VAPS VCE Unit 3 Forum Recap

17 May 2020 Recap

VAPS Unit 3 Forum Recap

This year, due to the COVID-19 regulations, VAPS shifted the VCE Unit 3 Philosophy Forum online, which was curated and expertly moderated by our Education Officer Janette Poulton with the assistance of VCE network representative Bonnie Zuidland and VAPS Chair Ben Kilby. As per previous years, VAPS partnered with philosophers and academics from the University of Melbourne to deliver three enriching presentations to Unit 3 students on the thinkers and themes from the first two Areas of Study:

Minds and Bodies and Personal Identity. To open, students and teachers were enlightened about the current state of contemporary research into consciousness from Associate Professor Olivia Carter. This fascinating insight into what the future may look like in this field was then followed by Dr Laura Schroeter, who spoke to the key arguments and contestable moments in the Smart and Nagel texts that are mandated for study on the course. The day was concluded with Klaus Jahn, who structured his lecture around the key thought experiments employed by Locke, Michaels and Hume in their viewpoints on

personal identity. 


Having the forum online allowed for students and teachers to submit questions in advance as well as ask questions in real time. The presenters were able to utilise technology (particularly questions and group polls) to check the intuition of the audience in response to the arguments presented by the philosophers. 


As always, it was both a privilege and pleasure to hear experts speak on the VCE study design, and it was a reminder of both the complexity and depth of our senior school philosophy curriculum.


VAPS is seeking feedback from attendees regarding their experience of the forum here, so that we can make adjustments in preparation for the Unit 4 Forum.