Muhlenburg University

Newsletter Issue #147, November, 2016

Newsletter Email version of the current newsletter (includes contact emails for chapter advisors.)

AL-EPSILON(0105) [University of Alabama at Huntsville; advisor, Nicholaos Jones] President: Chad Bosch, Vice-president: Justin Connolly, Secretary: Nicole Westrope, Treasurer: Maryann Khamesi.

CA-TAU(0519) [California State University, San Bernardino: advisor, Matthew Davidson] At our first meeting of the winter term, Dr. Davidson suggested the possibility of a club for all people with general philosophical interests in addition to the Phi Sigma Tau chapter. UC Riverside has an all-day conference on February 27, and some students may attend.  Many of our members are graduating this year, so we are wanting to contact those who might be interested  in joining our chapter. We planned a club outing with a trivia night; potential names for teams included Socrates’ Disciples, Just Platonic, Brains in Vats, Straw People, and Socrates’ Demons.  We also considered the possibility of a talent show later in the term.

CT-GAMMA(0703) [Southern Connecticut State University; advisor, Chelsea C. Harry] President: Julia DeFrances, Vice-president: Rebecca Hale, Secretary: Halima Cecunjanin, Treasurer: Zachary Slocum. Members attended Boston’s first public philosophy event at Fenway Farm on October 4.

CT-DELTA(0704) [Quinnipiac University; advisor, Thornton Lockwood] NEW CHAPTER. On 9 December 2015, the Quinnipiac University chapter of Phi Sigma Tau (Connecticut Delta) was installed and conducted an initiation ceremony. Dr. Chelsea Harry, the Phi Sigma Tau advisor at Southern Connecticut State University installed the chapter and was the keynote speaker; her topic was "Can Non-Human Animals Flourish? Aristotle on Excellent Functioning."  Thirteen students and nine faculty members were inducted at the ceremony.  [Congratulations, Quinnipiac—a great start. -ed.]

The Quinnipiac chapter held its first official meeting for a discussion of bylaws; chapter president, Jason Culmone, would be emailing the bylaws to members. The majority of the meeting was a discussion of a possible event; chapter members are going to try to team up with Socrates Café, a philosophy club at Quinnipiac.  During the event, attendants would discuss the question, "Is the United States politically correct?"  Professor Biletzki may be able to  help find a guest speaker for the event.

DC-BETA(0902) [The Catholic University; advisor, Antón Barba-Kay] NEW ADVISOR.

GA-DELTA(1104) [Mercer University; advisor, Rosalind Simson] NEW CHAPTER.

GA-ZETA(1106) [Georgia State University; advisor, Andrew I. Cohen] President: Andrew Vierra, Vice-president: Calvin Warner, Secretary: Mandy Long, Treasurer: Jared Riggs. On November 18, we sponsored Brian D. Earp’s visit to Nicole Vincent’s neuroethics class for a discussion of the ethics of creating and administering anti-love technology. On January 22, we sponsored and hosted the Annual Georgia Student Philosophy Symposium. The schedule was adjusted at the very last moment when the preemptive panic seized the city and the university announced an early closing because of the threat of snow. It all worked out, and we were pleased to accommodate our many out-of-town guests. The keynote speaker was William G. Lycan, whose talk was entitled "A Defense of Moral Facts." We awarded the annual Robert Almeder awards in philosophical scholarship to the best graduate and undergraduate papers. During the conference, the chapter voted unanimously to elect four new officers for the 2016-2017 academic year. In March, we will award Scholar Travel Support for eligible and qualified members to present papers at philosophy or political theory conferences during the 2015-2016 academic year.

GA-KAPPA(1110) [Morehouse College; advisor, Kipton E. Jensen] Our chapter held a meeting in 2014 with Dr. Stuhr, professor of philosophy at Emory University. Dr. Stuhr explained the difference between philosophy on the undergraduate level and the graduate level. As a preparation for the discussion of studying philosophy at the graduate level, Dr. Stuhr shared personal reasons one should consider before entering a Ph.D. program in philosophy. He found teaching particularly meaningful. Dr. Stuhr also talked about the fractured nature of academic philosophy, specifically the disagreements about the best programs, journals, and methods.  He concluded with some insights into the actual application process.

