Read the sixith Issue of PNW’s Philosophy Magazine: “Symphony of Reason!”

December 7, 2022
Great Egret over Pond

Welcome to PNW’s philosophy magazine, pioneered and created by Deepa Majumdar. The purpose of this magazine is to encourage philosophical reflection and creativity in PNW students. In this ​third issue, we have ​seven authentic student voices reflecting on a range of authors (Plato, Descartes, Epictetus, etc.) and topics (truth, historiography, etc.).

Volume ​III, Issue 2 (Fall 202​2) is organized in ​four genres: essay, experience, translation and philosophical poetry. Each volume (two issues) covers a calendar year and each issue a semester.

Like its predecessors, the current issue of Symphony of Reason, Purdue University Northwest’s philosophy magazine, offers its readers a great variety of thought-provoking writings. Prose and poetry, East and West, philosophy, religion, law, and love – all of these may be found here!

Caroline R. Weber starts things off with a guided tour through The Dhammapada, the work that collects the teachings of the Buddha. Though many Americans are unfamiliar with the religions of the East, Weber makes the point that Buddhism, a non-theistic religion that focuses on “healing advice on how to live a joyful life,” may well appeal to “the younger and more skeptical generation’s wish to ease suffering.”

Next up is Kevin A. Kliver’s scholarly and insightful essay on the philosophy of law. Focusing primarily on the ideas of H. L. A. Hart and Ronald Dworkin, two of the leading legal theorists of the last sixty years, Kliver tackles the contentious issue of the connection between law and morality. Readers will have little difficulty discerning the relevance of this issue to the current political climate in the United States.

Christopher J. Morrison’s “Traits” is the initial entry in this issue’s poetry section. Morrison pulls off the difficult feat of creating high art about a dismal contemporary subject, the pandemic. And the point he makes about our virtues (and vices) in this context is one that Aristotle would have appreciated!

The prolific Kayla Vasilko, a regular contributor to this magazine, follows with two elegant poems, both of which address environmental concerns from both an ethical and an aesthetic standpoint. (And there is more to them than that. You must read them yourself!) The issue concludes with a kind of symposium on love. Jadon Hearns contributes two writings on this subject – a love poem and a substantial “Poem Note” explicating not only the poem but also his intriguing thoughts on love more generally.

Kayla Vasilko then returns with “Mosaic,” which I would describe as a prose poem, defined as “a piece of writing in prose having obvious poetic qualities, including intensity, compactness, prominent rhythms, and imagery” (Oxford Languages English Dictionary). Somehow, she succeeds in maintaining a high literary quality throughout the piece even though it is studded with quotations from such philosophers as Plato, Kant, Aristotle, the Buddha, and Augustine.

The symposium (and this issue) concludes with an essay by Dr. Deepa Majumdar, the editor and founder of The Symphony of Reason. In its first paragraph Dr. Majumdar asserts that today “people are lonelier than ever before.” As this quotation might suggest, her essay is not on love generally, but rather is focused more specifically on modern love. However, when referring to modern love in her title, she puts the word “love” inside quotation marks. If you read her essay–which you should – you will see why!

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For more information, please contact Deepa Majumdar, D.S.Sc. at