As we begin the first day of classes at MIT, there is always a sense of excitement and possibilty. Each spring semester for the past 8 years, Radius has been co-sponsoring an undergraduate seminar with the MIT Department of Philosophy, under the leadership of Professor Sally Haslanger. The seminar, Being, Thinking, Doing (Or Not!): Ethics in Your Life, is a weekly class where students discuss ethical issues over dinner. At the beginning of the first class, we always say to the students, "If you're more confused at the end of the semester than you are now, then we know we've done our job!"
The class isn't about finding the answers but rather learning how to ask the questions; it's about opening your mind to other opinions and ways of thinking; of exploring topics that were hitherto unknown. The class consists of two introductory evenings, including an "ethics boot camp" when students are introduced to the foundations of ethics and become familiar with vocabulary that can help articulate questions, reflections and opinions. For the rest of the semester, we welcome guests from various disciplines to talk about their research, followed by Q&A and discussion.
Although the seminar may not be "tough" (i.e. heavy readings, problem sets, extensive papers), it is an opportunity to take time to consider the very complicated and difficult questions of social responsibility, justice, sustainablity, racism, equity and life purpose.
Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to attend Radius events or other events on campus that are relevant to these questions. Although the seminar is only opened to undergraduates, we welcome you to all of the Radius programs this semester. We already have a full line-up of programs and would love to see you there! Here we go!