Philosophy: A Perspective from Professor Omoge and his Students


Background Information

Professor Omoge, photo submitted.

Assistant Professor Michael Omoge is known for his engaging teaching style and deep understanding of a wide range of philosophical and ethical topics. He is not only a respected member of the Fine Arts and Humanities faculty at Augustana, but he is also an avid fan of football, his favorite team being Manchester United, an enthusiast of video games, fantasy novels, and movies. He also has a dream of going to space one day.

In the upcoming Winter 2023 term, Professor Omoge will be teaching three courses that delve into some of the most fascinating and challenging ideas in Western philosophy. These courses are AUPHI 260 – Ethics, AUPHI 102 – Introduction to Western Philosophy II: Modern Philosophy, and AUREL 257 – Modern Ethics. 

Throughout these classes, students will have the opportunity to explore some of the most important and influential ideas in philosophy and ethics, and gain a deeper understanding of the world around us.


Professor Omoge obtained his Ph.D. at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2020, where he also earned his MA in 2017.

Prior to that, he earned his BA in 2012 at the University of Benin. With this impressive educational background, Professor Omoge brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his teaching and research, making him an asset to the Augustana faculty and a respected expert in his field.


Since July 2022, Professor Omoge has been an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Black Studies at the University of Alberta. 

Prior to this, he held various positions such as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto from July 2021 to June 2022, an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of the Western Cape from July 2020 to June 2021, and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal from February 2018 to February 2020.


To gain a deeper understanding of Associate Professor Omoge’s teaching style and the impact of his class on students, I conducted an interview with him, and two students enrolled in his three-week philosophy course. 

The interview proved to be incredibly informative, as Professor Omoge and the students shared their perspectives on the class, the course material, and the learning experience. Through their responses, I gained a unique insight into the inner workings of the class and the impact that Professor Omoge has on his students.

The following is a transcript of the interview, in which I asked Professor Omoge and the students a series of questions about their experience in the class.

Questions With Professor Omoge

Q: What inspired you to become a philosophy professor, and what do you find most rewarding about teaching philosophy?

A: “Being a philosophy professor is fun. The freedom of thought that it affords is one of its allures that attracted me to the discipline. Nothing is beyond reasoning in philosophy.”

Q: What are some of the most important concepts or ideas that students learn in your class, and how do you help them understand and engage with these ideas?

A: “Critical thinking and clarity of exposition. Philosophy prides itself on clear argumentation, so in my class, I try to instill that into my students. I should also mention that philosophy instills into those who take it seriously the ability to hold one’s belief dearly while simultaneously entertaining, understanding, and engaging with the opposite of one’s belief.”

Professor Omoge emphasizes critical thinking and clarity of exposition as key concepts in his class. He helps students understand and engage with these ideas by providing clear examples and explanations of key concepts, as well as encouraging them to engage in discussions and debates in class. He also encourages students to question their beliefs and consider different perspectives. This helps students to develop a deeper understanding of the material and to become more effective critical thinkers.

Q: What are some common misconceptions or challenges that students have when studying philosophy, and how do you address these in your class?

A: “One big misconception about philosophy is that it doesn’t add anything to real life. Philosophy does not bake bread, it is popularly said. But that is a big misconception. Philosophy is not the only mother of all disciplines, but it is very practical. It is useful in policymaking, developing life skills that are useful in any facet of life, and so on. In my class, I try to demonstrate these practical uses of philosophy to my students.”

Professor Omoge addresses common misconceptions students have about philosophy by highlighting the practical applications of the subject, and emphasizes the importance of philosophy in helping students develop critical thinking and analytical skills, which are valuable in any field. Through class discussions and examples, he helps students to understand how philosophy can be applied to real-life situations and see the subject as relevant and useful.

Q: Can you tell me about a particularly memorable or impactful experience you’ve had teaching philosophy?

A: “I love everything about teaching philosophy. Every moment has been impactful. It is difficult to settle on one.”

