University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: Yellow and Pink by William Steig

Field of Philosophy: Metaphysics

Plot Summary: Two small wooden figures, one pink and one yellow, are lying on old newspaper. The yellow one sits up and asks the pink one, "Do you happen to know what we're doing here?" The two engage in a conversation about whether someone created them (Pink's view) or whether, as Yellow contends, "We're an accident, somehow or other we just happened." The story follows their speculations about how they might either have been created or just exist by chance.

Some Discussion Questions:


WHAT IS IT TO CREATE SOMETHING?
Have the following things been created? If so, how?
Trees.
Children.
Stories.
Pizza.
Clouds.
Ideas.
Bananas.
Leaves.
Rivers.
Paintings.
Gardens.
Colors.


Do you think something can exist without being created? Give an example.
Do you think that someone made you? Why or why not?
Do you have to be there when you get made? Would this mean that you would know your maker?

The meaning of accidents
Can you think of something that has happened to you by accident?
Can you give some examples of things that are accidents and things that are not accidents?
Do you think that something can just happen without a cause? Does that make it an accident?
How can you tell if something is an accident?
If the same accident occurs more than once, is it still an accident? Even if you know the outcome?
Does it make a difference if the two accidents happen over a long period of time?

The origin of the world
How did the world begin? What was the very first thing that was created? Did anything come before that?
Do you think that a specific thing caused the existence of the world?
It’s hard to imagine the universe starting from nothing, but if we can't imagine something, does that mean it's not possible?
Do you think that the whole world could have happened by accident?
Do you think that God played a role in the world’s existence? How? Why or why not?


WHEN/WHERE
Where is the top of the sky?
Where is the end of the world?
When is the end of time?
Where is the end of a book?
When was the beginning of your life?


WHAT IS REAL?
Is the man more real than Yellow and Pink?
If you can touch something, is it real? Give an example.
If you can see something, is it real? Give an example.
If you can smell something, is it real? Give an example.
If you can hear something, is it real? GIve an example.
If you can taste something, is it real? Give an example.
If you dream about something, is it real? Give an example.
If you read about something, is it real? Give an example.
Are colors real?