’Connor Catholic College, while Owen Chandler, Angus Cornall, Will Grant, Xavier Tonkin (Year 9) and Hamish Edmonds, Jack Halliday, Henry O’Neil, Jack Halliday, Tom Price, Hamish Edmonds and Harry Mason (Year 8) were runners up in Division B.
Angus Simmons was also awarded the Spirit of Philosothon Award for a student who is able to consider the ideas of others and move the discussion forward.
“It was really great talking about the topics with other young people, and looking at things from a range of perspectives. Once you forgot a judge was sitting in, the discussions just flowed,” Angus said.
Coordinator Ms Catherine Boydell said not only were the students part of a wonderful competition, but they were also able to hear guest lecturers from the University of Queensland’s Philosophy Department discussing the nature of argument.
“All our philosophers contributed well to the community of Inquiry style discussions and can be proud of their efforts prior to the competition in planning their responses to the topics. Most students loved this year’s mystery topic as it ensured the true thinker had a chance to show how their mind works without weeks of learning a response off by heart. This is certainly an event TAS students do well at and a worthwhile enrichment activity on our school calendar.”