Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, August 22, 2016


Let's introduce ourselves, Fall 2016 CoPhilosophy collaborators. (I'll tell you in class why I call my version of the Intro course "CoPhilosophy." But maybe you can guess, from the William James quote in the masthead.)

I invite you all to hit "comment" and reply with your own introductions, and (bearing in mind that this is an open site) your answers to two basic questions: Who are you? Why are you here? (in this course, on this campus, in this state, on this planet...)

Our first class meeting will consist mainly of introductions and a heads-up that this is an unconventional course in ways I hope you'll find delightful, instructive, and rewarding. If you don't like to move, breathe, and converse in the open air on "nice" days, this may not be the course for you. But if you don't especially like the conventional lecture-style academic model in which I talk and you scribble silently in your seats, it may be just what you're looking for.

We'll not go over the syllabus or get bogged down in the nuts and bolts of course mechanics on Day #1, there's plenty of time for those details later. But do peruse the blogsite and syllabus (linked in the right margin) before next class and let me know what's unclear. Meanwhile, read your classmates' intros and post your own.

I'm Dr. Oliver, aka (despite my best efforts to discourage it) "Dr. Phil." I live in Nashville with my wife, Younger Daughter (a HS Senior), a dog (Angel) and a cat (Zeus). Older Daughter is a college Senior in another state.

My office is in James Union Building 300. Office hours are Mondays thru Thursdays 3-4 pm, & by appointment. On nice days office hours will probably be outside, possibly in front of the library (in the "Confucius" alcove, if it's available) or at another designated location. I answer emails during office hours, but not on weekends. Surest way to get a quick response:come in or call during office hours.

I've been at MTSU since the early '00s, teaching philosophy courses on diverse subjects including atheism, childhood, happiness, the environment, the future, and bioethics.

My Ph.D. is from Vanderbilt. I'm originally from Missouri, near St. Louis. I was indoctrinated as a Cardinals fan in early childhood, so I understand something about religious zeal. My undergrad degree is from Mizzou, in Columbia MO. (I wish my schools weren't in the SEC-I don't approve of major collegiate sports culture or football brain injuries, as I'm sure to tell you again.)

My philosophical expertise, such as it is, centers on the American philosophical tradition ofWilliam James and John Dewey. A former student once asked me to respond to aquestionnaire, if you're curious you can learn more about me there.

What you most need to know about me, though, is that I'm a peripatetic and will encourage you all to join me in that philosophical lifestyle as often as possible during discussion time. (If you're not sure what peripatetic means, scan the right sidebar or read the syllabus or ask me. Or look it up.)

I post my thoughts regularly to my blogs Up@dawn and Delight Springs, among others, and to Twitter (@osopher), and am continuing to experiment with podcasting as a classroom tool this semester. Follow me if you want to.

But of course, as Brian Cohen said, you don't have to follow anyone. (Extra credit if you get that reference... and real extra credit if you realize that my "extra credit" is usually rhetorical.) However, if a blog or podcast link turns up with the daily quiz (which will always be posted on this site no later than the night before class), you might find it helpful to read or listen.

Enough about me. Who are you? (Where are you from, where have you been, what do you like, who do you want to become,...?) Why are you here? (On Earth, in Tennessee, at MTSU, in philosophy class)? Hit "comments" below and post your introduction, then read your classmates'... and bear in mind that this is an open site. The world can read it. (The world's probably busy with other stuff, of course - Drumpf and Kardashians and cooking shows and other examples of what passes for "reality" these days.)

Please include your section number in your reply, and in all future posts on this site:
  • H1-TTh 11:20-12:45, H118. 
  • H2-TTh 1-2:25, H118. 
  • H3-MW 12:40-2:05, H117.

From a distance, philosophy seems weird, irrelevant, boring...
and yet also – just a little – intriguing.
But what are philosophers really for?
The answer is, handily, already contained in the word philosophy itself.
In Ancient Greek, philo means love and sophia means wisdom.
Philosophers are people devoted to wisdom.
Being wise means attempting to live and die well.
In their pursuit of wisdom, philosophers have developed a very
specific skill-set. They have, over the centuries, become experts in
many of the things that make people not very wise. Five stand out:
There are lots of big questions around: What is the meaning of life?
What's a job for? How should society be arranged?
Most of us entertain them every now and then, but we despair of trying
to answer them. They have the status of jokes. We call them
'pretentious'. But they matter deeply because only with sound answers
to them can we direct our energies meaningfully.
Philosophers are people unafraid of asking questions. They have, over
the centuries, asked the very largest. They realise that these
questions can always be broken down into more manageable chunks and
that the only really pretentious thing is to think one is above
raising big naive-sounding enquiries.
Public opinion – or what gets called ‘common sense’ – is sensible and
reasonable in countless areas. It’s what you hear about from friends
and neighbours, the stuff you take in without even thinking about it.
But common sense is also often full of daftness and error.
Philosophy gets us to submit all aspects of common sense to reason.
It wants us to think for ourselves. Is it really true what people say
about love, money, children, travel, work? Philosophers are interested
in asking whether an idea is logical – rather than simply assuming it
must be right because it is popular and long-established.
We’re not very good at knowing what goes on in our own minds.
Someone we meet is very annoying, but we can’t pin down what the issue is.
Or we lose our temper, but can’t readily tell what we’re so cross about.
We lack insight into our own satisfactions and dislikes.
That’s why we need to examine our own minds. Philosophy is committed
to self-knowledge – and its central precept – articulated by the
earliest, greatest philosopher, Socrates – is just two words long:
Know yourself.
We’re not very good at making ourselves happy. We overrate the power
of some things to improve our lives – and underrate others.
We make the wrong choices because, guided by advertising and false glamour,
we keep on imagining that a particular kind of holiday, or car, or computer
will make a bigger difference than it can.
At the same time, we underestimate the contribution of other things –
like going for a walk - which may have little prestige but can

