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Learning through the philosophy club

By Jeehee Kim Apr. 7, 2022

Bertina Fan Photo

This year, the school’s first philosophy club was founded by club President Sophomore Eshan Velidandla and club Vice President Junior Nicholas Yen. Since philosophy is not typically discussed at school, Velidandla and Yen wanted to foster an environment that promoted philosophical discussion among students through debates on abstract concepts such as freedom, life and morality. Although the club started as a small group of Velidandla and Yen’s friends, it has now grown into a club with over 20 members.

Velidandla became interested in philosophy after reading an essay that analyzed the work of Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher who is best known for his essay “Critique of Pure Reason.” The essay’s comparison of the ethics of philosophy with practical science ignited Velidandla’s interest in philosophy. Immanuel Kant’s inspiration helped Velidandla succeed in the school’s speech and debate program: He is now able to easily argue from ethical and philosophical perspectives in debate rounds. The numerous benefits of philosophy eventually encouraged Velidandla and Yen to start the club.

“I gradually began to get more invested in philosophy as I became more exposed to ethical thoughts and ideas in my classes. My involvement in the club throughout this school year has helped me better understand philosophy,” Yen said.

During club meetings, the members ask questions and discuss issues that are not common to talk about in school, such as the purpose of religion. Through these discussions, members are able to understand different perspectives on topics they handle in the club meetings, sharpening their ability to accept various opinions.

Another main aspect of club meetings is debating topics regarding law and government. Currently, the club members are ruminating on the sacrifices people must make to establish a just and orderly society. During this debate, there were diverse opinions related to utilitarianism—the idea that actions are right if they uphold the most number of people’s well-being. The members came to the conclusion that even though utilitarianism leads to the loss of freedom to some extent, it is necessary because of the vast benefits that result from it, such as the security of the majority. The club members ultimately believed that utilitarianism can help people focus on the society’s prosperity, which also leads to unity.

With the diverse activities of the club, many students were able to develop their passion for philosophy.

Among the club members, Sophomore Vishal Makaram had a particular interest in the field.

“I have always been interested in what renowned philosophers argued about humankind and why we act the way we do. I felt extremely excited when I heard the school finally had a philosophy club. I hope to get answers to the questions I was always curious about and get a better grasp of philosophy through this club,” Makaram said.

Founded this year to encourage students to share their thoughts on various philosophical topics, the philosophy club unites students with the same interests. Through the club activities, Velidandla and Yen expect the members to dig deeper into the study of philosophy


About the Contributors

Jeehee Kim

Media Team

Jeehee Kim is a junior at Leland High School and is currently on the Media Team. She likes to listen to music, watch movies and K-Dramas, and talk to her friends and family.

Bertina Fan


Bertina Fan is a junior at Leland High School and is a staff writer for the Charger Account. She likes photography, cats, and playing games.

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