News and Notes


2023 Phi Sigma Tau members, Philosophy Essay Contest and Markert Medal winner

The Philosophy Department held its annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in the Drescher Community Room of the Panasci Family Chapel. Colby Randall, Ize Goodfriend and Jacob Cottet were newly inducted into Phi Sigma Tau, the national philosophy honor society. Amanda Heacock was the winner of the PHL/HON 110 Essay Award, and Ize Goodfriend won the best philosophy elective essay award. The Pamela Johnson Prize in Ethics, awarded to the best essays on the topic of ethics, went to Zidkijah Jagmohan (1st Prize) and Lazara V. Morales Cespedes (2nd prize). And Joseph Malone (Class of 2023) was announced as the winner of the Leonard P. Markert Medal in Philosophy, which is awarded annually to an outstanding graduating philosophy major and is the highest distinction that the philosophy department can bestow on a student. The entire department sends our congratulations to this fine group of scholars!  The awards ceremony was followed by a talk by Department member Dr. Joseph Spino, titled "Whistleblowing: Rarely, if Ever, Obligatory."

Dr. Irene Liu named Fallon Professor

The Department is thrilled to announce that Dr. Irene Liu, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has been awarded the Francis J. Fallon, S.J., Endowed Professorship for the academic years 2022-23 through 2024-25. The Professorship, awarded on the basis of outstanding scholarship, excellence in classroom teaching, and Departmental/College-wide leadership, will allow Dr. Liu to complete a monongraph that addresses the possibility of moral life in a secular world. Tentatively titled On Humaneness, the work draws on ideas in Aristotelian, Existentialist, and Confucian thought, and engages with modern virtue ethicists and ethical naturalists, to offer a defense of spirituality in secular morality.

New Minor: Ethics, Values, and Professional Life

"Ethics, Values, and Professional Life" is an ethics minor in the broadest construal of the word. Its goal is to help students live better lives by engaging with questions of personal values, ultimate meaning, and professional ethics. Students are encouraged to set their personal and professional goals into the broader context of what it means to live meaningful lives as responsible members of their communities and citizens of the world. Accordingly, the courses in this minor will address topics in applied ethics, moral psychology, and social justice as they appear in real-life situations. The minor consists of five courses. Introduction to Philosophy (PHL110) and Moral Philosophy (PHL210), both of which are core requirements, count towards the minor. The remaining three courses consist of two ethics courses in Philosophy and one course from a menu of options from various departments. The courses on this menu can be taken as part of the core (e.g., REL, THE, COR400) or major requirements (CMM350). A list of the menu of courses can be found here.


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