News and events
Alexander Marji ’17 (Philosophy) and Robert McCall ’15 (Philosophy, Psychology, and History) have been selected as interns this summer at the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT in Cambridge, MA. This six-week internship exposes students to the innovative ethics and leadership initiatives at MIT's Dalia Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values and provides hands on training in becoming ethical leaders for the 21st century. Beginning with a guided introduction to the Center's mission and activities, interns will go on to develop, implement, and test a project that aligns with both their own interests and the Center's programs. Interns will also prepare and present a final report detailing lessons learned and ideas for the future.
Nine philosophy majors and minors were inducted into Phi Sigma Tau (Eta Chapter) at a festive ceremony on April 24th,. Phi Sigma Tau is the International Honor Society in Philosophy. Founded in 1930, the Society has a network of over 200 chapters throughout the United States and Canada. The purpose of Phi Sigma Tau is to encourage interest and activity among students and to promote ties between philosophy departments in accredited institutions. Congratulations to our latest inductees: Jocelyn Brojakowski, Thomas Gillett, Kimberly Grader, Catherine Metz, Michael Moore, Abel Pinker, Amanda Stopper, Mark Temnycky, and Katelyn Yam. At the ceremony the department announced that Abel Pinker '14 (Philosophy and History) was awarded the Leonard P. Markert Medal in Philosophy as the outstanding graduating philosophy major in 2014. Congratulations and happy graduation, Abel!
Philosophy tackles questions that we all face as creatures alive to the world. The first question, perhaps, is how we should live our life. That question gives way to related questions about the nature of the world, what we can know, how words do things, our political arrangements, our belief in God, and our interest in the things we value (each other, the natural environment, works of art, music, movies, . . .). Many people think about these questions late in their life and anxiously, wondering about the life they've led. Those who study philosophy believe that the solutions to these questions are urgent and central to their happiness, and so they give their thinking over to them early and often.
Why Philosophy at Le Moyne?
At most colleges – and indeed at most graduate universities – philosophy departments are loyal to one of the two Western philosophical traditions of the past two hundred years: either continental philosophy (from the continent of Europe – chiefly Germany and France) or analytic philosophy (the dominant philosophical tradition in Great Britain and the U.S.). Le Moyne's department of philosophy is unusual in being strongly represented in both traditions, so our students gain exposure to the full range of philosophical approaches practiced today.
We are a large philosophy department for a small college with a small number of majors: the ratio of majors to full-time faculty is less than two to one. This means, for majors, a dozen full-time faculty from whom you can choose several to work with closely and get to know well. The department's areas of strength include social and political philosophy, aesthetics (i.e., philosophy of art), ethics, and the history of philosophy (particularly ancient and medieval philosophy).
Because of the prominence of philosophy in Le Moyne's core curriculum, our majors have a fairly open course of study compared to other majors, once their core requirements are out of the way. Thus, as a philosophy major, you have time to pursue interests related to philosophy – for example, in religious studies, political science, literature, or foreign languages – and to pursue other, possibly less-related interests – in theater arts or music, for example, or to satisfy the requirements for teacher certification.
There are several funded enrichment opportunities for philosophy majors at Le Moyne. These include travel to undergraduate philosophy conferences across the country, study abroad and post-graduate fellowships, and participation in Symposium, the student philosophy club.
Prof. Rob Flower, Department of Philosophy
- that most persons, simply by virtue of being human beings, yearn both to understand what it is to be a human being and to savor the mystery of being human at one and the same time;
- that philosophy is our reflective engagement with these twin-yearnings, affording us, as it does, our place twixt understanding and wonderment; seeing and not seeing;
- that we are the meaning beings (the speaking beings), that we yearn for our lives to be meaningful and that philosophy seeks to enhance our lives by empowering us over the word;
- that we are the creatures capable of living nobly and beautifully and that philosophy affords us the opportunity to attune our lives to the sounds of such beauty and the Sublime callings of the noble;
- that liberal education is not a designer luxury in the world of college and university learning; that only as we are liberated from ignorance and prejudice are we liberated toward a humane world;
- that the pursuit of career does not void the challenge of being human nor the necessity of rendering the self capable humane living;
- that the purported divisions between the humanities and the sciences, or worse, between the humanities and the affairs of business, are false dichotomies;
- and, that, ironically, philosophy may be the finest pre-professional mode of study to be had.
It is to these ends that I gather with my students in circles of the word—settings of discourse where, as equals, we seek out our understandings of things that matter—sharing, among ourselves, our reflections, our questions, our stories, and our poetry—members all of a city of speech (dia-logic) within which we might bring into the light of our words the wondrous range of experience that defines us all as human.
Pictured above, left to right, top row: Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche; bottom row: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell;
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