Q: How do you see the field of philosophy evolving in the coming years?

A: “I see the field of philosophy evolving into a multidisciplinary one. I see philosophy regaining its relevance to society at large and to students in particular. In fact, currently, thanks to the system at Augustana, I have students from all over in my class. This exposes them to philosophical thinking and writing, and some of them are already falling in love with it. The same allure of freedom of thought, speech, and writing that intrigued me is already pulling them in.”

In this interview, Associate Professor Omoge shared his insights on his passion for teaching philosophy, the key concepts and ideas covered in his class, the misconceptions and challenges students often face when studying philosophy, and his memorable experiences in the classroom. He also provided his perspective on how the field of philosophy is evolving in the coming years. His responses provide a unique and personal perspective on the subject and give readers a deeper understanding of the inner workings of his class.

The interview with Professor Omoge sets the stage for the next section where we hear from two of his students, who provide their own perspectives on the class and their experiences as students of Professor Omoge.

Interview with Gabriella Friend

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Gabriella Friend is a first-year student with a major in Chemical and Physical Sciences. She likes to read, travel and wants to get a Ph.D. in Physics. Photo submitted

Q: What made you interested in taking this philosophy class?

A: “I have always been curious about philosophy – I learned a few things about it in High School and never got the chance to explore this field until I came to Augustana.”

Q: What have been some of the most interesting or challenging concepts or ideas you’ve encountered in the class?

A: “The concept of Plato’s “World of Forms” has been very interesting to me – it states that there is a world of abstracts in which perfection exists, and everything in our world is an imperfect reflection of these forms.”

Q: How has taking this class changed the way you think about the world or certain issues?

A: “This class has made me think about life and all issues in regard to the three major concepts in philosophy – epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. I can better understand social issues and human interaction with the knowledge from this class.”

Q: How does the Professor approach teaching, and how does it help you to learn better?

A: “The Professor for this class uses split teaching. We do readings outside of class, and during class, there are lectures and discussions relevant to the readings. He makes sure to engage with his students and provides an opportunity to demonstrate learning by assigning essay questions that are either constructed by himself or his students. The workload in this class was not overwhelming, which gave me a chance to engage in the class and spend time thinking about the content, and not trying to complete an absurd amount of work.”

Q: How has this class impacted your perspective on life?

A: “This class has equipped me with certain tools to look at life- such as learning about ten different approaches to philosophy from different philosophers, and the professor encouraging us to engage and apply the information we have learned to other topics and real-world situations.

Interview with David Ogunmodede

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David is a second-year Computer Science student who hopes to own his business in the future. Photo submitted.

Q: What made you interested in taking this philosophy class?

A: “This was my first philosophy class and I wanted to know what philosophy was all about.”

Q: What may have been some of the most interesting or challenging concepts or ideas you’ve encountered in the class?

A: “I enjoyed when we did radical philosophers like Karl Max, Plato, and Aristotle.

Q: How has taking this class changed the way you think about the world or certain issues?

A: “It has made me to realize that there are always different views, and everyone’s view is not necessarily wrong, but just someone’s perspective.

Q: How does the Professor approach teaching, and how does it help you to learn better?

A: “He made us read a chapter before class, and we discussed that chapter and the professor answered all our questions in class.

Q: How has this class impacted your perspective on life?

A: I have realized that there are different views, and I should listen to everyone’s views.


In conclusion, the interviews with Professor Omoge and his two students provide a unique insight into the inner workings of the philosophy class and its impact on the students. As Professor Omoge shared, philosophy is a vibrant and multidisciplinary field, with a range of practical applications. His passion for teaching and encouraging students to engage with different perspectives is evident in the responses of the two students. Through their perspectives, we understand how the class has helped them to think more deeply about the world and the issues they face. It is clear that Professor Omoge has had a positive and lasting impact on his students, making the philosophy class an invaluable learning experience.

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