Upcoming Class in Political Philosophy, Spring ’20

Hello! Wanted to send out this email to let you know about a cool class coming up this Spring.

Our own Dr. Jay Conway will be teaching POLS 4370 – 20th Century Political Thought! It’ll be held Spring ’20, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10:50AM-12:05PM. If you are a philosophy student, this class can be used towards your Philosophy BA or MA degree.

In this class, Conway will be looking at some main figures in political philosophy and thought, including Sartre, Beauvoir, figures in the Critical Theory traditions, Foucault, and Deleuze. Here are some quotes from some of these authors to give you a taster of what’s in store in the course:

“It is the whole system that is at issue and our claim cannot be otherwise than radical–change life itself.” -Beauvoir

“What also fascinated me in Spinoza was his philosophical strategy: he began by taking over the chief stronghold of his adversary, redisposing the theoretical fortress in such a way as to turn it completely around, as one turns around cannons against the fortress’s own occupant. -Althusser

“Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and even rarer, thing that might be worth saying.” Deleuze

 

If you’re interested in these figures, in political philosophy writ large, or in taking a, excuse my language, bitchin’ class in political thought, do register for this class!

Carry on with your weeks.

12/3 Meeting!

Hello, supraliminal friends and family! We have two orders of business today.

1) This Tuesday (12/3), from 2PM-3:40PM, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we’ll be once again meeting to have study-hall! Once again, I will bring some snacks to nosh on. This will indeed be the last meeting of this semester, since finals week will take over after the week.

2) This Wednesday (12/4), from 4:30PM-5:50PM, at King Hall (KH) B2005, the Philosophy Department will have Dr. Chip Sebens, a professor of philosophy from the California Institute of Technology, present, “What is the Quantum Wave Function?” Chip Sebens Talk Poster. Let me excerpt from the abstract to give you a taste of the talk:

“Quantum physics has found remarkably successful rules that describe the interactions of subatomic particles. But, what does it say about the nature of those particles? The particles are represented, at least partially, by a mathematical object called a ‘wave function.’ What is that? In this talk, I will explain some popular options and some new ideas as to how wave functions should be interpreted.”

Definitely check it out if you’re interested and can spare the time!

Wishing you well with all that you may have coming up next week.

Best,
Sakib

11/19 Meeting!

Hello, remunerated friends and family! I have just recovered from the flu. The flu is a thing that many would describe as “a thing that is very bad.”

The end of the semester is nearing, and I know pressure’s increasing. As we’ve done in past semesters, instead of holding a club meeting on a specific topic for the last couple weeks of the semester, we hold a study-hall session instead, so that you can bring any work you have to do and have the space and time for club meetings to utilize for doing your work. So!

This Tuesday (11/19), from 2PM-3:40PM, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we’ll be meeting to have study-hall! I will bring some small snacks for us to nosh on. See you then!

Best,
Sakib

11/12 Meeting!

Hello, arachnid friends and family! For those of you who receive club updates through the email alone, I’m deeply sorry for no email last week. It wasn’t because I forgot. The email server was refusing to let me send out the email, so only the people who see our Facebook or WordPress page could see it. Hopefully, this message will send successfully! If it doesn’t, then Google is out to personally get rid of me.

Tomorrow (11/12), from 2PM-3:40PM, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we will be talking about modality and modal logic! We’ll talk about what modal claims are, claims like “Mars could’ve been green.” We’ll then look at how these claims get to be true, not because they get something right about the actual world, but because they describe how the world could’ve been. Is this just an interesting feature about our language and logic, or does this mean that there really is a possible world out there, different from ours, where Mars really is green? (Some philosophers called modal realists think so.)

See you tomorrow! For many of us, finals are coming up. Be sure to take care of yourself, eat and drink well, get enough rest. (Here is your reminder to do those things even if you don’t have finals coming up.) It’s so easy to burn out at the final stretch. I’m wishing you well!

Best,
Sakib

11/5 Meeting!

