About 70 debate and gifted high school students attended a recent workshop, "The Philosopher Goes to the Beach: Environmental Philosophy and the Oceans," sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Fort Hays State University.
Students attended from high schools in Abilene, Chapman, Hays, Ellsworth, Salina and Bushton.
Keynote speaker Dr. Gary Hulett, emeritus professor of biology at FHSU, spoke on resource allocation and questioned the moral obligations individuals have to preserve of the environment and oceans.
Students, who were all given case studies days prior to the workshop, were divided into six groups after Hulett's presentation to discuss those case studies. FHSU students, Logan Bonner, Scott City senior, Kevin Malone, Dodge City senior, Ryan Leiker, Hays junior, Rob Byer, Larned sophomore, Brent Saindon, Wichita senior, and Amanda Nelson, Canton senior, served as discussion leaders along with FHSU staff and Cameron Liggett, educator for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
The afternoon featured Dr. Douglas Drabkin, associate professor of philosophy, and Dr. Eugene Rice, assistant professor of philosophy, discussing the philosophy of exploitation and holistic approaches to environmental justice.
Various students said that the workshop made them think about the addressed issues. They also noted that they enjoyed listening to the views of others.
Sponsors attending said that the students benefit from such philosophical exposure because it helps them voice their opinion rather than being approached with a right or wrong issue.