Enlightenment is reinforced at Knox with philosophy club president post-baccalaureate Andrew Marr ‘16 at the helm. The Knox Student sat down with Marr to have a discourse of our own.
The Knox Student: What inspired the creation of the club?
Andrew Marr: In Academic year 2013-2014, I started it with a group of friends. We organized it ineffectively, we thought readings would be a good idea. In the past few years, we haven’t had any club meetings. Maggie Dubnicka, who graduated 2016, sort of started it again. So there were a few meetings in the fall and there will be more consistent meeting in the spring.
TKS: What goes through your head when you are planning a club meeting?
AM: I try to have a structure, because we talk in very confused ways. Someone might go on a rant or might not hear what someone else says. My general structure is to have five-10 things that might be relevant to say. I might mention an author I’m reading and I might present that in conversation. I try not to take the floor too much, but sometimes that ends up happening because people feel frightened to talk. However, all types of arguments are welcome and like emotions and anecdotes and stories.
TKS: How do you reconcile, say for example, some great philosophical frameworks from Kant that may come across as racist?
AM: I’ve thought about this a lot. It would be a type of censorship in my opinion to not read things from people who are bad. This is not to say you shouldn’t read important feminist writers or African American philosophers. We’re kind of starting a side reading club too and we think it’s important to incorporate those authors. And also recognize that some philosophers were not good people, but their works were used for liberatory ends.
TKS: Do you have a club morale?
AM: Yeah, an inclusive community that embraces all forms of life and educational experiences in the subject matter and a place to have fun. We have speakers come and we discuss things. We come out of the room with something more profound than when we entered
TKS: Would you recommend the club to someone who doesn’t really have a background in philosophy?
AM: Yes. Our first meeting we had about 20 people, and only two of us majored in it. Many hadn’t even taken a class. I still think it was a fruitful and interesting discussion. We cut to the heart of some issues. I would recommend the club to anyone who wanted to a stab at thinking through something. No promises we’ll do it well.
TKS: Any final information you’d like to include?
AM: We’re having a speaker come. We’re very amenable to any person and any idea that anyone wants to talk about. If someone is really gungho about the philosophy of econ for example, we will prepare that discussion for the next meeting. We’re also looking for other clubs to have joint session with because I’ve often found that sometimes sitting down and thinking through what you’re doing is really good. We could work together to do that.