philosophical society agreement

I started a “philosophical society” with some friends at work a few months ago.  The formal meetings only lasted a month or so because it was getting too hard to for all of us to get together during lunch once a week. I started it because my friends expressed interest in having a setting to share with each other and talk about important issues. We still continue discussions but very informally.

This is the agreement I had them sign for fun (sort of):

Philosophical Society

What:

  • A group of diverse thinkers who wish to interact with, challenge, and grow together.

Why:

  • Every individual has a unique perspective and something to offer the group. Our goal is to help each person understand themselves better through introspection and dialogue. Each person should be able to verbalize his or her personal worldview if necessary. Understanding who we are and why we think the way we do is important because it affects the way we live and the decisions we make daily. We would like to be the best people we can possibly be and positively impact those around us.
  • This group is a safe place for individuals to seek truth.
  • It is our responsibility as free people to explore ideas and thoughts that can better our community in and outside of the workplace.
  • We are not subject experts but we want to act as a jury in that we evaluate evidence and decide what the most plausible answer is.
  • We want to be free-thinking people and come to our own conclusions based upon the most pertinent knowledge available.

How:

  • Curriculum that is outlined from the beginning of the meetings for a specified number of weeks.
    • Each week a different individual administrates the meeting
    • The administrator introduces the topic and guides/moderates discussion.
    • Members will come prepared to talk based upon their own research each week.

Possible Topics (open to more ideas):

  • What is philosophy? And how does it affect us?
  • Argumentation and logic
  • Epistemology: what is knowledge?
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion

Benefits of group:

  • Personal
    • Introspection and peace about what you believe and why.
  • Professional
    • The ability to lead a group discussion and administrate a meeting as well as the ability to speak confidently and clearly in front of others.
    • Networking
    • Being a founding member of this type of group helps for a possible resume builder or interview discussion topic.
    • Ashford employees will be engaged and always learning
  • Societal
    • Freedom is not free
      • In order to perpetuate freedom of thought and expression and to honor those who do not have access to it, we are obligated to have this type of discourse in society.

AGREEMENT

I Agree to the Following:

  • This group is important
  • There will be disagreements
  • When disagreements occur I will respectfully and thoughtfully respond
  • Consensus is not the primary goal of this group.
  • Keep the topics within the group time and among group members while at work.
  • Do not use work computer to research unless on break or lunch or off the clock.
  • I will try to come as consistently as I can so that the group can grow and learn more
  • It is not beneficial to come to one or two sessions, assert my opinion, and then leave the group without facing the music.
  • I will speak my mind respectfully and without fear of reprisal
  • I will research and come prepared to share my opinion (if I did not research I will still come and add what I can)
  • I will challenge my beliefs so that they can be tried and true to my best knowledge and so that I can verbalize them upon request.
  • I will tell the group that I need to take a break if it becomes too stressful OR gets in the way of work.

Name_____________________________ Signature_______________________________________

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