Life of Philosophy: learn about Philosophy club in this week’s spotlight

Discuss utilitarianism, art films and Kanye West at Philosophy Club


Photo courtesy of philosophy club collegiate link page.

Tucker Berardi, Staff Writer

Welcome to the Weekly Spotlight, the place to learn about clubs and organizations around FAU.

This week we spoke with Christian Ramirez, the current president of Philosophy Club, and Johan Vasqueaz, former club president.

The Philosophy Club was reinstated by Johan Vasqueaz three semesters ago. As of right now, the club will be meeting Mondays and Thursdays at 2pm. The location of the meetings is still being decided.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

UP: How many students usually come to Philosophy Club?

CR: We usually have about 20 to 30 students at our meetings. Different students come in, and not all of them are Philosophy majors.

JV: Actually, when we only have Philosophy majors [at our meetings] we usually just end up talking. We all know what we each think about things and so there isn’t much deeper conversation. When students [with different majors] come in it shakes things up.

UP: Where does Philosophy Club meet?

JV: We usually meet at the Philosophy Conference Room, but that changes per semester. We always decide [at the beginning of a semester] what times best fit everyone’s schedules. We are pretty democratic about it; we want everyone to be able to make it.

UP: What are some topics you go over at meetings?

CR: Kanye West. His greatness. We have a big Kanye demographic at Philosophy Club, we like to talk about his aesthetics, visuals, the art of him. We also talk a lot about films — from blockbusters to less popular artsy films. Access to philosophy, in terms of popular culture, is easiest through films. Especially with all of the superhero movies coming out this summer, we will have a lot to talk about.

JV: In the past we have talked about utilitarianism, like what choices you can make, and other existential topics.

CR: And this fall we will be focusing heavily on politics, like candidate rhetoric and media coverage. During an election year politics become pop culture, so we will be discussing that a lot.

UP: Does Philosophy Club ever have any events?

CR: We are hoping to have more food events, like philosophy dinners, in the fall. We are still hoping to get enough funding. We are still getting started, trying to work through all the bureaucratic stuff worked out and thinking of fundraising ideas as well as events. We do host philosophy study sessions though. We try to give academic support to philosophy majors. I am trying to set up some good platforms that would be beneficial discussion topics or focuses for getting everyone together.

UP: Do you ever feature guest speakers?

JV: Yes, a lot of them actually. A lot of people like coming and talking to us at our meetings.

Karera, who has a doctorate in Philosophy, was a guest speaker at the philosophy club. Photo courtesy of
Karera, who has a doctorate in Philosophy, was a guest speaker at the philosophy club. Photo courtesy of

CR: Most of our guest speakers are grad students from Emery. We had Dr. Axelle Karera, a visiting Philosophy professor, come and talk to us. We are looking to get even more interesting people. I specialize in Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics so I want to focus on more of those topics, and maybe bring in some relevant speakers.

UP: What makes Philosophy Club stand out?

JV: We are a non-judgmental group, a place where you can discuss an opinion without worrying. We want to be a place for conversation and a place to grow intellectually. Anyone can come to our club and get something out of it, and we will learn from them as well. That’s just how it works.

UP: Do you have anything to say to new potential club members?

JV: Yeah. Come through to Philosophy Club, there is nothing holding you back.

If you want to learn more about the Philosophy Club or are interested in joining, you can check their CollegiateLink page here.

Tucker Berardi is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @tucker_berardi.