Philosophy club sparks thought on campus

By on November 8, 2011

As today’s media driven world continues to grow more complicated and controversial, it is almost tragic to see an increasing number of reports stating that youth in the United States lack even a basic understanding of worldwide issues.

According to a survey conducted by National Geographic, young Americans are “ill-prepared to succeed in a globally connected world.” A major factor behind this development is the lack of thought that is dedicated to these issues. This is one of the many reasons behind the formation of Sophia, Quinnipiac’s new philosophy club which is committed to being knowledgeably well-rounded.

Sophia is taken from the Greek word “philosophia,” meaning a love of wisdom. The club is gaining momentum on campus as an outlet for students who wish to discuss their varying opinions on significant current events.

“[Sophia is] becoming something great, because we are a group of students who take time and formulate our views before each meeting, so that we are able to look beyond the face value of the debates and really bring meaning to our discussions,” said Cole Gallagher, a freshman Sophia member.

The club’s coadvisors, visiting instructor of philosophy Joo-Hwan Lee and professor of philosophy Shannon O’Roarke, are equally excited about the club’s growth on campus.

“It’s a unique and exciting event for students with an intellectual drive,” O’Roarke said. O’Roarke believes that QU students’ desire for a thoughtful environment is a large factor in the recent growth of the philosophy department, leading to the availability of a philosophy major, which is now in development.

Lee’s hopes for the club also extend beyond its academically evident value, stating that philosophy cannot simply be viewed as a subject, but as an idea.

“Philosophy does not need to be the only thing that you do, but it should always be a part of it, because it focuses on something that is often not valued enough: the fact that ethics matter,”  Lee said. “Thoughtfulness and reason matter. On this campus we want to produce students who can be thoughtful leaders in any context, be it business, science, or any career: People should have the ability to think philosophically.”

If the meetings that have been held thus far are any indication, there are certainly students on campus with thoughts and opinions about our world, and this club is another opportunity to share those views.

With weekly debate topics ranging from pornography to capitalism, members have been inspired to truly evaluate modern society and the social context that dictates it.

“I’m surprised that I enjoy philosophy club as much as I do,” sophomore Jensine Santiago said. “Listening to people’s opinions on relevant subjects and expressing my own help me develop a better understanding of the world around me.”

According to Lee, this club heavily focuses on evaluating modern concerns from many angles. This, Lee says, is the ultimate importance of philosophy in both society at large and Quinnipiac.

“People should know not only what they believe, but why they believe it,” Lee said.

Quinnipiac’s philosophy club Sophia meets every Thursday at 8 p.m. in Echlin 201.

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