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Department of Philosophy

Upcoming Events 

During the Fall and Spring semesters, (almost) every Thursday at 4pm in Dickens 201 for Rationali-tea--drink tea, eat cookies, and chat with faculty, staff, and students from the philosophy department. All are welcome!

Philosophy Club:   To be announced.

For the most recent department newsletter, click here.

Recent News

Student News

Congratulations to Elizabeth Patton and Samuel Leyba on their nominations to Phi Beta Kappa.  Well done, Elizabeth and Sam!

Freshman Suan Sonna to deliver a paper at the University of Kansas Undergraduate Philosophy Conference Saturday April 20th.  Sonna's paper is in the philosophy of religion, and offers a theodicy based comparisons across possible worlds.  Entitled "A Proposal for the Two Worlds Theodicy", it incorporates ideas from Plantinga and Adams while developing a novel position.  Congrats, Suan!

Congratulations to Suan Sonna, whose paper "A Natural Law Reformulation for Tolerance" has been accepted at the Webster University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.  Suan's travel to present his paper is underwritten by a travel grant from the College of Arts and Sciences (so thanks, Dean Chakrabarti), and by the many generous donors to the Tilghman Fund (thank you donors, one and all).  And, Well Done, Suan!

Philosophy Students Publish!  Philosophy Students Publish! Paukhansuan 'Suan' Sonna (“Mishima in Love”), Olivia Rogers (“Louisa May Alcott’s Transcendentalism”) and Jessica Johns (“Emile and A Treatise on Toleration: Intolerance, Fanaticism, and Reason”) all have pieces in the inaugural edition of Live Ideas, a new undergraduate journal.  You can access the pieces for free at https://liveideasjournal.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/live-ideas-vol1-iss1-feb2019.pdf.

The winner of the 2018 Merrill Philosophy Essay Competition is Logan Kressly, for his paper titled "Georgian Perfectionism and Same-Sex Marriage." In his paper, Kressly argues that Robert George's perfectionist political theory---which, according to George, supports the view that the state should recognize and promote only traditional (heterosexual) marriage---in fact supports the view that the state should recognize and promote both heterosexual and same-sex marriage. Congratulations, Logan!

The essay competition is underwritten by funds provided by Fred and Virginia Merrill, whom we thank for their generosity.

Faculty News

Hamilton to lecture on April 6 and 10 at the ASA Eastern Division meeting and the Dubrovnik  Conference on Philosophy of Art, respectively.  Titles and Abstracts:

“Atmospheres in Architecture and Scenography”: I argue we should be literal in adopting “the atmosphere” – the atmosphere of the planet – as the referent of the term for the medium of architecture and scenography, that we should make use of the distinction between vehicular and artistic media to describe aspects of the atmosphere created in works of architecture or a scenic design, and that the relation between our perceptions of the atmospheres created by such works and our cognitive understandings of those works is counterfactual.

 “Sounds in theatrical performances”

Some theorists hold that acousmatic sounds and similar effects in theatrical performances create meanings for spectators to grasp and, hence, generate understandings of a performance directly. Instead, I argue that sounds created in theatrical performances, while they do play a significant role in a spectator’s gaining cognitive sense of those performances, do so counterfactually and, so, are indirect and cannot perform their function without the relevant cognitive sense of a performance being developed independently.

Graham Leach-Krouse goes live with open-source logic software, called Carnap,  for teaching logic.  Graham writes about the free software and open source text  at (http://dailynous.com/2018/11/07/new-free-open-source-multi-purpose-multi-system-logic-software/).  Check it out!

Professor Herington particpates in Gun Control dialogue.  Jon Herington engaged with Tim Hsiao of Grantham university in a discussion organized by KSU philosophy major Suan Sonna.  The dialogue can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/suan.sonna/videos/1064740473704509/

Philosophers win NSF grant to study responsible conduct of research training.  Scott Tanona and Jon Herington, in collaboration with J. T. Laverty of KSU’s Physics Department, have won a 3 year, $350,000 dollar grant to investigate attitudes about the responsible conduct of research and their relationship to scientist’s understanding of the aim and value of science.  The results should inform judgments about effective instructional methods for responsible conduct of research.

Professors Herington, Mahoney and Tanona were guest speakers on KSDB-FMs Prof Talk.  Here are the segments:  

Prof Jon Mahoney speaks on political philosophy Prof Talk

Prof Scott Tanona speaks on science philosophy Prof Talk

Prof Jon Herington speaks on security philosophy Prof Talk  

Philosophy in the News

Professor Jon Herington's work on security and climate change has attracted the attention of news organizations reporting on the impact of recent natural disasters. You can watch those news segments here: