A penny for their thoughts


photo by Roba Abousaway

President James Dial, along with members Arad Ghobadian, Suruchi Bhan, Arlette Perez and Brendan Hornby discuss topics ranging from gun control to free will at Philosophy Club meetings.

Roba Abousaway, Staff Writer

Since ancient times, people have questioned the fundamentals of human life. Philosophy, the study of thought, helps influence theories that revolutionize the way people think. The members of the philosophy club hope to develop a deeper mentality by gaining new perspectives on controversial topics with the help of their peers.

“I had an interest in how the world around me worked and, more specifically, what governed how humans should act,” founder James Dial said. “When I probed some of my friends about if they had a similar interest, a lot of them did. I decided that a great way to advance all of our understanding on the subject would be to start a club.”

Stimulating conversation is the foundation of the club. The topics that are talked about typically have to do with theory and point of view, and can help create an engaging discussion.

“A lot of the stuff we’ll talk about will have to do with morality and how you should act. It’s more observational stuff, like, do we have free will? Maybe even stuff more theoretical, like, is anything even real?” Dial said.

Certain concept matters are more prone to controversy than others. When subjects like politics and ethics are discussed, each member’s personal opinion comes into play.

“Gun control and abortion are usually the most politically controversial, but personally, I think free will is also controversial,” Dial said.

According to junior Arlette Perez, the comforting environment allows members to freely express their beliefs. Acceptance of different views is an essential stronghold of the club.

“For me, it’s relaxing because I always consider myself someone who is constantly thinking,” Perez said. “It’s relaxing to come and just say your opinions on certain topics that are controversial.”

Additionally, the club’s diversity exposes members to new opinions and ultimately  broadens their perspectives.

“We have a diverse range of people who join the club,” senior Suruchi Bhan said. “When you interact with people that have opposing views, you’re able to open up your mindset to a lot of new things.”

The overall success of the club can be attributed to the fact that each member has the opportunity to add to their knowledge and gain new insights on subjects after attending meetings.

“I’ve learned to have more of an open mind on stuff. Generally, before I would come to the club, I would be pretty confident about what I believed,” Dial said. “After doing research and listening to other people’s opinions, you realize there’s a lot of other stuff out there besides just what you know.”