contribute deeply to the character of existence.

Philosophers seek to be wise by getting more precise about the

activities and attitudes that really can help our lives to go better.
Philosophers are good at keeping a sense of what really matters and what doesn't.
On hearing the news that he’d lost all his possessions in a shipwreck,
the Stoic philosopher Zeno simply said:
‘Fortune commands me to be a less encumbered philosopher.’
It’s responses like these that have made the very term ‘philosophical’
a byword for calm, long-term thinking and strength-of-mind,
in short, for perspective.
The wisdom of philosophy is – in modern times – mostly delivered in
the form of books. But in the past, philosophers sat in market squares
and discussed their ideas with shopkeepers or went into government
offices and palaces to give advice. It wasn’t abnormal to have a
philosopher on the payroll. Philosophy was thought of as a normal,
basic activity – rather than as an unusual, esoteric, optional extra.
Nowadays, it’s not so much that we overtly deny this thought but we
just don’t have the right institutions set up to promulgate wisdom
coherently in the world. In the future, though, when the value of
philosophy* is a little clearer, we can expect to meet more
philosophers in daily life. They won’t be locked up, living mainly in
university departments, because the points at which our unwisdom bites
– and messes up our lives – are multiple and urgently need attention -


  1. Sean Winsett2:40 PM CDT

    Hello, I am Sean Winsett. I was born on Halloween and currently live with my parents at home for the first year of college. My home is in Murfreesboro, TN, where I was born and raised, and I chose to go to MTSU to major in biology, concentrating on pre-med sciences. Enjoying classes that interest me, like philosophy and psychology, are other reasons why I am attending MTSU. I am looking forward to enjoying my time at MTSU and especially this course in philosophy because I have always enjoyed deep topics and discussions where there is no boundaries and one can voice their opinion openly.

  2. Thanks for going first, Sean. You get a base! (Two bases in fact, one for posting and one for posting first.)

    Looking forward to seeing you in Bioethics eventually!

  3. (H3)
    Hey everyone, I'm Ben Yost, but since we have another Ben in the class, feel free to call me by my last name, as many did back home in Knoxville. I am a freshman, but I did some part time studies at a community college last year so college isn't an entirely new concept to me. I'm an English major right now and I plan on double majoring, so this semester I'm trying to figure out what subject I want to be the second component of my time here at MTSU. Just to add a philosophical spin to this introduction, I would say that I am, as a person, a conglomeration of the experiences in my life thus far, but beneath that I (and in my opinion everyone) have a core being that is non-malleable and unaffected by my culture, upbringing, and ethnicity.

    1. A non-malleable core sounds a little rigid, but maybe you mean that you're True Blue (or True You?) at heart? I think we're inescapably affected by our cultures, ubringings, ethnicity, etc. etc. The trick is not to be exclusively definted and limited by them. That's why you want to Co-philosophize.

  4. Anonymous3:00 PM CDT

    My name is Christian Brooks, and I am a sophomore focusing on psychology and visual communication. I spend most of my free time consuming media, from books to Netflix. I enrolled at MTSU because it is far cheaper to live at home than to go to the other universities I considered. On a broader scale, I assume I'm here to eat, sleep, procreate, and die like everyone else. Hooray for realism!
    I'm looking forward to learning more about philosophy, though group-anything is not my choice in most things.

    1. Maybe we can find you an anti-group group. Or, maybe you'll learn to be more open to group-something. Youneverknow. (That was Cards' pitcher Joacquin Andujar's favorite word in English.)

  5. Isabella Barnett4:17 PM CDT

    (H3) Hey everyone, my name is Isabella Barnett, but I go by Bella. I am from Clarksville, TN, near Ft Campbell for any military folks. My dad is in the military, now for 22 years, and we have moved around a lot: Oklahoma, Texas, Italy, Norway, New York, and, of course, Tennessee. Traveling, art, and science are my passions, though, if we are being honest, watching tv and movies encompass much of my spare time. I am a freshmen and my focus is forensic science. I chose MTSU for many reasons, chief among them being that MTSU is the only university in Tennessee with an undergraduate degree directly in forensic science. My best friend from high school is also enrolled here in the same major. I like to think that I'm a realist; I see the world as it is, the good and the bad. Though I'd like to think I can add something to this world, I realize I might have to settle for immersing myself it what is and not what might be, if that makes any sense. I took philosophy as a break from the hours of chemistry and biology to come, but I'm starting to think this course may be one of my more challenging courses. As Christian Brooks wrote, I'm not big on the group work situation, but I hope to change that.

