By Marvin Villanueva, Nov. 22, 2022

Cal Poly Pomona’s Philosophy Department hosted their seventh annual World Philosophy Day on Nov. 17 to celebrate the students, faculty and alumni who make up the CPP philosophy community.

Created in 2005 by the Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization of the United Nations, World Philosophy Day is an international celebration to generate conversations about philosophy, ethics and their values in society. CPP’s celebration included alumni presentations, an Ethics Bowl demonstration and separate student, alumni and faculty panels.

“A big part of World Philosophy Day is just introducing people to philosophy as we do it at CPP because there’s a lot of misperceptions about philosophy in general,” said Cory Aragon, associate professor in the Philosophy Department. “We talk about career prospects, and we’ll introduce people to a bunch of different alums who are working in a variety of different careers, so it ends up becoming a networking educational event about what CPP philosophy is.”

Administrative Support Coordinator Vanessa Aldaz believes that events like these allowed students to find future career advice as well as allowed them to celebrate their passions.

“We lost some of the just ‘celebrating to celebrate’ during quarantine,” Aldaz said. “So it’s really exciting.”

The celebration began with two alumni talks, one from Karina Ortiz Villa, who spoke about pragmatic encroachment and standards of proof while Valerie Marquez shared how their philosophical education is navigating them through law school.

The alumni panel was held specifically for students to ask questions about career prospects, the application process for law school and graduate school and how philosophy has been applicable in their lives and their careers. The discussion allowed students to hear from alumni learn about the different resources they used to be successful at CPP such as going to the professors’ office hours and joining programs like Research through Inclusive Opportunity.

The Office of Undergraduate Research highlighted RIO as well as the Learn through Discovery and Achieve Scholars Program. Students who are writing their senior thesis were encouraged to attend workshops dedicated to helping them with issues like writing a literature review or how to narrow their research question topic.

Aanu Akingbemi | The Poly Post

The event encouraged a broader conversation on philosophy. Political science major Asheley Wang said an interest in the subject and certain philosophers like Albert Camus pushed them into minoring in philosophy.

“I love that I can meet new alumni and more people in the department,” said Wang. “It shows me what I can do with a philosophy degree and what opportunities I have in the field of philosophy.”

The celebration also highlighted different facets of the CPP philosophy community. Attendees were presented with a featured student panel to discuss the CPP Philosophy Club and how philosophy has been fulfilling for them not only as students but as individuals in the world.

Brian Kim, assistant professor in the Philosophy Department, introduced the Ethics Bowl demonstration, a collaborative oral presentation competition that aims to deepen conversation and analysis on certain issues. In this competition, students are expected to respond to contemporary ethical questions and defend their answers before their opponents and a team of judges.

This year’s demonstration was on the topic of how content should be moderated on social media platforms like Twitter. The team argued that while the First Amendment protects free speech, hate speech and misinformation on social media promotes lawlessness and is not protected by free speech. Through adequate content moderation, the team argued that harm reduction and community values can be promoted on social media sites.

The faculty panel concluded the day’s events and provided further perspectives on why philosophy is impactful and acknowledged different pathways for post-grad philosophy students.

Philosophy student Edward Nuñez showed his appreciation for the Philosophy Department and the day’s events.

“The staff here is just wonderful,” Nuñez said. “Dr. Ross, Dr. Wieseler, Dr. Aragon, every single one of them are all incredible and they’ve all helped us along our philosophical journey.”

Feature image by Aanu Akingbemi 

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