Student led Philosophy Festival

Posted on 21st September 2014

On 13 September, we had the pleasure of listening to a range of speakers on the philosophy array of interesting topics and issues. Student Oscar Braun-White (6.2) organised the ‘Philosophy Of...’ day where he gathered a line-up of fascinating professionals who spoke to us of their opinions and experiences. These included Professor Anthony Price on the problems of utilitarianism, Dr David Read and Dr Kamyar Afarinkia on ‘Science in the 21st Century: Saviour of Civilisation or Destroyer of Worlds?', and John Caird on his work with theatre. We had a stimulating debate on feminism from Jeremy Paxman and Laura Bates, exploring the issue of women being targeted and suffering sexual harassment. As a philosopher and teacher, Dr Gopal Krishnamurthy talked of the ‘philosophy of education as a disruptive and ethical activity’. As a poet and psychoanalyst, Dr Valerie Sinason gave a very touching and eye opening account on the way handicapped people are viewed and treated in society. 

Commenting on the conference, Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales Schools, said:  “When Oscar came to me with his idea, I was impressed with his enthusiasm and ambition and gave my wholehearted support to his endeavour. The prospect of hearing thoroughly engaging debate on serious issues was very exciting. Our approach at Bedales is to develop independent thinkers and enquiring minds. This initiative is a fine example of what can be achieved by young people when ideas and ambition are given room and support to flourish. Following the huge success of this inaugural philosophy festival, our students intend to repeat the event next year.”

We hope to see more of these fantastic events in the future! 

Please see our gallery for photos of the event.

By Sofia Palm (6.2)