Philosophy club ponders, debates current events


Megan Harrington

World language teacher and Philosophy Club advisor Phil Levine ponders topics discussed at a club meeting.

Natalie Sadek, Online Editor

After school, many clubs meet to work in achieving a certain goal, pursue an interest, or even helping the community. But on Fridays in H113, a new club has emerged that has caught the attention of many: Philosophy Club.

Sparked by a common interest in philosophy, seniors Noah Weinberg, Jay Norcross, and Alex Gowdy founded the club with the hope of sharing this realm of discussion with the school community.

“[Alex, Jay, and I] are all really close friends and we talk often,” Weinberg said. “We have great conversations all the time, and we wanted to share that and share that passion with other people and see where we could go with it.”

During meetings, a question is posed with the intention of sparking conversation and debate.

“The club is a lot of discussion,” Norcross said. “We’ll introduce an idea and talk about it in small groups and with everyone in one circle.”

The questions are often controversial, thus sparking potentially intense discussions.

“Essentially we try to keep it grounded and talk about current events, like abortion and the death penalty,” Weinberg said. “We try not to get too abstract, at least we haven’t yet. We try and take those things which usually are discussed in the ‘he said, she said’ manner and really try to get to the bottom of the issues and what the essence of the conflict between the pro-life and the pro-choice people. We argue, we debate, we take sides. We really try to keep it focussed on more abstract principles in a philosophical way.”

According to Latin teacher and adviser Phil Levine, having philosophical discussions is a critical part in teenage development.

“You in your K-12 education receive a lot of things and develop a lot of good skills during the course of that time,” Levine said. “But I think when thinking about issues that are of very deep concern especially to teenagers, which tends to be the period in life where these questions become very important questions: questions of morality, questions of what it means to be human, how humans fit into the world, how they relate to each other, you’re not provided with a lot of room in your education to think about those issues and to practice thinking about them.”

The idea emerged over the summer, when the three students reached out to Levine, asking if he could advise the club.

“Originally Noah emailed me with the idea of starting Philosophy Club, and my initial reaction was that it was definitely something I’d be interested in supporting,” Levine said.