Philosophy in the Playground Project
The Philosophy in the Playground project was funded by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences through its Knowledge Exchange Grant, in partnership with Summerhall. It consisted of three free events between February and April 2014, aimed at showing how the subjects of EIDYN cutting-edge research are related to everyday experiences and life situations.
The project involved interactive activities, presentations, and demonstrations open to everyone, but especially targeted at parents and carers.
The events included:
• Thursday 17 April: Dr Mark Sprevak guided our discovery of the boundaries between human and machine with "Does technology make you smarter?"
Technology not only helps us, it also changes us. Children now carry around sophisticated computers in their pockets. Does this chance them for the better (make them smarter?) or worse? In this session, we consider some of the surprising ways in which technology changes our children.
• Wednesday, 19 March: Dr Jane Suilin Lavelle helped explore cross-cultural differences with a talk entitled "Why did you do that? Contrasting the different ways of understanding other people"
Our everyday interactions with other people raise some interesting questions. Do all cultures think about thinking in the same way? Does the scientific study of the mind reflect our intuitions about how people think? Should we chance how we think about thinking in order to better fit the scientific evidence?
• Wednesday, 19 February: Dr Tillman Vierkant ran a section on "Who decides? Me or my brain?"
Cognitive science shows that much of our behaviour is controlled by unconscious processes. Does that mean that we, as conscious selves, are mere puppets of our unconscious brains? OR have scientists perhaps misunderstood their findings? Does it even make sense to talk of us as if we were different from our brains?