During one evening of every month, anyone passing by The Gnu’s Room will find the small used book store and coffee house filled with philosophy students, professors and onlookers.
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These gatherings, titled “Philosophy at The Gnu’s Room Meetings”, are hosted by the Auburn University Philosophy Club, which is composed of students interested in philosophy who come together to learn about and discuss philosophical topics of interest. Most members are also part of the Philosophy Honors Society Phi Sigma Tau.
Meetings are set up as a paneled discussion and debate of a broad philosophical topic chosen ahead of time. Previous topics have included ideas such as beauty, emotions and virtues and vices. Six panel members, often three students and three professors, present their opposing views.
Participants can site personal opinions along ancient and modern philosophers and scholars. After presentations are completed, an open discussion takes place which allows further insight on the topic.
Philosophy students are not the only ones invited to participate in these discussions. Anyone interested in philosophy who wants to present is welcomed and encouraged to do so.
Rob Wallis, Philosophy Club president, says that hosting these meetings is a way to involve the community.
“It helps us reach out to the community. Few people know exactly what philosophy is, it can sometimes be unsettling. Anyone who wants to present, can.”
The Philosophy Club also hosts film screenings throughout the semester, where a movie is shown and philosophical themes and ideas are then discussed. Students who are not in the club are also welcome to participate in film screenings.
Wallis also says that events like these not only stimulate community interest, but also to inspire philosophy students and take them out of their typical environment.
“We like to think of ways to get philosophy students interested in things outside the classroom. The Philosophy Club allows students to meet with speakers and participate in different events.”
The next meeting at The Gnu’s Room will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. with the discussion topic of “language and logic.”