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How to Start a Philosophy Club

There are a few different ways you can start a philosophy club in a high school, but each involves some common factors. No philosophy can have just one person, as philosophy does not bloom in isolation. Even
if you find a group of interested peers, all of this is also dependent on your school and teachers. The methods that are best suited for your school will depend on whether or not you already have an established philosophy program.

Starting A Philosophy Club in a School Without Formally Established Philosophy Courses

Before anyone can start a philosophy club in a school without formal philosophy courses, a question must be answered. How does one become interested in philosophy when the education system does not typically expose students to philosophy? This is a hard question to answer, but one of the easiest ways to introduce philosophy to students in the school system is through a philosophy club. Once you find peers who are interested in philosophy, the first hurdle has been passed. The next hurdle of starting a philosophy club in a school without formally established courses is finding a faculty advisor.


A faculty advisor is a member of your high school faculty or staff that acts as a liaison between the administration and the organization when necessary. A good way to go about finding a faculty advisor is by reaching out to your teachers in English and history departments, since their classes are focused on skills that are either historically or literary centered, which are linked to early philosophical development. Another method for seeking for a faculty advisor can be by asking if any of your teachers has a background or interest in philosophy. This can be beneficial since the teacher can relate topics discussed back to philosophical texts. If this is not possible, there is still another option. If a teacher or faculty member does not have a formal philosophical training, it may be helpful for facility advisors to help with converting existing online lectures into lesson plans that work for philosophy club. Once tying all three methods and acquiring a faculty advisor, it is now time to move to the next task: finding a time and space.

Finding a Time & Space

Once finding both an interested group of peers and a faculty advisor, it is now time to find a time and place for the club to meet. Here, great consideration should be given to time and consistency. Without a proper time, peers may not be able to make it. Without a location, a lack of seriousness can be perceived. Without consistency, a club may crumble. The following is recommended when considering a time and place.


Make sure to pick a day that will work for the majority of people. This will help clubs maintain a consistent attendance. It is also a good idea to keep in mind other events going on around school. It is in the best interest to plan for a day that is usually the least busy.

When considering the time of the day to hold meetings, it is recommended to make it directly after school. It would be wise to start a club five to ten minutes after school has formally been released or when your school’s designated club times are.

Once picking a day and a time, you need to pick the duration of the meeting. For example, the Ball State University philosophy club meets for an hour and fifteen minutes, while Muncie Central High School’s club meets for forty-five minutes. It is recommended to have about an hour given the nature of a philosophy discussion, but this might be determined by your school’s allotted period for club meetings.

After setting all the time and dates for philosophy club, it is now time to make sure the

space can be available for that time. Most any room will do, as long as it is a room that can be reserved and has space to sit and show presentations. You can also see if your faculty advisor’s classroom is available.


Once the time and place has been agreed upon, stick to it! It is critical that consistency is maintained. Keeping it consistent will reduce on the possibility of confusion about when and where meetings are, boosting attendance.


Once gathering a group of interested peers, finding a faculty member to be your advisor, and setting a time and location, you are on your way to having a philosophy club in your high school! While the ease or difficulty of this task will differ from school to school, following this advice should guide your way through this project. This alone will not guarantee a successful philosophy club, but this will help open the door for the establishment of a philosophy club.

How to Maintain a Philosophy Club

Now that you have created a philosophy club, the next question to ask is: How do we maintain it? There are a number of methods for maintenance of a club, and each have their own benefits and downfalls. One universal method is simply by having distinct roles regarding planning activities, mission developing, or presenting.

When beginning to assign roles for the maintenance of a philosophy club, establishing office positions is advisable. Students tend to be more attracted to extra-curricular activities when they are student-centered, and students are able to take on positions of responsibility. One system employed by many philosophy clubs is to divide responsibilities into four roles: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

Thoroughly listening to others in order to understand their perspective, values, and experiences a skill often developed by philosophy majors that is the core of many healthy interactions, as philosophy promotes open-mindedness.


Electing people to each of the four roles will help keep your philosophy club going! It’s easier to maintain a club than it is to rebuild a club from scratch year after year. If you plan on using this method, it is recommended to set guidelines on how long each person holds the role, and this might come in the form of a constitution or bylaws. It is easy to make each role last a school year, with voting to elect officers. Once this is complete, the founding of a club has been achieved!


The role of the president consists of making sure that the meeting runs as smoothly as possible. Some of the president’s responsibilities might include the following: making sure a room is reserved and that there is a presentation planned every week. No room means no or an ill-equipped club meeting. This may result in the president having to make an “on the spot” presentation if something falls through.


Some of the secretary’s responsibilities might include the following: keeping minutes, taking attendance,

and maintaining non-financial records. This information can be used to show the club’s growth and where the club has room to improve.

Vice President

Some of the vice president’s responsibilities might include the following: sending emails or distributing advertisements for the club, filling in when the president cannot attend a meeting, or presenting in the event of an “on the spot” presentation.


Some of the treasurer’s responsibilities might include the following: overseeing any funds and club expenditures. Expenditures might include club shirts or snacks.

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