Philosophy Circle

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Philosophy Circle

Meeting Information
Place: Spiritual Life Center, Greenwich Donut 5, 2nd Floor
Time: Thursdays 5-6:30PM
Contact Information
Signer Information
Signer 1: Woodley Brown
Signer 2: Michael Shambles
Signer 3: Carolina Ossa
Advisor Information
Advisor name: Laura Sizer
Signer Resources
Group Account Number: 608
Submit a Funding Request
Funding Request Decisions
Student Group Signer Manual

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Mission Statement

We exist to support and promote philosophy at Hampshire College and beyond. To this end our primary activity is holding weekly meetings where students (and staff and faculty who wish to participate) can discuss topics, readings, and their own work in philosophy. We also hope to bring the methods of philosophical reasoning to a wide range of multi-disciplinary and "real-world" issues in our discussions, and to encourage students from a wide range of disciplines to participate. We hope to promote philosophy in the wider Hampshire community through encouraging our members to publish in campus publications, organizing symposiums for students and faculty, and bringing in speakers. Many would argue that philosophy as a way of life is virtually non-existent for those who do not partake in its method in an academic context. We, the members of Philosophy Circle, hope to give a new life to philosophical discourse by providing a creative outlet for those who may not otherwise have access to a space in which the guise of philosophy expands its most intimate secretes beyond its conventionally presupposed scholastic limitations.

Philosophy Circle is registered as a CEL-1 activity! If you need more hours than just our meetings times, you can help us organize and advertise!


Fall 2014

  • Normative Ethics:
   1. Sep. 18th: "The Trolly Problem"
   2. Sep. 25th: "Can we reason what the right moral action should be in every situation?"
  • Philosophy Of Mind:
   1. "If something looks and acts like a mind, is it a mind?"
   3. "Suppose it has been determined by natural faculties that I have freewill. If my freewill has so been determined, then do I have freewill?"

  • Philosophy Of Science:
   1. "Both Philosophy and Science begin in observation and end in theory or principle. But in what way(s) do their methodologies differ, if at all?"
   2. "In science, how much evidence constitutes enough evidence for something to be considered factual?" 
  • Philosophy Of Religion:
   1. "In what ways are 'faith' and 'reason' different from one another?"
   2. "Do beliefs depend on language? If so, what about the bible?"

  • Metaphysics:
   1. "Is it possible to have a square triangle?"
   2. "If there were a thousand exact clones of you, how many you's would there be?"
   3. "We might say that this file changes as it gets edited, but we would not say that this file changes when it gets substituted for another. Why?"

  • Philosophy Of Color:
   1. "Feeling blue? How much blue is there in the world, anyway?"

Spring 2012

  • Feb. 10: ALL THE THINGS
  • Feb. 17: Consciousness, the Mind-Body Problem, with a foray at the end into Animal Ethics
  • Feb. 24: General
  • Mar. 2: Nature of actions, Philosophy of Science
  • Mar. 9: [Jonathan Westphal] on shadows
  • Mar. 30: Existentialism (led by [Zoe Fuller])
  • Apr. 6: Philosophy of Education
  • Apr. 13: Aesthetics (led my [Micah Isser])

Fall 2012

October: Death

  • Oct. 2: General Discussion


  • Nov. 6: Lee Spector, Professor of Computer Science

Spring 2013


  • Feb. 15: Epistemology. How can we justify our beliefs? (Suggested readings at bottom of page under "Justification") ~led by Devin
  • Feb. 22: Political Philosophy (Foucault) ~led by Shea


  • Mar. 1: Metaphysics & Ethics (Plato) ~led by Woodley
  • Mar. 8: Spinoza
  • Mar. 29: Contemporary Ethical Issue. TBD

Ideas for Topics

If you have an idea, post it here or on our Facebook group!

Past Events

  • Fall 2012: Women in Philosophy Panel Discussion with Laura Sizer, Monique Roelofs, and Earnest Alleva


Links, Resources, and Cool Stuff

Note: may not be representative of what we actually spend most of our time talking about.

General Philosophy

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. An excellent resource for overviews of philosophical terms, figures, and debates.

Stanford Encycopedia of Philosophy. Another resource. Can be accessed by everyone.

Philosophy Bro. Bro translations of philosophical texts. Reddit on Continental Theory. Should what modern philosophers do be called "philosophy"?


"Existentialism" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Existentialism is a Humanism" by Jean-Paul Sartre

"Simone de Beauvoir" from the Stanford Encycolpedia of Philosophy

Philosophy of Education

"Philosophy of Education" from the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

-Patricia's Smith's "Skinhead" regarding the role of race in America, the political, perspective, and irony
-Shira Earlichman's "Daddy's Parking Lot Sermon" on social norms, masculinity and maturity
-Buddy Wakefield's "The Information Man" on religion and enlightenment
-Shane Koyczan's "The Crickets Have Arthritis" on grief & coming to terms with death


"Ludwig Wittgenstein" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy The duck-rabbit illusion and what it means to "see"


"Death" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

2012 Election and Wealth Distribution

"Ayn Rand" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy "John Rawls" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Frederich Nietzsche


"Epistemology" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Solidarity or Objectivity" by Richard Rorty

"Justifying Inference Rules" by Earl Conee & Richard Feldman

"Justification by Balance" by Harvey Siegel

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