Club Spotlight: FAU Philosophy Club

The club attends philosophy conferences and hosts lectures throughout the semester.


Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

Devin Perry, Contributing Writer

Welcome to the University Press’ revamped weekly club feature series, spotlighting lesser-known student organizations on campus.

This week: the FAU Philosophy Club.

We sat down with President Raquel Ratushny and Vice President Mykyta Storozhenko to talk why they believe philosophy is important and what newcomers should expect.

UP: What is the Philosophy Club?

Storozhenko: The Philosophy Club is here for students interested in philosophy, if they are a philosophy major or not, or even just having a passing interest in philosophy. Philosophy is a discipline that is very pervasive, you see. All of the sciences are underlined by philosophy, because philosophy answers questions of what there is, why there is something there, and how we go about studying it.

A lot of people have that interest, they have an interest in things regarding ethical questions, they have interests about the meaning of things, and philosophy concerns itself with more abstract matters. Those matters are very important, because they underline fundamental disciplines we see every day.  

For example, biology asks, “What is life, how do we define life,” questions in science such as ‘How do/can we have any knowledge?’ Another example, existentialism: “What is the meaning of life?” That is underlined by philosophy.

A lot of the time, philosophy gets a bad rap. A lot of people think it’s a discipline that doesn’t really do anything, but on the contrary, it is a discipline that answers a lot of questions, but you just have to ask them. A lot of people have these questions, and we’re there to make sure that the people who do have questions and are interested in philosophy can have those questions answered.

Ratushny: Another big part is to let people know that philosophy is still relevant. As [Storozhenko] was saying, all subjects can be broken down to reveal philosophical underlines.

We also want to provide a supportive space for people in our department. Although we take in all majors and all disciplines, specifically for philosophy students, it should be especially helpful for them, because we’re working on things like a study space for students for the department in the hallway in the SO building [Social Science] where we’d have a public library where students can take books out and put books in if they want.

Also, we’d want to get students interested in joining conferences, and that way we can see what other philosophy students at other universities are doing … making philosophy relevant. It’s still going on. I’ve sat in classes where students say things like, “Well, philosophy isn’t going on right now, it doesn’t happen anymore,” and it does! Teachers who teach it, they’re doing philosophy, they’re putting out writings about relevant events even today.

UP: What can students expect to do in Philosophy Club?

Ratushny: Attending conferences, like I stated earlier, also listening in on teachers’ lecture, which is something new we’ve started. It’s not so much a lecture; it’s much more casual than that. A teacher will have an idea, or maybe we’ll go to them with an idea we’d like to hear them talk about. For example, the past lecture we had just last week was about how to write a proper philosophy paper with the department chair. It was very nice, we got to analyze a piece of her writing, and she was giving tips on … how to be successful in our writing.

Storozhenko: I had two students who just came across our table in the breezeway, found out, they came to our meetings, and at the meetings we discussed that we are going to plan to attend a conference coming up, and now they’re writing a paper and working on a paper that discusses the way in which the internet has become a culture itself.

I guess you could say that the Philosophy Club gives students a space to explore topics that they’re interested in, in an intellectually fostering environment. By being in the club, you get to participate in the lectures performed by various professors.

UP: How can students get involved?

Ratushny: Anyone interested should go to Owl Central and just look up “Philosophy Club.” Go there and our contact information and email are there.

Storozhenko: We usually meet at 3 p.m. every Wednesday in SO 383, unless stated otherwise.

Interested students can contact Ratushny at [email protected] or through Owl Central.

Devin Perry is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @DevinTPerry.