Over 50 presenters gathered at Keene State College’s Rhodes Hall on Friday to attend The Northern New England Philosophy Association Conference
The conference aim was to get people who are in the field of philosophy, or are interested in philosophy, to gather and talk about their ideas with the purpose of promoting philosophy and the exchange of philosophical ideas according to Professor of Communication and Philosophy and organizer of the event Sander Lee.
“This event is really a wonderful opportunity for people interested in philosophy to get together,” said Sander Lee.
The event was started in 1973 by a group of philosophers from several northern New England institutions of higher learning for the purpose of promoting the study of philosophy and the exchange of philosophical ideas. The event is usually held in the second half of October, and this is Keene State’s third time hosting the event said Sander lee.
Among the presenters are philosophers, historians and even undergraduates from surrounding colleges.
“When I stopped by the undergraduate session, the rooms were very full,” said Lee.
Among the presenters are Keene State professors, including the head of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program Dr. Paul Vincent, who was talking about his studies in ethics and the voyage of Saint Louis, a ship that attempted to carry Jewish people to Cuba during Germany’s Third Reich.
“I think philosophy is very important,” Dr. Vincent said. “We sometimes don’t think if our actions are actually good for us.”
A highlight of the event was the distinguished keynote speaker University of New Hampshire philosophy professor Robert Scharff.
The event was met with interest as most sessions where full. “I’ve been manning the doors all day and we have had a pretty steady flow,” said KSC Junior and event volunteer Adam Geddis.
The event concluded with a banquet where over 44 attendees were present. The event ran from 10 a.m to 10 p.m
“Philosophy literally translates to the love of learning, so I think everyone who wants to learn more is a philosopher,” said Lee.
He continued, “It is the mother of all disciplines and everyone seeking knowledge is a philosopher.”
KSC senior Robert Bernard who is a communications major said that he thinks philosophy is vital for every college student.
“It’s an interesting topic to study and it helps broaden the minds to things we don’t normally think about,” he said. Bernard said half of his classes are philosophy classes. “It helps me think outside the box,” he said.
Another student, KSC senior Stephanie Giang said she loves philosophy. “I wish it was it’s own option here,” she said.
Giang said she feels that philosophy brings up conversations that reflect our communities. “I like that it’s complex and progressive,” she said.
Giang said these conversations could definitely encourage change. She said, “We have the freedom to speak in depth. It’s comforting that you don’t get ridiculed.”
Paul Lucas can be contacted at email@example.com