What makes me, me?

An exploration of the concept of identity using the story of the Ship of Theseus, made famous by British philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

An exploration of the concept of identity using the story of the Ship of Theseus, made famous by British philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

This adaptation of Peter Worley’s 'The If Machine', encourages children to consider the meaning of identity and explores personal memories, experiences and the soul.

Teacher Notes

This clip can be used as a lesson starter for a philosophical discussion on identity. It could be watched in parts with a pause for discussion in between. The children could be sat in a circle and start a discussion using the questions provided at the end of each part, or work with the children to choose their own. Further questions could include, ‘what is it that makes the Theseus the Theseus?’ at the end of part 2 and ‘if you could make a clone of yourself, would the clone also possess your thoughts and memories?’ at the end of part 3.Children could be encouraged to reason in their answers, to explain their opinions and to present alternative viewpoints, in order to stimulate deeper thought and discussion. Encourage children to agree or disagree without judging, and move the discussion forward by asking for new thoughts. This clip could also accompany a discussion on identity.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Modern Studies. This topic appears This clip will be relevant for teaching Modern Studies at KS1 and KS2 in England and Wales, and 1st and 2nd levels in Scotland.