Agora Club: Philosophy, Current Events, Pizza

By Crystal Green / VN STAFF WRITER

An agora is a public open space used for assemblies and markets.

It was the center of public life in ancient Greek city-states, and it’s the public square where Socrates would do his philosophizing. 

Today, Detroit Mercy Philosophy Department hosts agora-style dialogues. 

“The idea came about a year ago,” said David Koukal, professor of philosophy. “It was inspired by the English department. They started doing creative writing workshops at the school, where students would gather, have pizza and talk about writing and other topics of discussion. I thought, ‘Well, we could do something like this in philosophy.’ ”

And so the Agora Dialogue Group was born on campus.

The group discusses issues through philosophical lenses.

The first meeting was held in February and the topic was fake news. 

“We had about 10 people, a combo of students and faculty, which was a pretty good turnout for a first meeting,” said Koukal.    “We had some Little Caesars pizza and sat around and talked for probably about an hour and a half.” 

Koukal ran the meeting and has invited any and all who are interested to join in the discussion. 

The department hopes to host two or three meetings per term. 

The next one is scheduled for mid-March. 

Those who attended February’s meeting offered suggestions for next month’s discussion. 

Suggested topics included whether universities or colleges should be safe spaces, the impact of social media on society today, President Trump’s truthfulness and climate change. 

All are welcome to attend.

For information contact Koukal at