Together, they provided charismatic input and directed the discussion, as the club members discussed a reading titled “The Institution of Property” by David Schmidt.
Many examples from the reading were debated and discussed. These included situations such as a fisherman trying to make a decision on whether to destroy a coral reef in order to harvest a large number of fish, or not to destroy it so that his children and future generations would be able to enjoy the reef. Another example was that of the colony of Jamestown and why it switched to collective ownership and use of the property.
Also, the group participated in “philosophy thought experiments” – where a person makes up a situation where a question must be answered based on philosophy.
Sarfraz told the group to imagine they were stuck on a bare island with only another person and one coconut on it. The possession of the coconut meant life or death, and it could not be split in two. The group was asked if they would choose self-preservation or if they would give the coconut to the other person. About half of the group answered self-preservation.
While humorous, the meeting was also very intellectually stimulating. Participants were allowed to bounce ideas back and forth while the club leaders guided the debate.
“The material was interesting, and there was a wide variety of topics to discuss,” said Jeremy Weiss, senior. When asked about the size of the club–about 7 members attended this meeting–he said, “I’m content with the number of people we have now, but if more people came there would be more opinions to hear.”
“It’s [turning out] better than expected. I wasn’t sure how many students would have a sincere interest in [the philosophy club], but the members have no concern about the leadership which typically drives students’ interest. [The members] have a genuinely authentic interest in the subject and they’re not just looking to pad their resumes,” said Scioli, when asked about her expectations for the club.
The next Philosophy Club meeting will take place on October 18 in room 119 at 2:30 p.m.