Philosophy in Action

Philosophy in Action

UMD Philosophy is committed to the idea that philosophy is fundamentally a discursive, interactive phenomenon, even in the time of COVID-19.  To that end, there are groups, series, and elements of the major that build this fundamental element back into our students introduction and engagement with philosophy. 

First in our major we have a class, PHIL 1005, Philosophy through Dialogue and Debate in which students are introduced to philosophy in this fundamental form: dialogue. 

Milagros Gomez

We also sustain the Socratic Society, the student Philosophy club at UMD. They meet weekly to discuss a variety of philosophical topics. Discussions are led by students and guest faculty. To volunteer to lead discussion, contact the current leadership or hit them up on Twitter (@UMDSocratics). Check out the digital screen on the third floor of A.B. Anderson Hall ensconced in the Philosophy Department geographically. Also see posters around campus for the upcoming topic each week, or the calendar below, or call or email the Philosophy program. 

We also maintain two colloquium series.  The Center for Ethics and Public Policy (CEPP) hosts talks that deal specifically public policy and ethics issues often involving panels of community experts and stakeholders.  We also have the Philosophy Colloquium Series in which we host philosophy talks on a variety of philosophical topics presented by philosophical experts.  

The last integration of the discursive nature of philosophy into our curriculum involves students attending 12 talks during the course of their major in order to achieve credit for PHIL 3900, but for a variety of reasons the colloquium series isn't always the most accessible options (talks my be timed in ways that are inconvenient; it may be that traveling to and from talks is a challenge; .  This is particularly distressing to philosophy majors who need these talks (or talks from the CEPP) for the colloquium credit.  The solution to this problem in general and especially is substitute colloquium.  You can always reach out to the chair to find out if some talk posted by another part of  UMD or another university can qualify for the colloquium credit.  If the chair agrees, after you've attended the talk, use this form to create the record needed for you to be given credit.

An overlapping stack of posters.

COVID-19 has created a very specific form of this challenge and there are a variety of things we are trying to do to accommodate students.  One major one is that we are creating a playlist of online lectures that students can substitute.  Check it out here.