Josh Nathanson: 'I've learned to structure arguments logically, to anticipate counterarguments and to communicate clearly'

May 8, 2020

Josh Nathanson​

Government & Philosophy

Needham, Ma

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

Perhaps most importantly, I've learned to structure arguments logically, to anticipate counterarguments and to communicate clearly. I've become much more comfortable thinking and writing about policy, world politics, philosophy and history.

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

I went to Logos as soon as I came to Cornell. It was a small club, but the atmosphere was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The conversations were engaging, and the members were intense and passionate. Three years later, as a senior, I served as president, and along with the rest of the executive board, I had the opportunity to bring Logos to a variety of Cornell students. We started traditions that could last for a long time, and that has been very meaningful for me.

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

I have learned over the past four years that many of the subjects I once believed were isolated from each other are actually closely connected. As students and professors challenged the way I understood history, politics, policy and philosophy, I repeatedly revised my view of the world.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Somebody told me before I went to college to "immerse" myself in the experience, and now, looking back, I couldn't agree more. At Cornell, you are surrounded by some of the brightest minds in the world. I've had days that begin with a discussion on the Middle East led by an expert in Israeli politics and end with a discussion on consciousness led by another student. I've attended events with some of the most influential politicians in the country. I've actually researched a subject, discovered that my professor is the foremost expert and spoken with him about his research. There are opportunities at Cornell that will deepen your understanding of the world, and they are open to any student.


  Josh Nathanson