Philosophy majors juggle between Star Wars and Kant


The philosophy club gathers last October for its weekly philosophical debates. The club has been here on campus since 2008 | Photo courtesy of the Philosophy Club website

By Dayana Morales, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Want to talk about Star Wars? Care to debate Immanuel Kant? The Philosophy Club meets weekly on Wednesday to engage with topics ranging from pop culture to the foundations of Western philosophy.

The weekly general meetings are typically philosophical debates, topical conversations, and discussions of club events and conferences.

“We like to keep them somewhat informal, that way new members don’t feel forced to be too philosophically literate to engage,” Braden Agueros, Philosophy Club President and EWU senior, said.

This week’s meeting will be a philosophy slam in Patterson Hall 243 at noon.

The club began in 2008 when Dr. Christopher Kirby and a group of philosophy majors founded it. Back then the name of the club was a pun and a reference to Kant’s critique of pure reason, Transcendental Apathetic.

The club was more of a social club at that time, but it has evolved.

“It has become more of an active club in the community and more professional, especially towards professional development for the students,” Dr. Kirby said.   

The club’s purpose is to give students a low-risk environment to express ideas or to get involved with leadership development by having the chance to serve as club officers.

The club actually has 27 active and 90 former members. They keep up with what the club does through their Facebook page.

Club members are also close to the philosophy faculty.

“We think they’re all ‘rad’, despite their exceeding our sufficient levels of ‘nerd’ amongst members,” Agueros said.

As a club the goal is to increase the continuity of the study of philosophy, both in private and public, to engage students, to have some fun reinforcing the love of wisdom and to study through academic and social events.

Their objective is to provide a vehicle for the students to become engaged, volunteer and apply philosophical values. They offer members a network to develop professional skills, build post-baccalaureate credentials, engage in conversation and participate in activities to practice healthy irreverence.

Agueros is this year’s Philosophy Club president. Agueros will be majoring in philosophy and minoring in business management.

Due to the electoral process of the club, Agueros has been president since last spring quarter. Prior to that, Agueros was the vice president of the club.

Agueros speaks for the club when saying that the club is integral to enriching the philosophical academic experience.

“Personally, I enjoy conversation,” said Agueros. “Philosophy, as the Greeks conceived it, involved passionate and vigorous dialogue between people to discover the truth, understand the human condition, and live a good life. I feel and argue the club is a format for this. Engaging in this way has shown me how intellectually and personally strong many of our members are, while still having the capacity to form friendships.”

The club has additional goals. They want to increase the continuity of the study of philosophy in both private and public and engage students in this process.

Aside from weekly meetings, the club organizes their annual conference. The conferences they hold are ran and put on by the students. The 2018 student conference theme this year will be “A Dialogue on the Environment”. It will be taking place at the Spokane campus, SAC 020 and 141, all day from Feb. 24-25.