Under the Knife: Deep thinkers unite in Philosophy Club

What is the meaning of life? What is death? Geneseo students in the Philosophy Club, advised by faculty member David Levy, set out to answer questions such as these every week. Meetings rely on the open, free flow of different ideas.

"Our main goal is discussion," explained president and senior Jordan Rogers. "Basically our purpose is to get together and discuss philosophy and hopefully pique someone's interest."

Philosophy Club meetings are unique in that members don't have a set agenda. "We don't really have a membership," said Rogers, explaining that the level of involvement and attendance are up to the individual.

Each meeting is conducted in an open discussion format and is generally focused on a single issue. Each participant is welcome to address different viewpoints and opinions of a topic with the group. In the past, meetings have centered on power, altruism and consciousness.

Prior to meetings, members generally vote on the next couple of topics they plan to discuss. Occasionally, the club will collaborate with another organization for a discussion. Recently, they joined with members of Students for a Peaceable Solution in Iraq when they addressed the topic of a "just war."

The commitment level of each member varies from person to person. "Some people are regulars, some only come to meetings a few times, and some people only come once," said Rogers. The group's meetings are open to any student, regardless of major, with an interest in philosophy.

Though the majority of Philosophy Club participants are actually philosophy majors or minors, Rogers explained, "Anyone is welcome to participate and join in on any discussion."

Even students who are unfamiliar with certain aspects of philosophy should not feel daunted. "We try to have the discussion so that an outsider could keep up," added Rogers.

Those involved in the Philosophy Club also help out with events in the Philosophy Department. For example, this semester both club members and Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honor Society, worked together to hold a Philosophy Student/Faculty Potluck mixer. In the past, the club has taken trips to the Zen Center in Rochester, but Rogers stated that there were currently no plans for any trips.

The Philosophy Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Harding Lounge in Welles Hall.