philosophy students use piglets to inspire their study

Posted by on Feb 26, 2018 in News | No Comments
Piglets at

The nine piglets

Students at community school have been using the school’s latest arrivals to approach their traditional subjects a little differently. The school’s livestock area world famousPennywell Miniature Pig, Charlotte, gave birth to nine piglets over half-term, and last week A Level Philosophy students were the latest to visit Charlotte’s brood. They used the piglets to consider important philosophical questions such as, ‘Are piglets born knowing anything?’, ‘Could seeing the piglets just be a strange dream?’, and, ‘Is it better to be a human being dissatisfied or a pig satisfied?’ as John Stuart Mill once questioned.

The students were assisted by other sixth formers who have been trained as farm volunteers, and were able to handle the piglets and in one case get their shoes untied by one of them! This prompted an interesting discussion of how the piglet had learned to do this so quickly, and whether he had been born with this innate ability.

Philosophy teacher Adam Killeya explained, “I used a picture of the new born piglets in my first lesson last week to explain a philosophical point, and the students were very keen to go and meet the pigs in person. I feel that it really helped make these philosophical debates more real to them”.

Philosophy student Sophie, who described the piglets as ‘adorable’, concluded that, “It’s much better to be a satisfied pig.”

Students study philosophy with piglets

One piglet, named ‘Shoes’, demonstrates his special skills by untying Sophie’s laces.