Just How Real is Philosophy?

By Rachel Robinson

As philosophy students, we are trained to examine the Big Questions in life, such as “what is the meaning of life?”, “what is beauty?”, “what does it mean to be moral?” and so on. However, the one question that often leaves us speechless is when a (usually) well-intentioned family member or friend asks, “what IS philosophy?”. Perhaps the reason why it is so difficult to reply to such an inquiry is because the number of responses are endless – philosophy really is the study of life. It’s an exploration into the human condition. In fact, philosophy is anything but an abstract, stepping-away from what it means to exist. Philosophy means plunging into the lived now, into the historical past, and into the potential that lies ahead. Philosophy is, perhaps above all else, a conversation. A conversation about how to interact with friends and strangers, about ways to think about the self and the environment. That’s why RPGSU’s theme this year is all about Philosophy being REAL: Relevant, Everyday, Accessible, and Lived. Philosophy doesn’t happen only in dusty corners of ill-lit rooms, but takes place in all kinds of spaces, from classroom seminars to drinks at the pub. This year, we are thrilled to host a number of events, all promoting philosophical thinking at Ryerson. Here’s what’s in store for the start of this semester:

DSCF2541Tuesday, September 3: 1st Year M.A. Students’ Orientation

Thursday, September 5: Welcome Party at the Arts and Letter’s Club, starting at 6pm

Saturday, September  7: PHIGSA presents: Potluck Picnic at Trinity Bellwoods Park at 3pm

Tuesday, September 10: Teaching Critical Thinking: A Workshop in JORG 440 at 3pm

Wednesday, September 11: Colloquium Series Begins! 6:30-8:30, place TBA

For more information on any of these events, please contact one of your friendly, neighbourhood RPGSU executive members!


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