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Royal Institute of Philosophy

The Scouts has partnered with the Royal Institute of Philosophy to encourage young people to ask the big questions, and to explore things with an open and more inquisitive mind.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy want to get more young people engaged in philosophical work to encourage critical thinking, exploring basic philosophical issues and free and rigorous enquiry. The Scouts purpose is to give young people skills for life through a programme based on fun, adventure and learning by doing. Working in collaboration, we want to give young people the skills to ask the big questions, to think big and to make their own choices based on applied critical thinking and rigorous enquiry.

Question everything. Look at the world like a philosopher

Philosophers look at the things we usually take for granted, and notice things about them that are strange, puzzling or surprising. For example, they might look at the person sat next to them and wonder whether they might be a zombie! Or they might eat a piece of cake and wonder whether the cake tastes the same to them as to everyone else. Or they might ask ‘Why should I keep my promises?’

Imagine a Martian explorer came to Earth with a mission to understand Earthling Life. Imagine the Martian observes you with your friends; watches the news and tv shows; learns about history, reads lots of books and visits art galleries, hospitals and parks.

What do you think they would find strange, puzzling or surprising about human life?

Once you get used to looking at the world like a philosopher (or a Martian!) you will probably find you have lots of questions that don’t have easy answers. We’d love to hear them…

Leader at Gilwell campfire


We have created thought-provoking activities alongside The Royal Institute of Philosophy encouraging young people to ask the Big Questions. 


For top tips on including philosophical questions in you sessions visit our guidance page.

About Royal Institute of Philosophy

The Royal Institute of Philosophy are devoted to creating, sharing and enabling philosophical thinking. They empower the curious of every age and background to think more deeply about fundamental questions. They encourage a better understanding of our world and our place in it, for personal good and for the good of the society we live in.

Click here to find out more about Royal Institute of Philosophy