The other week, we suggested using physical things from around the house to make philosophy on Zoom feel more connected.

So to kick off a session this week, we asked students to grab an object that has helped them get through January so far. We had books, cuddly toys, and a fair share of bemused-looking dogs.

Pets play such a role in children’s lives, so why not get them doing some philosophy of dogs?

Spot and Stripe ask “Can a dog be a good dog?”

As with all Spot and Stripe videos, ask learners who they agree with and why. If you’re in a classroom, they could stand on different sides of the room and continue the argument. If you’re at home, why not give them a character to argue for and then take the opposite side (or if you can, pit siblings against each other!)

Poochie puzzlers

  • If your dog can’t be trained, is it ever the dogs fault?
  • If your dog steals your crisps, does it know it’s stealing?
  • If chasing cats is what dogs do, is it wrong when they do it?

Get learners arguing in pairs. assign perspectives so each side gets a fair hearing. You can run through them in three quickfire, high-energy rounds of debate before asking which question they’d like to discuss in-depth. 

True friends choose to be friends with one another.

Dogs do not choose their owners.

Logical caninedrum

Therefore, dogs and their owners cannot be true friends.

Does this argument work? If not, where does it go wrong?

How is a friendship between a human and a dog different to a human-human friendship or a dog-dog friendship? Are they all really friendships?

You can find out more about our philosophy on Zoom sessions here

Best wishes,

Tom and Jason

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