    1. You and Christian are a group! But our groups will rotate constantly, maybe we'll all rub off on one another.

  6. Hi everyone, I am Bryce Bivens. I am a second year student and my major is International Relations with a minor in Japanese Language. I was born in Bethesda, Maryland, but my father was in the Air Force until recently. I lived in a lot of different places and traveled to even more. For now I live in Manchester, not Manchester England unfortunately, Manchester, TN. I am a big lover of all things history, politics, and culture. My area of focus is Asia and South East Asia specifically. I have a few hobbies but my favorite is writing. Mostly science fiction or fantasy. I am taking this class because I appreciate philosophy and I think it helps us understand the world we live in and the people in it. Also I need it for a gen ed credit.

    1. I've not heard such great things about the other Manchester either. But, bloom where you're planted, right?

  7. Victor Sanchez5:26 PM CDT

    (H3) Hello everyone, my name is Victor Sanchez. I am originally from Germany, but I honestly don’t have a place I call home. My father was in the military for 23 years, and my family joined him in his travels. My family came to Tennessee in 2007. This is where I attended high school. After graduating I decided to put college off and I enlisted in the Army. Though I do find myself reserved about my time in service, I am willing to share any experiences I have had. I came to MTSU Spring of 2016, almost 5 years since my last formal education, and I loved it. I am a Political Science major. I've met many people; I've been exposed to many things. I'm here to think critically and challenge myself in many ways. I hope to have my opinions and beliefs refined, reinforced or completely altered. I hope that our class comprised of CoPhilosophers will have similar successes.

    1. I notice that lots of service people are "reserved," I wonder why? Was the whole experience just too much to assimilate and explicate? Is there too much "survivors' guilt"? Is it just modesty? In any event, it makes sense that you'd want to study that politics that placed you in such possibly-needless jeopardy. I'm glad you're so willing to be altered by your studies, we all should be.

  8. Lydia Bechtel6:53 PM CDT

    (H3) Hi people from our class, my name is Lydia Bechtel. I was that weird kid in class who has strange blue faded hair. I am from Jonesborough TN which is 4 hours away and I have always loved art so I decided to major in Graphic Design and minor in Psychology. I am whatever God wants me to be, because yes I am a Christian. So, if He wants me to be a friend or a leader or a follower, then I will try my best to listen to Him and reflect him in this world (although never perfectly). I hope to one day travel a lot, which I am hoping my major will allow me to. Also, I love helping out others so I would love to be involved in Art Therapy possibly one day. Also, I hate public speaking. I am here at MTSU for a few reasons. One, it is in state. Two, it has the program I am interested in. And three, my boyfriend. He actually lives back in Jonesborough, but he plans on maybe coming here next year so I guess I selfishly wanted to be here too. Anyways, back to the Christian thing. I hope that in our class I get to learn alot more about everyone's beliefs and perhaps work on my own as I try to see things from a different perspective. I'm sure the discussions will be insightful, however, I just hope they don't get out of hand.

    1. If "out of hand" means unpleasant in a personal way, I agree that we should avoid such discussions. But philosophy challenges everybody's personal beliefs, equal opportunity.

  9. Hello, my name is Mikayla Pearlman. I am a freshman here at MTSU. I made my way from Chattanooga, not exactly sure what to expect. I've spent most of my life moving around to different states for my dad's occupation and at those times I have acquired knowledge of the numerous cultures and systematic ways of life throughout the different regions I have lived in. I learned how to adapt to change and coincide with my peers. I've always been interested in the way people think and what makes them wonder the way they do, seeking insight into the different perspectives of the world we live in and beyond. My first official philosophical inspiration came from the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It completely sparked my interest in the way it emphasizes a philosophy of destroying the destructive dominance of the mind and ego in an effort to overcome the recurring force of pain and become present in the moment. It describes to the reader how to bring about a constant awareness of the universe around them. Since then, I have definitely made a few trips out to Barnes & Noble and McKays bookstore to seek knew knowledge about these sorts of topics. I love to collaborate on different ideas and keep an open mind to view various perspectives. This is why I am sitting here in a philosophy class, because I am thirsty for wisdom. I am currently undecided as for my major. I am gearing towards biochemistry because I am a total science nerd but I am also a very theoretic person and I love “the other way of doing things”. As for why I am here on Earth, I couldn’t tell you.

