38  What is Philosophy?


At the start of the session, explain to students that the word philosophy comes from 2 Greek words:

So a Philosopher is a lover of wisdom.


Ask the students to create a mind map around the word PHILOSOPHY. What meanings and thoughts can they come up with?

Get some feedback from the students, asking them to explain their ideas with examples.

Follow this up by presenting them with a list of things that philosophers might be doing, e.g.:

Ask them to choose one of these phrases and explain how they might apply it to religion, for example, ‘Creating links’ might involve thinking about what Buddhism has in common with Hinduism.


Bring out students’ thinking about philosophy and religion and add in some further questions, such as:


After exploring students’ ideas about the nature of philosophy and philosophers, introduce them to two great philosophers, Socrates and Confucius. Provide students with a little background information, such as:

Ask the students to exchange views with a partner on what they think he meant by such sayings. Do they think he was wise?

Here is one of his sayings:

Ask the students to exchange views with a partner on what they think we could learn from others.


Ask students to reflect on their conversations about philosophy and to say, on the basis of what they have heard so far, who they think was the greatest, Socrates or Confucius? What more would they need to know to make a more informed decision? Ask them to explain their view.

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

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