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The Reeder Scholars, a new intellectual residence community, invite the campus to participate in a discussion of “discussion” 9 p.m. Tuesday in the back room of Gilbert’s.

Ice cream, fruit, and other food will be served at the event, which will be led by mathematics-economics major Tomas Bielskis ’07 (Siauliai, Lithuania).

The phrase that accompanies the wise monkeys, “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil,” can trace its origins to 17th century Japan and was created as a visual representation of a religious belief that if one does not see, speak, or hear evil, they will be spared evil. In his discussion, Bielskis will focus on the application of this eastern philosophy to the western tradition, which advocates discussion as the key to progress.

“Our civilization is built on unquestionable human rights, one of which is the right to free speech,” says Bielskis. “We are convinced that debate is the main manifestation of it. These beliefs are so deeply rooted in all parts of our lives that we never really question them. Debate is one of our main forms of discourse. We use it in our everyday conversations, we see it in the television shows, all three parts of our government are based on discussion, etc. The main activity of our living group is discussion.”

Some questions he will address:

  • Is discussion an essential component of a successful community? How about other, less antagonistic forms of discourse?
  • What is a discussion? Is it always a good thing, or can it be used for something evil?
  • What makes a good discussion? Why do we discuss? What forms of discussion are better than others? Is discussion always a good strategy?
  • Can there be some situations when discussion fails? What are the reasons for this failure?

Named for its Reeder Street residence, the Reeder Scholars program borrows its basic structure from the McKelvy House Scholars program – regularly holding discussions open to the campus and organizing activities both on and off campus – but its students are determined that the program have its own distinguishing characteristics.

Past Discussions
Nov. 1 – “Gender Differences”
Oct. 25 – “Sex”
Oct. 18 – “Human Animal”
Oct. 11 – “Guilt”
Sept. 27 – “Consumer Behavior”
Sept. 20 – “Human Nature”
Sept. 13 – “Food as a Cultural Identity”
Sept. 3 – “Offensiveness and Media”

Categorized in: Academic News