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Philosophy

Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche

 

News and events

 

Robert McCall '15 (Philosophy, Psychology, and History) has been awarded a Barnes and Noble Bookstore Scholarship for Spring 2015.  The award, given to several deserving juniors and seniors, is based on the number of credits completed at Le Moyne and cumulative grade point average.

 

Alexander Marji ’17 (Philosophy) and Robert McCall ’15 (Philosophy, Psychology, and History) were selected as interns over the 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. Following a guided introduction to the Center's mission and activities, Alex and Rob went on to develop, implement, and test a project that aligns with both their own interests and the Center's programs. They also prepared and presented 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 held last spring 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!


Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell

Why Philosophy?

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.

 

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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