How should we live?
How should we treat the environment?
What is fairness?
What can we really know for sure?
is a love of wisdom and
a rational investigation into the truth about life.
Science asks questions that are answered by experiments.
History asks questions that are answered by reliable sources.
Religion asks questions that are answered by faith and celebrated by liturgy.
Philosophy asks questions that are explored by reason but cannot be definitively answered.
Here are some philosophical thoughts from middle school students:
What is the universe?
“In my mind, the universe is an ever-changing experiment ruled by the laws of physics.”
Do we all see the same things?
“It’s crazy how two different people – boy, girl, kid, adult – can see the exact same thing through the two small balls with dots on them that we call ‘eyes’.”
What is beauty?
“The real beauty…is people’s wisdom and kindness.”
What is a soul?
“I believe my soul helps me be who I really am.”
Do other people exist?
“Do other minds exist? Sometimes I wonder this myself. How do I know I am not alone?…You cannot have feelings if you are not real. You must have a heart and a mind. Therefore, there are other minds in the world, and I am not alone.”
Why is trust important?
Untrustworthy “people make you very mad, and they can make you feel insecure about yourself.”
What would you do if God talked to you?
“If God called and I answered, I wouldn’t be able to speak at all. If he called, I would run around and just celebrate. If I could tell him one thing, I would say, ‘God, whatever you have planned, I will go along and trust your word.'”
“One thing I would ask God would be something I could look forward to.”
What happens when we die?
“When we die, is it because we have failed the test or is it because the people from the future have observed enough of us?”
[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2013 Sophie Rosen.]
Click HERE to learn about humanism.
Learn more about philosophy!
Poirier, Tiffany. Q is for Question: An ABC of Philosophy. O Books, 2009.
Thomson, Paul. More Philosophy for Teens. Prufrock, 2007.
Thomson, Paul. Philosophy for Teens: Questioning Life’s Big Ideas. Prufrock Press, 2006.
White, David A .Examined Life: Advanced Philosophy for Kids. Prufrock Press, 2006.
White, David. A. Philosophy for Kids: 40 Fun Questions that Help You Wonder – About Everything! Prufrock Press, 2001.