  10. Anonymous6:13 AM CDT

    Hey guys, my name is Samantha Eisenberg. I'm a sophomore here and I am from a really small town called Kingston, Tennessee, which is right outside of Knoxville. Right now I am majoring in psychology, but I am hoping to get into the pre-Grad track and head to graduate school for further education in neurology and neuropsychology. I signed up for this class for two reasons. One, is because it is I needed one more credit to satisfy my general education requirement. The second reason though, is because I took an honors history course last semester that focused on the philosophic thinking behind American history. I really got a much better understanding of the material we covered because of it, and I found it very enjoyable to try and dig deeper into the past, in ways more than just dates and wars. As for the bigger picture, I left my small town so I could get a richer experience of cultures and meet new people. I am really looking to branch out and find out more about myself through higher learning and greater opportunities than I could have at home. I am a very open-minded person and am always willing to have good structured discussions on various topics to try and better understand points of view different from my own. I think that it is very important to be able to peacefully coexist with the people around you despite how different they may be. To do that, I believe that we have to be able to have open conversation and learn to respect each other differences in lifestyles, beliefs, and opinions.

    1. Anonymous6:15 AM CDT


    2. Nice to meet you.
      I am familiar with Kingston. My step family lives all over the Rockwood, Harriman, Kingston area. Maybe you know some McAbee's.

  11. Martin Davies6:43 AM CDT

    (H3) Hi i'm Martin Davies, i'm a freshman here and I was born and raised in the what used to be small town of Mt. Juliet. I came to MTSU as an Advertising major (I seem to be the only one of my kind so far) because it was the cheapest place I could go that was also close to home. I signed up for this class because it was a required gen ed, but also a love for the ancient Greek philosophers drove me here. I want to study them more but I could only learn so much just reading by myself. I love group discussion and always want a fresher perspective, but I can be very anxious and quiet in the beginning. As an artist and a photographer, you never know where you will find your next creative genius, and having challenging perspectives can open up so many windows to creating great works of art.

  12. (H3) My name is Jasmin Laurel. This is my first year at MTSU. As of now, I am a nursing major, but I am still figuring out if that is what I really want to pursue. I love to be intellectually stimulated. I find an interest in languages, literature, and the sciences. In my free time, I watch my favorite show: The Walking Dead. I found an interest in philosophy from an English literature class, in which I read many texts alongside those of Thomas Hobbs or John Locke. Years onward, I have continued to read texts, considering their philosophies and having questions of my own. Now when I watch shows like The Walking Dead, I like to find its meaning. However, I still feel as if I have a small understanding of what is philosophy. There is a lot I do not know, but I am ready to explore the ideas of other philosophers, as well as the ideas of my peers.

  13. Hi, I am Merri Jo my last name is Boerger like a hamburger, it's German. Here is a brief intro to me. With the exception of 7th grade in Michigan I have lived here my whole life. I have been out of the country 5 or more times, and I am often more excited for the plane ride than the destination. Monday morning my mom said "Have a good first day in public school!" Because I was homeschooled every year except 6th when I went to a private school. My major is Pre-law but I am not committed to that.

    I am here in this class because the art history class I wanted was full, at MTSU because in May, the school in MN I was going to go to cancelled the program I was enrolled in, in Tennessee because this is where my family is, on Earth, because God saw fit to put me here.

    Before, I was pretty sure this was going to be a grin-and-bear-it course. Now I know this course is for me Non-conventional is exactly what I was looking forward to in MN and I know I am going to love Co-Philosophy more than any art history class. If Philosophy means the love of wisdom, then I'm in. To grow in wisdom every day is sort of a goal of mine. I ran across these verses in my reading today they reminded me of this class.
    “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
    I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
    All who fear the lord will hate evil.
    Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
    corruption and perverse speech.
    Common sense and success belong to me.
    Insight and strength are mine."
    Proverbs 8:12-14

  14. Phil-H1

    Hello fellow students of philosophy, my name is Jacob Higgs. I am currently an Art major at Middle Tennessee State University. I have plans to change my focus to journalism in hopes of writing my own perspective of this world and the truth as I know it to be through my eyes. I am a certified lifeguard and licensed bartender for the town of Murfreesboro. The philosophers/writers I have most closely followed in my time have been Alan Watts and Houston Smith. I've found taoism and hinduism to be the most familiar with myself as an individual. Both authors are incredibly educated in the world of religions and have helped mend my understanding of these ideas and studies. I look forward to presenting my views for others to critique and share their own thoughts on what I stumble upon as a student and fellow human sharing this earth.

  15. Hi my name is Vic, I'm a freshman here at MTSU and am currently majoring in Music Business and Vocal Performance. I am attending MTSU due to its credibility in the music scene and use the credibility to make connections within the music industry. I am a musician and do vocals for a hardcore and a metalcore band and spent the last two summers and every break from school touring and trying to advance myself within the alternative scene. I also run a booking and management company with a friend of mine and have had the pleasure of bringing some of my personal favorite bands to this city. The reason I decided to take philosophy is because it seemed like an interesting class and would be an opportunity to voice my own, while hearing others opinions on their personal philosophies.

  16. H1

    Hello! I'm Katlyne. I'm an Anthropology major in hopes to travel and learn about different cultures around the world to make a positive contribution. I am excited to learn, discover, and discuss varying philosophies!

  17. H1

    Hello! I'm Katlyne. I'm an Anthropology major in hopes to travel and learn about different cultures around the world to make a positive contribution. I am excited to learn, discover, and discuss varying philosophies!

  18. (H1) Hi guys! My name is Natalie Madigan. I’m a sophomore studying audio production, and I’ve lived in Murfreesboro my whole life. I’ve been singing and playing piano for as long as I can remember, and consider those my #1 passions. I also work on campus at the Career Development Center and paint pet portraits on the side (so if you need a resume review or a painting of your dog, let me know). I signed up for this course because a friend of mine suggested it to me, but I’m really excited to learn more about different philosophers and hear my classmates’ opinions. I’m still trying to figure out my purpose, and I think this class will give me the opportunity to explore different ideas and outlooks on life.

    1. Kaite Berry (H01)3:56 PM CDT

      I totally need a dog portrait!!

    2. I will totally paint you one!!

  19. (H3) Hey everyone, my name is Megan Westcott. I am a freshman from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The two biggest things that define who I am are my relationship with Jesus and my passion for music. I play piano, guitar, ukulele, sing, and write music. I refuse to pursue a career I am not passionate about so here I am studying Music Business. I have hopes of a music career in Nashville but would love to be an Artist Manger or a Promoter. Being here at MTSU truly is a dream to me and I'm ecstatic to be here. My other passions are hiking (or anything outdoors), traveling, learning, and coffee. I look forward to what this class will teach me and to becoming friends with you all.

  20. Joi Williams5:01 PM CDT

    Hi guys! My name is Risharra Williams but I go by Joi (it's so much easier). I am a freshman from Memphis, Tn. I am an Athletic Training major and I aspire to get accepted into medical school and become a Sports Orthopedic Doctor. I love any type of athletics, giraffes and helping people. I ran track in middle school and high school, but my athletic career was cut short due to multiple knee injuries. Therefore, along with my injuries came my passion for sports injury prevention and care. In all honesty, MTSU was not my first choice in schools, but so far I feel like I made the best decision. I decided to take this philosophy class to fill my honors credit requirements ofcourse, but I also have a fascination with philosophy that I have yet to be able to express. This class will give me the opportunity to have discussions with other people that are also eager to explore or discover an interest in philosophy.

    1. Joi Williams5:02 PM CDT

      Oh and I'm H2

  21. Arieanne (Arie) Yates5:07 PM CDT

    My name is Arieanne Yates, but everyone just calls me Arie. I was born on a small island in the Caribbean called Grand Cayman, which is the biggest of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands. My hobbies are basically just music and writing. Music is actually more than just a hobby for me, it’s my life. Since it’s my life and passion, I am a Recording Industry Major with a dual concentration in Audio Production and Music Business with a minor in Entrepreneurship. If I could describe my dream in one sentence I would say, it’s to own my own record label and produce music and manage other artists as well as myself. The reason I took this course is because I’ve always been curious about philosophy, so this is a great way to feed that curiosity as well as get in my honors courses for early registration.

  22. Hello all, if you are bothering to read this, then thank you! I'll try to make it interesting. I'm Andrew, and I like to consider myself a "deep thinker". I've always been very observant of people and events going on around me, and at the same time very empathetic of others' thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Hence my interest (and major) in Psychology. This is my 2nd year at MT, and I've already found to have this whole college thing down much better the second time around. Some of the things in life I enjoy most include: working with and nurturing children, studying Psychology, exploring the world & the outdoors, long-distance running, making friends and developing close relationships, doing things that are new, foreign or thrilling, and last but not least, goofing off and having a fun, adventurous time. I am largely a kind, empathetic, and non-judgmental person, so I look forward to getting to know some of you all.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. (H1) Hello, my name is Stephanie Elise Carpenter. I am a Psychology major and a Non-Profit Management minor. I am also a Resident Assistant on campus. During our training this semester I was made aware of exactly how strongly one title influences every aspect of who I am and what I do. Yes, I am a psychology student, a Resident Assistant, a daughter, a former athlete, a GED recipient, an advocate for many things, and any other label you could put on me. However, the label of being a victim/survivor of bullying has affected every aspect of my life. I am a psychology major (and will be going to grad school) because I want to spend the rest of my life researching bullying and creating a new way to help both bullied children and the bullies. I am a nonprofit management minor because I am trying to start an online based nonprofit (Through the Mind into the Heart). Every interaction I have I attempt to make as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. I strive to never make anyone feel the way I felt when I was bullied, and I speak up when I hear or see others bullying people. I am one of the lucky few that has been able to turn their experience of bullying into their life's ambition, rather than it being what holds me back.
    I am in this class because I needed a general education spot filled, I chose Philosophy because it sounded much more interesting to me than my other options, and Caroline Duncan had recommended Dr. Oliver to me previously. I am a little fuzzy on EXACTLY what philosophy is, but I do love hypothesizing about why things are the way they are.

