About the Philosothon

A Philosothon is an event that encourages school students to investigate ethical
and other philosophical questions in the context of ‘communities of inquiry’.
Participating in the event helps students to develop higher order thinking and
communication skills through a series of discussions with students from other

These discussions are facilitated by philosophy teachers and adjudicated by a
panel with appropriate academic or educational qualifications. While there is an
element of competition in a Philosothon, it aims to promote a sense of community
by developing a shared understanding of values and purposes in a spirit of
cooperation. It also develops skills in inquiry-based learning, ethical reasoning,
higher-order reflective thinking and a search for meaning through dialogue about
open questions and contestable concepts.

At a Philosothon, it is traditional to make awards for the best individual and overall
school performance. While this introduces an element of competition, it should be
emphasised that a Philosothon is not a debate and the performance criteria are
based upon the extent to which students excel in engaging in collaborative
philosophical inquiry.
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