The Inter-School Philosophy Dialogue (ISPD) is an annual event which the philosophy programs of Raffles Institution and Raffles Girls’ School take turns to organize and host, with the sponsorship of the Department of Philosophy at NUS. Throughout the years, an increasing number of schools have participated in the event. This year, the 15th anniversary of the event, was held at Raffles Institution with 12 schools represented and some 171 secondary level students participating. They were joined by 25 facilitators, many of whom are alumni of the Department of Philosophy at NUS. Our own A/P Loy Hui Chieh gave the keynote address on Plato’s the Ring of Gyges (Republic II).
The theme this year is “Knowledge”, a theme that expresses the aims and ideals of the ISPD – to encourage students from schools all over Singapore to think more deeply about real and current issues we face in Singapore society as well as universal concepts such as fairness and truth. While participants may come away with more questions than answers to the scenarios posed to them, sparking an interest in the issues as well as introducing better ways to navigate difficult topics are definite take-aways that students bring back with them. At the end of the day’s event, 15 students—chosen for the maturity of thought, creativity, metacognitive awareness, and conversational virtues they exhibited during the discussions—were presented with the Gadfly Awards (named in honor of Socrates).
Photos from the event can be seen here.