  24. Grace Tipton5:58 PM CDT


    I'm a Senior and a German major, and had a double-major in Piano Performance until this past summer when I injured my arms. I've travelled some in my life; spending several months in Austria and driving around the US. I've recently developed a great interest in philosophy, and this is the most excited I've been for a gen ed in a long time. I'm in the class on purpose.

    1. Amendment: I'm actually in H1.

  25. (H1) Hello, my name is Nicholas Shank. My family and I were born in Ohio however, in 2008, we moved to Tennessee because my parents felt it was a better area in terms of finance and for escaping the north's climate. I grew up here having to change my accent and pick up on the completely different terminology, even only having moved a couple states down. I have been sometimes fascinated in philosophy during high school when we would touch on the subject, however, it never stayed with me long. And although, I wouldn't have gone out of my path in Computer Science to take a class on philosophy as it was one of my options, I decided to take it as it seems interesting compared to most other options. And I believe I will enjoy the class. I think that it will help me understand my own and others' philosophy, and perhaps I can look back to the move and see how not only accent and terminology changes, but perhaps even philosophy.

    1. H1(the best H) My names Christian and yes I am a Christian (although not extremely religious). I am a lover of many things sports, classic movies, eclectic music, animals, farming and above all else my family and friends. I would much rather burry my head in my lap top and have my ears blown out by ear buds then anything else. As for why I am here philosiphically I am here to take up energy that would other wise be wasted on other living organisms. More directly I am here because college seemed like the place to be.

  26. Roseanna Durnell8:20 PM CDT

    Hi everybody! My name is Roseanna Durnell but I go by Rosie. I am a sophomore biology student going the pre med course in hopes to become a cardio thoracic surgeon. I guess that kind of explains why I'm here at college...I'm in this class to explore a part of myself that i usually don't get to: my perspective on things. In most classes its all about memorizing and regurgitating what the professor says. I get it. It's necessary for most subjects, but I feel this will be a nice change of pace from what I'm use to.

  27. H2
    Hi! My name's Caroline Gunter and i'm from a small town called Auburntown TN. I'm a freshman and currently undecided, although i'm considering dance. I love dance (specifically ballet) and have been practicing for 5 years now. I love anything in the arts, cats, coffee, and food. I have a cute rabbit named General Moot, a cat named Jingles, and my favorites, my pet chickens (They don't get cool names). I ended up here (MTSU) due to it's location, price, and (to give it some credit) the community. I ended up in philosophy for many reasons. The first, and the most common is that it is a general education credit. The second being that there is not that many classes where the primary goal is not to learn and regurgitate, but to think. I think as humans we are all born natural "Thinkers". We think why, how, if, what, etc. I look forward to this class enriching this natural ability. :)

  28. Hola! Hello! And Salutations to my fellow students. My name is Kyle J. Anteski and I am a Video and Film Major with curiosities in Philosophy and Social Science (Particularly human behavior). I am part of the H2 group and I really do enjoy the atmosphere already. I currently live here in Murfreesboro but prior to that I lived over seas in England close to 7 years. I've lived on the East and West Coasts of the United States and have gone as far East as Crete (that's near Greece for those unaware). I guess I would like to state now that I do not see myself as a normal person due to certain circumstances in my life and many will often hear that I refer to myself as a Dragon. Anyway... so why am I here? Well I will answer that a few ways. 1) I feel I am here on earth to promote change and to help guide people that need it. 2)I'm here at MTSU because it was the Best school in my opinion. 3) I'm in the class to fulfill my honors hours but also to learn a little more about philosophy from a western standpoint seeing as my interests are a little more eastern. I look forward to the classes to come and the discussions to be had!

  29. 1030 H2
    Hello everyone, my name is Allison Wheeley and I am a sophomore with Business Administration as my major. I was raised with the belief that college was the best way to help you both get and advance in a career, so here I am. I picked MTSU because it was fairly close to where I live (I commute) and it was the cheapest option. I'm taking this philosophy class because it fulfilled my honors hours and it seemed like an interesting course to take. I feel like it would be a good way to hear about the different perspectives people have and maybe gain a new way to think about things myself.

  30. Ben Waldecker12:33 AM CDT

    My name is Ben Waldecker, I'm a freshman, and as of right now I am an audio production major. I took this class in order to fill an honors credit and because I thought it would be interesting, and hopefully I will learn more about what philosophy is

  31. Ben Waldecker12:33 AM CDT

    My name is Ben Waldecker, I'm a freshman, and as of right now I am an audio production major. I took this class in order to fill an honors credit and because I thought it would be interesting, and hopefully I will learn more about what philosophy is

  32. Terry Barkley10:31 AM CDT


    Hello! My name is Terry Marie Barkley. I was born in Texas and then raised in Dickson, a town about an hour west of Nashville. I love reading, writing, debating, hiking, and adventure. I'm a freshman communications major. I decided to attend MTSU because of its relative affordability and quality education. I took this class because I am interested in deep thinking, sharing ideas and beliefs, and bettering myself as a person. In a broader general sense, I am here on this Earth simply to love God, love people, and love myself. I aspire to run a missions organization or go to law school after MTSU. Ultimately, I aspire to be happy in life.

