By Riley Morrison ’16
The Philosophy Club, brainchild of Andrew Salmon ’14, provides students an opportunity to discuss and understand their opinions on a range of subjects, spurred by a bi-monthly distribution of articles.
“We choose topics every two weeks, and each week I’ll send out an article pertaining to the topic that ranges from philosophy of the mind to ethics,” Salmon said. “Then we meet every other Thursday at lunch in Dr. Ewing’s room and discuss the topic at hand and the questions that the articles raised.”
One of the primary purposes of the organization is opening the member’s eyes to ideas and situations they had never even known existed.
“It’s interesting to think about questions you would have never asked before,” said Brad Solliday ’16. “After going to the club, I have a better way of looking at different situations.”
The club also fills a need for what many believe to be a necessary part of a Jesuit education.
“I think it helps promote our primary mission of getting people to be more thoughtful and intentional with their lives,” said Dr. Sam Ewing, the club’s moderator. “It gets them to ask big questions about the nature of existence and reality.”
The group also aims to educate students about how to think emotionally, yet be able to back up their opinions with logic.
“Rather than just basing your opinions solely off your feelings toward the topic, you can learn why you feel that way,” Solliday said. “If you know why you feel that way, you can then have a better argument for why that’s the right way or wrong way to feel.”
The club also gives its members enough time to read and come up with arguments for the next week. These articles will later be used as evidence in the discussion.
“Right now were doing what’s called ‘the problem of the many’ posed by Peter Unger,” Salmon said. “It basically is an argument that ordinary things do not exist in any precise sense.”
The hypothesis is only one of the many up Salmon’s sleeve, ranging from “mind-body dualism” to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”