Hello, squiggly friends and family! I am so sorry for the extreme delay in sending this message out. I’ve had a lot on my heart the last four days, and I’ve been in no state to fulfill club duties. I’m feeling better nowin time for the meeting!

Today (11/5), from 2pm-3:40pm, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we’ll be meeting to talk about the arguments for and against free will that we heard during the debate last week! Bring any questions or concerns you had during the debate, and we’ll hash them out together.

Also, some of you are interested in a recording of the debate. I am working on getting that to you; thank you for being patient with me!

Best,
Sakib

10/29 Debate! + Career Prep

Good morning, apophatic friends and family! Did you know that magenta isn’t a color that exists on the color spectrum of light, and that our brain just invents that color when it sees certain combinations of light at different wavelengths?

There’s two big events coming up this week. One’s the debate, and one’s a career-prep opportunity particularly for folks in the humanities.

1) We won’t be holding a club meeting this Tuesday, because we have our public debate on free will! This Tuesday (10/29), from 3:15PM-4:45PM, at the Music Hall next to the Music Building, philosopher Mark Balaguer of CalStateLA and neuroscientist Uri Maoz of Chapman University will have a theoretical fistfight about the problem of free will. Are you free to choose your favorite ice cream flavor at Baskin Robbins, or do the laws of physics decide it for you? Come see what these two folks have to say, and bring your own thoughts on the matter as well! It’ll be lovely.

Free Will Debate Music Hall 102919

2) This Friday (11/1), from 9AM-6PM, the College of Arts & Letters is holding their creative industry career prep event, “Connect the Dots: Professional Pathways into the Creative Industries.” This event was created to “provide students with the opportunity to build skills and create connections with industry professionals through roundtables, panels, workshops, & more.” There are some workshops there that may be useful for anyone working in the humanities–building a web portfolio for your work, and freelancing in your specific area of training and expertise. If you’re at all interested in this event, I’ll link the main event page below, and you can register for any specific workshops that are useful to you: <https://www.calstatela.edu/al/connect-dots-professional-pathways-creative-industries&gt;. (Also, there’s free lunch if you register for the event beforehand. I do not know what kind of food they will have. It just is worth alerting you that there will be free food.)

That’s all we have this week! Make sure you’re eating and drinking well. It is crucial.

Best,
Sakib

10/22 Meeting!

Hello, somewhat-voluntary friends and family! (It’s a timely joke-title, albeit an average one.) Let me first talk about an upcoming event before introducing the next meeting topic, because the meeting topic’s directly relevant to the upcoming event. Also, another warning: though I’m talking about the event first, the event takes places chronologically after the next meeting. I wanted to explicitly note that, because otherwise it may be a little confusing.

The Event: The Philosophy Club and Philosophy Department are co-sponsoring our semester philosophy public debate series! This semester, the debate will be on free will, and whether or not we can have it. Philosophers have had a lot to say on this problem, but do recent sciences like the neurosciences have anything new to say on the problem? Like previous runs of this series, we’ll have two professors debating each other on the issue: Mark Balaguer, from our own department, and Uri Maoz, a professor of computational neuroscience from Chapman University.

This debate will be held on Tuesday, October 29th, from 3:15PM-4:45PM, and it will be at the Music Hall next to the Music building. The Music Hall itself is in the Theater Arts building, but there is an entrance to it next to the courtyard by the Music building. Because of the debate, we won’t be holding a club meeting on the 29th, so that we can all attend the debate (do not worry, I will remind you of this again next week).

The Meeting: So, since we have a debate on free will coming up, we’re gonna devote the next couple club meetings to discussing this problem as well! This Tuesday (10/22), from 2PM-3:40PM, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we’ll be introducing this philosophical problem, and we’ll take a closer look at the positions that will be argued for during the debate. This way, we can build up some “hype” for an exciting event (this is the shadowy marketing side of this club organization) while also becoming better prepared to engage with the problem and concepts during the debate!

I hope you’re doing well! If you have more midterms and papers coming up, I wish you well on them!

Best,
Sakib