  33. Sommer Loveland11:52 AM CDT

    Hello! My name is Sommer Loveland and I am a freshman here at MTSU. I've lived in Murfreesboro for about 8 years now and chose MTSU because of it's location and affordability. I'm a very indecisive person so it makes sense that I'm undecided about my major, though I would love a career where I can travel. I'm excited to see where this class goes and how it will change my point of view.

  34. H2
    It's nice to virtually meet everyone! My name is Tristan. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee nearly 20 years ago and currently reside on a couch in a dear friend's house here in Murfreesboro. I enjoy Oreos, bicycles, white water rafting, and trying to climb rocks with friends. I've never ridden a roller coaster so if anyone is going anytime soon give me a shout. I've been to several beautiful countries but find that East Tennessee is an wonderful oddity in the southeast that is home to some of my fondest memories. My favorite times of the year are summer and week of welcome here at MTSU because of the free pizza in front of the Student Union. I'm attending MTSU because it was recommended by a friend that I'll never be able to thank enough for. I'm taking Dr. Oliver's Philosophy course because it's honors and it counts as a humanities or fine arts.. or something like that. Here's to an exciting semester!

  35. Anonymous1:37 PM CDT

    Hello, my name is David Barger. I am an Undecided Freshman at MTSU. I grew up in Nashville, and moved into the dorms here with a close friend from Highschool. I feel like I either think too much and don't say enough, or think little and become too impulsive. I chose this class in order to help me focus on being vigilant to the undertones in life, and to experience other opinions and ideas. I enjoy time to myself to reflect, but I would rather spend that time reflecting with others. I hope this class will give me that opportunity.

  36. Jordan Nickell2:08 PM CDT


    Hello, I am Jordan. I'm originally from Jackson, TN but came to MTSU to get as far away from my original home as I could while still being close enough in case of emergency. I'm currently a sophomore majoring in Film and Video Production. I’m still deciding whether or not to take on a second major and what else I enjoy enough to dedicate my life to. Whether or not I figure that out, I am looking to explore different viewpoints through film while also expressing my own. I'm the type of person who would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it, or better yet, be the person sitting in a dark room who assembles and perfects the product. Like most people I tend to be different in different social situations, and while quiet in public when amongst friends I will more readily express my views and thoughts.
    While it does serve as a required gen ed and honors credit, philosophy is also an interesting subject that I have yet to really learn about. Quite a number of my friends recommended that I take this class, and they seemed to get a lot from the class, so here I am, ready to learn about philosophies other than nihilism. I have yet to really develop or discover my own personal philosophy, and I am hoping that this class will enlighten me enough to set me on the path to figuring it out.

  37. (H1)

    Hey guys, my name is Charles Danuser, but I go by Jake. I just moved to Murfreesboro from right outside of Johnson City, TN. I am taking philosophy because I believe that philosophical speculation, both inward and outward is the way to unlock an understanding that leads to true happiness. I also enjoy philosophical conjecture, a thing that is getting rarer and rarer these days, so I look forward to learning and debating each day in class.

  38. (H1)

    Hey guys, my name is Charles Danuser, but I go by Jake. I just moved to Murfreesboro from right outside of Johnson City, TN. I am taking philosophy because I believe that philosophical speculation, both inward and outward is the way to unlock an understanding that leads to true happiness. I also enjoy philosophical conjecture, a thing that is getting rarer and rarer these days, so I look forward to learning and debating each day in class.

  39. Kaite Berry (H01)4:01 PM CDT

    Little late to the party, but I am Kaite Berry, or you can just call me Berry or whatever fits! I am from McMinnville, TN and plan on moving to the Murfreesboro area soon! I took philosophy because having a personal philosophy is what I feel should be extremely important to yourself and your future, yet I do not have one of my own. I hope to develop my own philosophy by the end of this semester. I'd also like to hear what many great minds and great thinkers believe about luck, considering I have always had the worst luck imaginable.

    1. That's really nice! Having a personal philosophy is very important, so I agree with you.

  40. Kaite Berry (H01)4:06 PM CDT

    Also, for anyone low on cash and still needing the books, I found all 3 on bookzzz.org and just printed them off. Be prepared to use ALOT of paper!!

  41. (H01) Hi, I'm Laurel Koenig. The post office claims I live in Hampton, TN but I actually live about another 15/20 minutes up the mountain from there. We used to have our own post office, and then we were Tolly Town but Mr. Tolly died and his post office shut down with him. I'm in philosophy because I felt like it would be a good class, and it filled several much needed requirements. I don't like when people ask open ended questions with the intent of judging (in the true definition not the popular connotation) you.