Did that work? Well, the Morehouse chapter graduated ten majors in 2015, and those graduates entered programs in Philosophy, Law, and Theology. Those graduates went to Brown, University of Minnesota, New School of Research, Hastings, Howard, Emory, Virginia Tech, Chicago Divinity School, and Harvard.  In addition, DeMarcus Burke (graduating 2017) became a Mellon-Mays scholar in philosophy and is working on ethics and identity; Mr. Burke  will attend the Mellon-Mays Summer Institute at Emory University.  Not bad for a small program!  [Congratulations to all. -ed.]

IN-ALPHA(1501) [Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis; advisor, Samuel Kahn] NEW CHAPTER. President: Austen Hurt, Vice- president: Frank Schwarzkopf, Treasurer: Maximilian Scholz. On February 9 we installed our chapter and inducted members. We discussed the election of officers and possible service projects; one such project might be tutoring lower level philosophy courses. We also extended the induction period until March  1 since this was our first induction. The final event of the evening was dinner at a restaurant.

LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Thora Bayer] The Xavier chapter inducted four new student members, one of our largest inductions in recent years. During the meeting, we discussed the philosophy courses of the new members as well as their plans for the next term. Members were invited to attend the Philosophy Reading Group that is held twice a semester and the Philosopher’s Club that meets weekly.

MD-THETA(2108) [Notre Dame of Maryland University; advisor, Maria Kulp] NEW ADVISOR. MA-GAMMA(2203) [College of the Holy Cross; advisor, Christopher Dustin] NEW ADVISOR. MI-KAPPA(2310) [Hillsdale College; advisor, Lee Cole] NEW ADVISOR.

SD-BETA(2402) [St. Olaf College; advisor, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson] Our chapter at St. Olaf’s will be supporting Empoderando a Latinoamérica’s fundraising efforts around World Philosophy Day (November 12). We will encourage donations and have some World Philosophy Day buttons. We  now  have a tentative list of colloquium speakers and commentators; monthly colloquia are planned for the year.

MO-TAU(2619) [Northwest Missouri State University; advisor, Richard Field] New Officers for the spring term. President: Nick McMahon, Vice- president: Michael Eppley, Secretary/Treasurer: Brett Kirk.

NJ-LAMBDA(3111) [Rowan University; advisor, Nathan Bauer] President: Nicolas DeNardi, Vice-president: Kimberly Rafine. We have had a successful year with a thriving Philosophy Club that meets every other week to discuss pre-selected topics. Attendance has grown steadily, though slowly, for the past two years, and we now have about a dozen regular student participants. Discussions are consistently thought-provoking and intellectually rewarding. Last spring our chapter co-hosted the department’s second annual Student Ethics Conference—a great success—and we are now planning a third conference for February 22.

NY-MU(3312) [Manhattanville College; advisor, Paul Kucharski] NEW CHAPTER. NY-UPSILON(3320) [Hunter College, CUNY; advisor, Ian Blecher] NEW ADVISOR. OH-KAPPA(3610) [Ohio Wesleyan University; advisor, Erin Flynn] NEW ADVISOR.

OH-TAU(3619) [Walsh University; advisor, Joe Vincenzo] President: Isabelle Lahaie. Members discussed ways for the chapter to participate in the Walsh University Philosophy-Theology Symposium. Members recommended that a student respondent be added to the symposium and explored the possibility of including paper presentations from student members. Members also recommended that Phi Sigma Tau sponsor the Humanities portion of the annual ACES (Academic Celebration of Excellence Symposium) program that is held on campus; the Walsh University annual ACES highlights student research and scholarship.  The Provost recommended that PST function as the sponsor for the section of ACES that focusses on humanities scholarship.

PA-XI(3914) [Bucknell University; advisor, Sheila Lintott] NEW CHAPTER.

PA-ALPHA BETA(3926) [Lehigh University; advisor, Robin Dillon] Two items were on the agenda. First, members discussed their thoughts on the job candidates who visited the campus. Particularly, members discussed initial impressions and reactions, interesting personal experiences, and opinions on how candidates might fit into the department. Second, members discussed methods for promoting the upcoming symposium, and third, members approved the Manhattanville charter petition. Several action items were covered, among them thinking about plans for the Ethics symposium, reshare Google Doc for post-it notes, and finalizing a PST T-shirt design.  Finally, all members are invited to dinner at Red Robin after the next meeting.

