Philosophy and religion senior Arden Cobb surveyed the room. He turned around and faced the whiteboard. In blue marker, he wrote “Purpose,” “Who are we?” and “What are we about?”
The ASU Philosophy Club, which meets every Friday at 3 p.m., strives to create an open forum for discussion on specific philosophy-related topics.
“I’m not going to sit up here and describe what the club is, because the kinds of leaders that have … are the ones that have done the least,” said Cobb, who is one of the club leaders.
Philosophy and economics sophomore Danny Ober-Reynolds said discussion is an essential part of the club.
“What I’d like to get out of the club is just discussions of philosophy with other people who are also interested in discussing that,” he said.
While many of the members are philosophy majors, the club seeks to attract all students who are interested in philosophy.
Ober-Reynolds said he wants to go deeper than a regular philosophy class would.
“A certain amount of leeway in discussion encourages people to participate, which is great, and it makes a lot more fun,” Ober-Reynolds said. “Sometimes we just get way off topic. So I want something more where we discuss a general topic that would be discussed in a philosophy class.”
Throughout the meeting, students continued to throw out what they want, and don’t want, out of the club.
Philosophy sophomore Jackson Polansky wrote them down on the whiteboard.
The things students wanted went under a smiley face that Polansky drew; the things they didn’t want were listed under an unhappy face. Quickly the words “friendly,” “accessible” and “contextualized” went under the smiley face, while “off-topic” found a place under the unhappy face.
Philosophy is one of the smallest majors at ASU, with roughly 200 students. Many students in different majors take a basic Philosophy 101 class, but that doesn’t always attract them to the club, Ober-Reynolds said.
“I think some of the people that take Philosophy 101 don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into, because they don’t really know what philosophy is,” he said. “Some of those people are going to absolutely love it, but others aren’t.”
Ober-Reynolds said the club hopes to draw in students from the Introduction to Philosophy class by taking their discussions to a different depth.
Philosophy Club plans on tabling on campus and speaking to philosophy classes in a new push to inform students.
Cobb said the club has a higher purpose than to just talk about philosophy. He wants it to educate and bring together people from different majors.
“Philosophy is one of the most misinformed and misunderstood things in the world,” he says.
Cobb drew one more line to his final word of the day: Legacy.
Philosophy sophomore Haley Sorg questioned why the club needed to leave a legacy.
“We don’t have anything to prove to anyone,” she said.
Cobb said he hopes to stress who philosophy students are and what philosophy is to ASU students this year through the club.
As the meeting ended, Cobb wrote on the board, “Let them know who we are.”
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