Student Conferences

With Dr Stephen Law

Student Philosophy Conferences
Perth and Sydney – July 2019

These conferences are for students studying Philosophy in Years 11 and 12.

They will also serve as introductions to Philosophy for students in Year 10.

Dr Law has planned the Perth conference specifically for WA Philosophy and Ethics students.

Scotch College, Perth – Friday 26 July

Critical thinking, methods of inquiry, and ultimate reality.

This day looks at three areas: critical thinking, methods of inquiry and ultimate reality. In critical thinking we will be looking at inductive and deductive reasoning, and a range of fallacies including affirming the consequent. In methods of inquiry we will explore Hume’s problem of induction, rationalism, empiricism, and, intuitionism, and outline and assess key arguments for and against these positions. In the session on ultimate reality we’ll explore the problem of evil (on which Stephen has published some leading research) and humanism (Stephen wrote OUP’s Very Short Introduction to Humanism): what humanism is, and isn’t.

Newington College, Sydney – Monday 29 July

This day conference looks at Descartes on Mind/Body, Free will, and Meta Ethics. The session on Descartes carefully dissects his two arguments in the Meditations for substance dualism, identifying different flaws in each. In the session on freewill we look at different threats to free will, focusing particularly on physical determinism. All the key positions on free will are explored and assessed, including an example compatibilist account. Finally, we set out the main meta-ethical theories, including subjectivism (Hume), intuitionism (Moore), emotivism (Ayer), prescriptivism (Hare), and realism, looking at their strengths and weaknesses. We also explore cognitivism, non-cognitivism, and other useful distinctions. The day will sharpen up your thinking skills and present many insights into these fascinating philosophical topics.

Booking Details

The cost is $20/student, with one free teacher place for every 12 paying students.

Unaccompanied teachers are welcome at $100 for PD.

Students should bring their own lunch and water bottle, and we will provide a light lunch for accompanying teachers.

To book places for your students, please email:

An invoice will be emailed to you with payment details. ABN 906 219078 34

Registration will begin at 9 am. The conference will start at 9.30 am and finish by 3 pm.