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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Philosophy Starts New Colloquium

This semester Grinnell College will be holding a philosophy colloquium, which consists of three components: visiting philosophy speakers, Grinnell Philosophy Faculty sharing their current research with students, and panel discussions with Grinnell Philosophy Faculty.

“The idea is to get philosophy majors together about once a month,” said Associate Professor of Philosophy Tammy Nyden. “Other departments do this, too. It is a way to keep the discussion going on. Who is actively organizing philosophy events at Grinnell College?”

The coming philosophy colloquium is a series of events, which will be throughout the year.

“We have several events scheduled for this semesters already, and our goal is to have a Grinnell philosophy faculty member give a talk each semester on their own research to share with their students, and to let them know what kind of work is being done by professors here,” Nyden said.

The philosophy department is also trying to get outside speakers come in. This semester, David Cunning, Philosophy, from the University of Iowa is coming in.

Cynthia Amezcua ’14 expressed her anticipation for the visiting speakers.

“I hope [the outside speaker] are adding to what we learn at Grinnell because Grinnell philosophy department is relatively small, and there are a lot of courses we do not teach on a lot of philosophy areas, so I hope the people who come here can teach us about certain philosophy that we are not getting exposure here,” said Amezcua. “If they are coming, I hope they are not just telling us something that I already know.”

The philosophy department is also trying to have a panel once a semester, which philosophy majors in particular can ask questions. This semester the topic will be on graduate school in philosophy, and next semester it will be about MAPs in philosophy and other similar practical questions.

The colloquium will be open to anyone who is interested in philosophy.

“The basic idea is that we are hoping to enhance the communication among philosophy majors. Of course non-majors are always welcome. It also gives majors a chance to think about what philosophers do, and that’s why it’s nice to go to conferences and to hear professional talks from time to time because it’s a little different from a lecture in class. For non-majors, some of the topics will be challenging to students but they will be able to grasp the big story,” Nyden said.

Amezcua is really excited about the upcoming philosophy events.

“Because there are not a lot of events for philosophy majors specifically. Our department is very interdisciplinary. There are philosophy classes in Noyce, in ARH, in Steiner, so we are very spread out, and as a philosophy major I do not necessarily know who else is a philosophy major, and it will be really nice to have events to go to where I can expect other philosophy majors, and continue the discussion outside the classroom,” she said.

The first event is in Oct. 12, at which Professor Nyden will be presenting her research, which is about the arguments for experiments as a new approach to doing science in the 17th century.

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