Last evening, Radius co-hosted the first session of our fall undergraduate philosophy seminar, Language, Information, and Power. Justin Khoo, Professor of Philosophy, has created a thoughtful syllabus and class roadmap to help the class navigate the complex topics for future discussion. Students sat through the inevitable awkward moments of silence and small talk before the seminar began. Once he began the class, Justin exhibited a type of enthusiasm and care that allowed students from all levels of engagement with philosophy to participate. As students brought up questions, insights, and challenges, Justin riffed off those ideas with a smooth flow of thought not dissimilar from a Jazz musician trading bars amongst the band.
This course aims to offer a space to engage the “Truth” – that is, the fact of the matter as it relates to our moral predicaments. The goal of the course is not the study of what is legal but rather what we ought to do. Throughout the semester, a wide variety of topics that carry the weight of controversy will be examined. A few examples include: the role of censorship, trigger warnings, and post-truth politics. Students are welcome to try out new ideas as well as scrap old ones.
At the end of day 1, Justin offered a question for students to carry with them as the course progresses: If you could create a society from scratch, how would you want it to look?
It’s going to be a stimulating and exciting semester!
Ryan is a 2nd year graduate student at Boston University's School of Theology and the 2017-2018 intern for Radius and the Episcopal Ministry at MIT. We are thrilled to have him on board!