RI-GAMMA(4003) [Rhode Island College; advisor, Robert Castiglione] NEW ADVISOR.

TN-EPSILON(4305) [Rhodes College; advisor, Pat Shade] President: Abigail Hicks, Secretary: Leah Washburn. At our January 19 meeting, members voted to approve the Quinnipiac chapter. President Hicks then outlined opportunities for conferences and the installation of a bulletin board for members to seek out conference opportunities. Also, members learned of the opportunity for summer study in philosophy. Finally, we discussed Dr. Erlenbusch’s upcoming lecture on black citizens and their obligation to the state.

TX-LAMBDA(4411) [St. Mary’s University; advisor, Eric Chelstrom] The St. Mary’s chapter reformed and held its first meeting on September 28. The first item for the meeting was the chapter’s meeting the Registered Student Organization (RSO) requirements. A Risk Management presentation was given, and the chapter has met all the requirements. Then, we proceeded to discuss our meeting topic of Ethics and Morality of Theft. A number of articles were mentioned, and the participants enthusiastically joined in and contributed to the discussion.

VA-GAMMA(4703) [James Madison University; advisor, Anne M. Wiles] On Friday, November 6, Phi Sigma Tau sponsored Dr. Jude P. Dougherty’s lecture on "First Principles, Science, and Technology." The meeting room was filled to capacity, and many students asked questions and interacted with Dr. Dougherty. At our first meeting of the New Year, members read "Under Which Lyre" by W. H. Auden and an accompanying commentary by Adam Kirsch that was entitled "A Poet’s Warning." Michael Clay and Brandon Cadran, co-presidents, led the discussion. Both current and former members attended, and the conversation was recorded.  Members, along with others attending, enjoyed the analysis of the poem; similar events are planned.

VA-MU(4712) [Washington and Lee University; advisor, Nathaniel Goldberg] During the year, the Washington and Lee chapter had several meetings. At the first, Professor Hu spoke on psychopaths; at a second, Business Administration Professor Reiter, who often teaches cross-listed philosophy courses, discussed corporations, whether they are moral agents. Professor Morel talked about diversity of opinion at the February 10 meeting, and an induction ceremony is tentatively planned for March 8. We are also publicizing the Mudd Journal of Ethics Inaugural Conference to be held on March 5 and 6. The keynote speaker for the conference is Matthew Talbert, chair of the philosophy department of WVU.

§      §      § April Dialogue

Our April issue of Dialogue is in preparation.  Among the papers that will be published are the following:

‘‘St. Thomas Aquinas: An Analysis of the Second Way in Terms of an Infinite Causal Regression.’’

Ngoc Duyen Anh Bui, University of St. Thomas

‘‘Toward Attentive Companionship: The Anti-Colonial Poetry and Praxis of Simone Weil and Gustavo Gutiérrez.’’

Benjamin Davis, University of North Dakota

‘‘The Rule of Accomodation for Presuppositions in Lewis’ Language Game.’’

Flavia Felletti, University of Barcelona

‘‘Empathetic Reasoning as an Evolution of Mankind.’’ Lauren Flaherty, University of Louisville

Please join the philosophical conversation. One of the main goals of Phi Sigma Tau, in addition to recognizing excellence in the study of philosophy, is to promote philosophical discussions on the university campus. Both Phi Sigma Tau and Dialogue are committed to the discussion of philosophical issues, and contributions to any part of the philosophical conversation will be considered. However, please note that Dialogue is a publication for student authors,  though both undergraduate and graduate students may submit work. Please join in the conversations and submit your work to our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone ([email protected]) for consideration.  Your contributions are essential to the success of Dialogue.


International Honor Society in Philosophy Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90263-4225

da[email protected]



 International Honor Society in Philosophy

 Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division

             Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy

            Malibu, CA 90263-4225

           [email protected]


Newsletter A listing of email addresses for chapter advisors is available in the email version of the current newsletter.