In weekly discussions, the Philosophy for Lunch (P4L) club aims to engage and expand the minds of all who attend with philosophical passages and questions.
P4L’s first session was held during the 2015 fall semester and is the brainchild of professor Tiger Roholt of Montclair State University’s philosophy department.
Conversation topics vary from week to week, but they never cease. Topics range from centuries-old philosophical movements and our relationship to modern technologies to perception and death.
Dr. Jon Morgan, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the cognitive science minor at Montclair State, sees philosophy as being open to everyone.
“Here, people who are enthusiasts, curious or experts basically come together and read some philosophy [with] no prep,” Morgan said. “It’s a good way to get a taste of a bunch of different stuff. It’s really low commitment. I think it aims to be accessible and useful.”
The members of P4L are definitely a melting pot in Morgan’s eyes. Students of all majors, graduate students and faculty come to support and participate in the club.
“In general, when people come to Philosophy for Lunch, they do a really good job of showing us what they’re interested in,” Morgan said. “It’s concrete stuff that relates to the issues at hand. One of the reasons that Philosophy for Lunch is nice is that it helps us to see how these issues are directly relevant to people.”
For those questioning philosophy or wondering about attending a P4L session, Morgan offered some food for thought.
“By reflecting on philosophical issues, not only is there something deeply satisfying about really coming to grips with problems facing the human race for a long time, but by thinking about philosophy and doing philosophy even if you’re not directly making the world better, you’re making yourself better at handling problems,” Morgan said.
Michael Wong, a senior philosophy major, has been attending P4L for about two years. Wong believes students can find philosophy to be beneficial, as philosophy develops critical thinking skills and creativity, ultimately benefitting any major.
“I definitely enjoy the discussion aspect,” Wong said. “Having a place where both students and teachers can truly discuss is definitely beneficial rather than just the teacher lecturing or students talking.”
Through P4L and Wong’s courses in general, he has learned and applied many of these teachings to his own life.
“I’ve definitely become less judgmental and kind of more focused on analyzing things from more of an outside point-of-view rather than just throwing in my personal beliefs or opinions,” Wong said. “I instead use things such as logic and ethics to just kind of have a moral standpoint outside of myself.”
Timothy Medina, a sophomore film and television major, took his first stab at the P4L club a few weeks ago and is enjoying it so far.
“[Philosophy] was something I’ve been interested in since high school,” Medina said. “It was cool to see what really goes on in the discussions and to be a part of that. Those kinds of conversations are really thought-provoking, and I feel like that’s really what gets the conversation going.”
Medina encourages others to dip their toes into the vast world of philosophy. Comprised of many subtopics, he promises there is something of interest for everyone in philosophy and the weekly discussion of P4L.
“I feel like people don’t really take the time to step outside of their comfort zone for a bit,” Medina said. “Philosophy is one of those things where it allows you to have an open mind and to think outside of the box. I really do believe everyone should consider attending a class or an event, such as this, to do something different; to maybe find a new avenue that you might be interested in.”
Try something new for lunch and join the Philosophy for Lunch club every Thursday in Dickson Hall’s Cohen Lounge.