  42. (H01) Hi, I'm Laurel Koenig. The post office claims I live in Hampton, TN but I actually live about another 15/20 minutes up the mountain from there. We used to have our own post office, and then we were Tolly Town but Mr. Tolly died and his post office shut down with him. I'm in philosophy because I felt like it would be a good class, and it filled several much needed requirements. I don't like when people ask open ended questions with the intent of judging (in the true definition not the popular connotation) you.

  43. (H02)Hello, I am Robin Dixon. I'm a recording industry major from Memphis, TN, who enjoys the outdoors and, somewhat ironically, also gaming, music, and film. I am in intro to philosophy mainly because I need a fine arts/ humanities credit, however, I find philosophy intriguing and that is why i selected it over the other options.

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. H2
    Hey, I am Peyton Lee. I desire to become an accounting major. I have fallen in love with budgeting setting up books for businesses and the prospect of owning my own business. I am also a teacher at a local martial arts gym, and also attend classes there when I can. I came to MTSU because this is the town where I grew up in and because my first option was only going to pay for a third of my total costs, but either way I was going to go to college. I have a desire to learn that was so hard to crave in high school because of the teaching to test mentality and the slow pace they moved at in most of my classes.

  46. H2-TTh 1-2:25, H118

    Hi, my name is Morgan Noel. I am theoretically a freshman here at MTSU and I am a Poli-Sci major. I hope to become a Discrimination lawyer and to be able to do Animal Cruelty cases on the side pro-bono. Taking philosophy and German is a sort of "family tradition" and I very much enjoy both which is why I am taking this class. I hope it goes as well as it did for my other family members and I am so excited to learn and grow with my fellow classmates!

  47. (H01) Hey everybody! My name is J'darius Cameron or just Jd if that works better. I am from Chattanooga, TN and here at MTSU to major in marketing. Back home, I've played pretty much any instrument you can think of at one time or another. I also started to write music personally and for band/orchestra. I also wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a Tv show that I had to make for my senior project but I guess that's neither here nor there. In the end, I guess you could say that the reason I'm here is because at first I needed an Hrs class but now I kept it because I thought it would be a good class.

  48. (H01)
    Hey y'all, I'm Melissa Hayden, but I go by my middle name Ann. I'm from Georgia, a county about an hour North of Atlanta. I'm a transfer sophomore majoring in criminal justice. Two interesting things about me is I'm seventeen, and I'm deaf in my left ear. I took this class just to fulfill my course requirements,but I hope this reason changes by December!

  49. Anonymous8:56 PM CDT

    Hi everyone! My name is Catherine Backus, or Cat for short. I am a freshman here at MTSU with an undecided major. I moved to Tennessee from California a few years ago with my family. My high school was Stewarts Creek high in Smyrna, which I graduated from a year early. I love to travel and have been on several mission trips over the past couple of years. I'm excited to learn new things and hear other people's perspectives in this class!

  50. (H1)
    Hey everyone, my name is jonathan sierk and im a freshman with a currently undecided major. I do however have interests in psychology, music, and pharmacology. I was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and moved down to Nashville when i was 5. I really enjoy music of all genres and have been in band since the fifth grade. I also did 4 years of marching band in high school. Now for as why I'm here, well I've always had an interest psychology and a desire to learn more about it.

  51. Conner McCloud10:17 PM CDT

    Hello, everyone! I'm Conner, and I'm a massive geek about space, tabletop RPGs, and the human brain. I was born in Maryland but I've been in Tennessee for most of my life now. I'm here because I've heard good things about the course, and I'd like to benefit from a bunch of people who had some genuinely interesting, innovative thoughts. I'm also really, really stoked about the whole walking outside thing. I've never taken anything like a philosophy course so far, so I'm quite excited about the prospect!

  52. Michael "Pemo" Maldonado10:47 PM CDT


    HI, (1) I am Michael Maldonado but go by Pemo (pronounced "Nemo" but with a "P."); I am from Puerto Rico and moved here on 2001; I am a gamer who loves psychology and nature, alongside philosophy. (2) I am here because I want help in expressing myself clearer when it comes to philosophical talks and I want to learn more about Plato/Aristotle/Socrates.

  53. (H1) Hello. My name is Tristan Horn. I am a freshman computer science major from Pleasant View, TN. I have lived in many different places across several states, and I gave up trying to meet new people every single time awhile ago, so sorry if I'm not the easiest person to get to know. I don't know how I will react to philosophy; on one hand, I am a very logical thinker and a realist who tries to see the world how it is, not how I want it to be. But, on the other, I find I often lose myself in music and the deep lore of fantasy worlds. So, although I may not be very creative, I do like to think long and hard about the certain existential concepts from time to time. I want to learn about ancient philosophies and schools of thought that most of the world has forgotten over the centuries.

  54. (H020 My name is Nicholas Phillips and i came from a graduating class of forty people, 23,000 is quite the shock. I am a Freshman Music Education (with an instrumental focus) Major. I am also in Band of Blue. Thats basically me. Im here the expand my horizons and look at different points of view compared to my strict Christian upbringing.