University What the fork: Chidi Anagonye to join DLSU Philo dep’t
University What the fork: Chidi Anagonye to join DLSU Philo dep’t
What the fork: Chidi Anagonye to join DLSU Philo dep’t

Described as an excellent lecturer with bizarre antics, the infamous Chidi Anagonye is set to become a faculty member of the DLSU Department of Philosophy. Known for his keen knowledge of moral philosophy, the new professor is also fluent in French, English, German, Greek, and Latin—with hopes that the ancient Roman language would be revived.

Anagonye admits that applying for DLSU was not an immediate decision and battled between choosing rival campuses. “I couldn’t choose between blue and green, first and foremost the colors, and what if the university I choose doesn’t win the UAAP, or what if it falls off the THE World University Rankings?” he rambles. 

Ultimately, Anagonye made his choice based on which university replied to his application first but notes that it still took him well over five months to respond back.

Academic, philosophical background

Anagonye first made waves as a moral philosophy professor at St. John’s University in Australia, with most of his lectures founded on T.M. Scanlon’s book, What We Owe To Each Other, which centers on the theory of contractualism, the idea that a person would abide by principles that no other people could “reasonably reject.” Some of his former students have raised concerns about the book being too dense and difficult to understand. Nevertheless, Anagonye made it clear that it will remain a fixed reading in his class.

He shares how his obscure master’s thesis developed after being approached by Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman from Arizona. Shortly after narrating her near-death experience and desire to become a better person, Anagonye echoed his story of almost being hit by a faulty air-conditioning unit because of his indecisiveness. 

“I realized Eleanor and I shared the same experience. We have nothing in common, except that we almost died and wanted to become better people,” he recalls. 

After writing a 3,600-page unfinished thesis—that he eventually abandoned—Anagonye expresses his delight at coming to a final thesis topic on near-death experiences and ethical decision-making. He compares this to his previous decision-induced breakdowns, like having to choose which muffin to purchase.

In due time, he began his ethical neuroscience study with a focus group composed of competitive socialite Tahani Al-Jamil, “pre-successful” DJ Jason Mendoza, and Shellstrop, who all had their own near-death experiences.

From chili pots to shirtless shopping

Anagonye’s antics have gained as much attention as his philosophical knowledge. In his previous professorial tenure, he once cooked a chili pot with peeps and M&M candies while discussing Western philosophy. According to Shellstrop, who stumbled upon the “cool lecture,” the ethics and moral philosophy professor strongly argued that nihilism—a philosophy that asserts life’s ultimate meaninglessness—is the best ethical system to abide by. 

Anagonye’s former student Olivia Jones recounts that her professor failed to announce any concrete details about an upcoming exam at the time. “He was going back and forth and said that there was a test but at the same time there wasn’t and that the students both get A’s and F’s, then we were suddenly dismissed early,” she recalls.  

On the same day, at a local grocery, Anagonye drew the attention of working personnel after a shopper complained about the professor doing groceries shirtless while supposedly rambling on about German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s quotes. His students—and a few friends—have poked fun at how surprisingly attractive Anagonye was when he was photographed shirtless. 

“Chidi would look good in a mailman costume—not that I’m into that kind of thing,” Shellstrop says.

Teaching at the green place

Several DLSU students, mostly Philosophy and Psychology majors, are excited by the prospect of having Anagonye as their professor, with many praising his ability to impart the practical application of ethical concepts into one’s own life, as seen in the way he conducted class to a study group composed of Shellstrop, Al-Jamil, and Mendoza.  

“I’ll be sure to enlist in his class for my majors,” shares Will Jackson Harper (II, AB-PLM). “Aside from his philosophical expertise, I hope I get an answer to the trolley problem—it’s going to be part of my thesis.”

Despite her reservations, Elena Mendoza (I, BSA) also wants to have Anagonye as her ethics professor. “My cousin from Australia told me that he usually has stomach aches, but he speaks French and is lowkey hot so I guess I could give him a chance.”

Dr. Michael Realman, a full professor from the Philosophy Department, expresses his interest to work with Anagonye on research concerning moral and political philosophy. “Hopefully, he can help me determine if choosing the lesser of two evils is an ethical choice for Philippine voters.”

Anagonye will officially begin teaching at the Manila campus in April next year.