The Philosophy Club has been a part of Geneseo for many years as a forum for eager and able-minded individuals to discuss various topics pertaining to philosophy, but also all topics relevant to life. The club meets in the Harding Lounge (Welles 111) on Thursday nights from 7 – 9 p.m.
The different issues discussed allow individuals to exhibit and communicate their knowledge and also to learn from others' insights. President of Philosophy Club and senior Steve Bennett described the best aspect of the club as, "people being interested in critical thought and thinking outside of the box … not because they need to but because they want to, and having interest in hearing different people who bring different perspectives … I like that dialogue."
Several changes have taken place within the club. Moving away from strictly philosophical conversations, the club now welcomes topics from all categories and is open to all students, regardless of majors or minors.
The topics are "broad enough that you can have a bunch of different angles," Bennett said. "It'll cause some degree of controversy so not everyone is agreeing upon it and it's not a stale meeting."
At meetings, students are welcome to come and listen to the discussion but are also encouraged to contribute their own ideas. Students are not the only community members welcome; the meetings are also open to staff members. "We love having people of different opinions and different views coming in and talking about what they're interested in and giving their perspective," Bennett said.
The Philosophy Club's meetings are set up to create the most ideal conversation setting. Members sit in a large circle of comfortable chairs in order to enhance the ability to see others and to converse with everyone present. With no clear set of rules or guidelines, the meeting runs on each member's mutual respect for others' opinions along with a desire to articulate their own arguments. The emphasis on individual importance is seen in several aspects of the club, such as the democratic vote for each week's topic.
According to Bennett, one of the club's favorite topics is the debate between determinism and free will. Diverging from the typical format of a circle where all members are able to see and hear others, this debate takes on the actual form of a debate. With both groups separate and facing each other after preparing their arguments together, along with some undecided, the debate commences. This conversation is only one of the many riveting dialogues that enlighten students and thinkers every week.