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Cheltenham Girls' High School

Cheltenham Girls' High School

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Philosophy Club

The Sokratic Society



Origins of the Sokratic Society

The CGHS Philosophy Club was created in 2012 when senior students expressed an interest and enthusiasm in starting such a group. The original members nominated possible club names and then voted on which name should be that of the Cheltenham philosophers. The Sokratic Society was the winner, named after the ancient Greek philosopher, often dubbed the 'father' of Western philosophy, Sokrates. You can find out more about Sokrates here and here.


What is philosophy?

Philosophy is the practice of thinking and discussing complex and abstract ideas about humanity, morality, the world, reality and existence. The nature of the universe and life has long fascinated humans ever since ancient times. The ancient Athenians were renowned for their philosophical ideas and schools, especially with famous thinkers like Sokrates, Plato and Aristotle. There are several different branches or areas of philosophy and each of these are constantly developing over time (see diagram below). At Cheltenham Girls we have examined, and students have particularly enjoyed discussing, matters of ethical philosophy, logical paradoxes, metaphysical issues and epistemological debates.


See below for some philosophical conundrums, scenarios and dilemmas!

Diagram of the Branches of philosophy




Philosophical Conundrums, Dilemmas and Scenarios

Schrodinger's Cat

  • Check your philosophical health! Do the Philosophical Health Check quiz!
  • The Grandfather time travel Paradox (logic)
  • The Brain in a Vat dilemma - a dilemma questioning existence and reality (epistemology, metaphysics)






The Cow In The Field Scenario: Justifying your knowledge


"One of the major thought experiments in epistemology (the field of philosophy that deals with knowledge) is what is known as 'The Cow in the Field'. It concerns a farmer who is worried his prize cow has wandered off. When the milkman comes to the farm, he tells the farmer not to worry, because he's seen that the cow is in a nearby field. Though he's nearly sure the man is right, the farmer takes a look for himself and sees the familiar black and white shape of his cow, and is satisfied that he knows the cow is there. Later on, the milkman drops by the field to double check. The cow is indeed there, but it's hidden in a grove of trees. There is also a large sheet of black and white paper caught in a tree and it is obvious that the farmer mistook it for his cow. "

The question, then: even though the cow was in the field, was the farmer correct when he said he knew it was there?"



60 Second Adventures in Philosophy (YouTube videos) via Open University

Episode 1 Achilles and the Tortoise

Episode 2 The Grandfather Paradox 

Episode 3 The Chinese Room

Episode 4 Hilbert's Infinite Hotel

Episode 5 The Twin Paradox

Episode 6 Schrodinger's Cat


Rene Descartes quotation




Philosophy Resources and Readings:

  • The Philosopher's Net -
  •  History of Philosophy Without any gaps: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle -

      - list of all History of Philosophy episodes

  • Guide to the World's Philosophers/ 


  • Philosophy Now -
  • New Philosopher -

Nietzsche quotation





Philosophy Wordle

Wordle Source: