University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: "Owl and the Moon" (in Owl At Home) by Arnold Lobel

Field of Philosophy: Metaphysics; Epistemology

Plot Summary: When Owl goes for a walk one evening, the moon follows him home and won’t leave when Owl tells it to go home. But when the moon disappears behind a cloud, Owl misses it.

Some Discussion Questions:

WHAT IS IT TO BE ALIVE?
How can we tell if something is alive or not?
It moves.
It has a face.
It eats.
It sleeps.
It talks.
It grows.
It dies.
It feels.
It thinks.
It communicates.

Are the following alive? Why or why not?
Rocks.
Water.
Cars.
Bees.
Toasters.
Books.
Light.
Rain.
Feelings.
Animals.
Movies.
The sun.
Trees.

WHAT GOES TO SLEEP?
Do the following things go to sleep, don't go to sleep, or you don't know?
Grass.
Light.
The moon.
A bear.
A river.
A fish.
The rain.
A tree.
A door.
A television.
The world.

Knowledge and Belief
Can the moon be looking at Owl? Why does Owl think so?
Does Owl’s belief that the moon is looking back at him give us a reason to think this might be true? Why or why not?
What makes something true?
How could we find out if Owl’s belief that the moon is looking at him is true?