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Philosophy Club President Danielle Batalla

Philosophy Club President Danielle Batalla answers questions about philosophy at CSUF.

I appreciated how philosophy covered a wide range of issues, which shows how salient it is in our lives.

Why did you decide to major in philosophy?

I initially had philosophy as a minor when I first entered CSUF as a computer science major. Although I found what I learned from my major to be useful, I was more interested in the coursework I did in my philosophy classes. I ultimately switched my major because I enjoyed thinking about the state of the world and my being (as well as my being in relation to others). I appreciated how philosophy covered a wide range of topics and issues, which comes to show how salient it is in our lives. Another reason I switched my major was because of the department. I created meaningful friendships with some of my peers and found supportive professors who helped me in becoming a better thinker and writer.

Do you have a favorite philosopher or area of philosophy? Why is it your favorite?

I don’t think I have a ‘favorite philosopher’ because it always changes. There are too many interesting philosophers out there! But, I like José Medina and his book “The Epistemology of Resistance” at the moment. My favorite areas of philosophy would have to be epistemology and philosophy of race. These two areas have had the most impact on my thinking in terms of how I see the world and how I interact with others.

Tell us about the philosophy club and what you do as a group.

The Philosophy Club is a student-run group that organizes meetings to talk about our philosophical interests and socialize with one another. Our meetings are a ‘space’ where students from the department can get to know one another. Moreover, students from outside of the department can cultivate their philosophical interests and understand the major. Aside from running meetings, the Philosophy Club provides opportunities for their members to show their work through student presentations, notifications about call-for-papers or abstracts, and the annual department symposium.

How will the club adapt to the fact that it cannot meet in person this year?

Not being able to meet last semester was a big loss because places like “The Cave” were special to a lot of people. Our big focus is to maintain the student community through bi-weekly Zoom meetings and by having a group chat through Discord. This year, we aim to continue philosophical dialogue outside of class and create a community of support to get through the difficulties of school, online learning, and the pandemic. In terms of opportunities related to philosophy, we will be bringing back the colloquium series as a way for students to interact with our professors as well as philosophy professors from other universities.

What advice would you give to students considering majoring in philosophy?

I would say schedule a meeting with one of our professors and talk to them! Ask them what they enjoy most about philosophy. Also, try to think about what kind of career you want and how philosophy can help. You’ll find that philosophy is complementary to many careers and gives you the skills you need to do well, regardless of what path you take.

Anything else you think students should know about the philosophy department?

If you decide to major or minor in philosophy, you will find supportive people who want to help you and see you succeed. I find that what students enjoy most about the department is the community and their interactions with their peers.

Credits:

Created with images by Giammarco Boscaro - "untitled image" • Chris Montgomery - "Zoom call with coffee" • Henry Be - "The Library of Trinity College"