Photo credit: Codgito: student journal of philosophy and theory
Tucked away on the third floor of the Arts and Administration Building, one can find the little slice of intellectual heaven: Memorial University’s Department of Philosophy. Although small, it’s packed with smart students and professors, including those who want to leave their mark.
One such method of leaving a mark was Maxim Sizov’s effort to restart the department’s student newspaper, Codgito.
The name of the magazine is a play on the expression of René Descartes, “cogito ergo sum”, which means “I think therefore I am”. I won’t go into all the philosophical implications of the phrase. However, in the world of philosophy, it is very well known.
The journal title is spelled differently than the Latin wording, but there’s a reason for that. In 1990, the first edition of Codgito has been published. It was spelled as presented (Codgito) due to its geographical origin. The newspaper started in Newfoundland, and they found it necessary to refer to the land. However, when it was changed due to backlash and confusion, our journal lost some of its origins. Starting it over again, Max decided that confusion over the spelling of the name shouldn’t dictate the name of the newspaper and changed it. Spelling is important for our the university and the location, and it was important for Max to pay homage to where we are based and what the name means. Max himself wrote in the editor’s letter: “…we are Codgito: with a story to our name, a relationship to the world, and a connection to more than the self that dominates the Cogito.”
The journal is not solely based on philosophy. He specifies that it is the philosophy and the theory. That way, we now have essays on philosophy and other subjects, like political science, in the first issue. Now that the second call for papers is out, the editorial team is also inviting book reviews, music reviews, and poetry (if anyone is interested).
Talking to Max about Why they started Codgito, they mentioned when they first got involved in the philosophy department at MUN, one person ran the Philosophy Society, and they would be done soon. Therefore, Max started helping organize social events like movie nights and mixes. At that point, it was accepted that Max would be “the next person in line” because they wanted to help. The former president mentioned that there was an old student newspaper, which Max was interested in, especially during the pandemic, due to the inability to organize events. Thus, the revival of Codgito was born.
The first issue of Codgito addresses many issues, both in the world and in our little bubble of university existence.
For example, the anonymous letter to the editor deals with the censorship of students in journalism. In contrast, the editors’ articles also cover deeper issues within the administration. In the letter from the editor, Max wrote about the issue with Matt Barter and the serious implications of his ban from campus, including more censorship. Looking at the deeper issues, Max also wrote, “We’re at a point where many fundamentals of our university are changing, and we believe it’s not for the best.”
Although many of the essays in the journal itself do not necessarily address this topic, the spirit behind the first edition lives within each other, creating a comprehensive student voice in uncertain times for students trying to Express.
Codgito Version 1.1 took over a year to prepare, with plenty of time for editing, typesetting, and all the administrative tasks that come with restarting an inactive journal. It’s not even a process that Max took on alone. It’s a collective effort to be able to make something work on this scale. And to this team, I say congratulations.
Read Codgito, Follow this link. If you want to follow the diary, there’s also an Instagram account with the @codgitojpt handle if you want to give them some love.