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!


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!


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.


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!


10/15 Meeting!

Hello, anachronistic friends and family! I’m not clever enough in the right way to come up with a nice time travel joke here, so come up with your own and pretend that I wrote it. Please cite me in your references.

We have a lot of info in this message. I’ve organized the info in terms of earliest to latest in the week.

1) We will be meeting this Tuesday (10/15), from 2PM-3PM, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, to talk about the hard problem of consciousness. Please bear with me, because this topic is not my forte, but I’m gonna try giving a description for it anyway. From much of our sciences about the mind, especially from physiopsychology and the neurosciences, we understand that our brains and nervous systems are physical systems. If they are completely physical, how is it that this additional stuff called mental experience, the inner life, or consciousness, arises? We know that we have consciousness, but why does it arise alongside physical, non-mental systems? We’ll get into more of the hard (!) details in the meeting.

2) This Thursday (10/17), from 3PM-4PM, at the Honors Lounge in King Hall (KH) D1047, AHA continues their public lecture series. Our own Mark Balaguer will be speaking on the topic of free will, and whether or not we have it! This is also timely, given that we have a public debate on free will coming up soon (more on this later, and no, I have not sent out any official info about this yet, so please do not be worried that you missed any important info!). Definitely go check it out! Mark’s a cool cookie.

3) The following is about an off-campus event. The SoCal Feminist Philosophy Salon is taking place this Saturday (10/19), from 3:30PM through dinner. At this annual event, feminist philosophers and theorists get together to talk shop about recent topics and problems in feminist philosophy! This year, they are having two speakers who will discuss feminist philosopher Miranda Fricker’s concept of epistemic injustice.

If you are interested in attending or want more information about the program for the event, reply to this message or shoot me a message directly by Wednesday (10/16), and I can send you more specific information on location and program details.

That’s all for now! Take care of yourselves.


10/8 Meeting!

Hi, hopefully-healthy friends and family! I am becoming very sick as I write this message, so I’ll keep it shorter than usual.

We had a good talk on mental illness last week, and we’ll keep talking about the philosophy of mind in club meetings. However, we’re opting to put off the philosophy of mind discussion for this upcoming club meeting and attend a talk by one of our own faculty, Dr. Foad Dizadji-Bahmani!

This Tuesday (10/8), from 2PM-3PM, at Los Angeles Room A at the U-SU (3rd Floor), Foad will be lecturing on “Parallel Universes: Quantum Mechanics and the Possibility of the Multiverse.” After Foad’s talk is over, we can chat and discuss the contents of the talk together. Paraphrasing his words, you should come check this out, because it’s fascinating stuff! (Quantum mechanics IS really cool, and it will, as marketers say, ‘blow your mind’.)

We’ll continue our regular club programming next week onwards. Eat your vitamins (or whatever humans do to maintain their immune system), keep an eye on your health, drink plenty of fluids! I’m gonna go die now.


10/1 Meeting!

Hi, beloved friends and family! I apologize, once more, for how long it’s taken this pretty woman (hint: that’s me!) to send this out. I’m behind on a lot of work, and I’m wearing thin a bit. I’ve barely been able to catch up today. Yet, here I am now! I’m going to hit the hay right after this email.

The poll I sent out earlier did help! More people wanted to talk about psychology and the philosophy of mind. Last meeting, we talked a bit about moral values, asking if these values are just cultural or whether some of these values are universal. We briefly mentioned mental illness while addressing this: when we say someone is mentally healthy or mentally ill, where do our values of health and illness come from? Turns out, this is a very important topic in psychology and psychopathology. So, we’re going to talk more about this next!

This Tuesday (10/1), from 2pm-3:40pm, at Fine Arts (FA) 306, we’ll be meeting to talk about mental illness. Specifically, we’ll talk about whether the things we may experience as depression, anxiety, panic, or mania should be called illnesses, or whether these experiences are something different altogether. What is at stake when someone’s diagnosed as mentally ill? Are mental illnesses chemical imbalances in the brain? Can there even be such a thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain? More on this tomorrow.

Midterms are coming up, and I wish you all well. Check-in with yourself, make sure you’re well fed, drinking enough water, and resting. Hang in there! We will make it through.