Events and Announcements

PHILOSOPHY COURSES
Fall 2015


ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS
PHI 110 / Professor Kristin Aronson / Wed 5.25-7.55 PM / Midtown Campus

Explores ethical issues and value conflicts from the standpoint of the organization, the employee, the marketplace and public policy. Case studies of actual situations will be analyzed.

    

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
PHI 231 / Professor Richard McKim / Tues/-Thurs 10.50 AM-12.05 PM / Midtown Campus

The philosophers of the ancient world still exert a powerful influence on the modern world, from science and psychology to ethics and religion. We’ll take an in-depth look at the great thinkers of Greece and Rome, from Plato and Aristotle to the dawn of Christianity, and survey their vital role in the making of Western civilization.

   

ETHICS AND THE NONHUMAN
PHI 112 / Professor Kristin Aronson, Tuesday 5.25-7.55 PM, Midtown Campus

Examines issues raised by the animal rights and environmental movements, including a historical overview of our conceptions of the nonhuman; new data from molecular biology; communication with primates; the treatment of animals in biomedical research, product testing and agrobusiness; the moral basis of vegetarianism; issues raised by hunting, trapping, endangered species and zoos.

        

POST-MODERN PHILOSOPHY: EMPIRE AND FRAGMENTATION
PHI 338 / Professor Clayton Bohnet / Mon-Wed 9.25-10.40 PM / Midtown Campus

This course seeks to creatively and critically analyze (a) the issues facing an emergent global community, (b) the tension between capitalism and government, (c) the nature of the self and relationships in the digital age, (d) the obsolescence of traditional narratives, and (e) the new forms of power and resistance manifest in technology, gender and art.

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PHILOSOPHY OF DEATH AND DYING
PHI 245 / Professor Hannes Charen / Mon-Wed 12.15-1.30 PM / Midtown Campus

One thing we can be sure of is that we are going to die. But what are we to make of that fact? What does it mean to die? Should we be allowed to decide to end our lives? Who gets to decide when or whether someone dies? These are some of the questions we will be addressing through topics such as: the death penalty, euthanasia, suicide, mortality and immortality, religious views, aging and hospices, suffering, personal identity, cryonics, and organ donation.

      

OTHER FALL 2015 PHILOSOPHY CLASSES

PHI 100: Introduction to Philosophy (3 sections, Midtown, Westside, and online)
PHI 103: Intro to Critical Reasoning (Professor Stuart Dalton, Tues/Thurs 12.15-1.30 PM, Midtown)
PHI 111: Ethical Issues in Healthcare (2 sections, Tues. or Thurs. 5.25-7.55 PM, Midtown)
PHI 227: Ethics in Computing (Tuesday 10.50 AM-1.30 PM, Westside)
PHI 241: Buddhist Philosophy (Professor Marcello Kilani, Mon/Wed 10.50 AM-12.05 PM, Midtown)
PHI 252: Philosophy in Film (Professor Hannes Charen, Mon/Wed 3.05-4.20 PM, Midtown)
PHI 265: Philosophy of Happiness (Professor Mary O’Neill, Tues/Thurs 1.40-2.55 PM, Midtown)

 


HUMANISTIC STUDIES CLASSES
Fall 2015

SUBVERSION AND TRANSGRESSION
HUM 298-01 / Professor Juniper Alcorn / Tues-Thurs 3.05-4.20 PM / Midtown Campus

To subvert or transgress is to do more than to just break a rule, it is to purposefully reject rules, norms, and authority. Does that mean that the subversive can only ridicule authority? Or that transgression is merely shock art, meant only to disturb and upset? We will explore subversion and transgression as forms of art and activism in counterculture, avant garde, and youth movements in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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INTRODUCTORY INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: UTOPIAS & DYSTOPIAS
HUM 198 / Professor Juniper Alcorn / Tues-Thurs 12.15-1.30 PM / Midtown Campus

Utopias are ideas or images of possible perfect cities that writers use to express hopes for the future and a better way of life. But what if every time we try to imagine a utopia, we are in fact describing a dystopia, a society so controlled by ideas of perfection that individual freedom is sacrificed? This class will explore utopian visions across many disciplines, including literature, philosophy, history, and science.

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SCIENCE AND THE HUMAN QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
HUM 298-04 / Professor Richard McKim / Tues-Thurs 1.40-2.55 PM / Midtown Campus

We live in a world dominated by science and technology to an extent unimaginable a few short decades ago. And yet the scientific worldview generates many fascinating philosophical puzzles. From its roots in ancient Greece to the mind-bending mysteries of modern physics, we’ll explore the power and possible limitations of science as well as the influence of technology on our values and our vision of ourselves.

  

MYSTICISM IN RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY
HUM 298-03 / Professor Sharisse Kanet / Tues-Thurs 3.05-4.20 PM, Midtown Campus

Mysticism is the belief that humans can directly connect with the ultimate truth of the universe, whether that be God or a universal energy. Mystical religions and philosophies include Buddhism, Taoism, Kabbalah, and Sufism. We will explore their beliefs, with special attention to similarities between traditions that had little or no historical contact. If the same ideas pop up in different times and places, might the mystic vision be true?

        

ART AND DEATH
HUM 298-02 / Professor Katherine Graham / Mon-Wed 1.40-2.55 PM / Westside Campus

Philosophical questions about the nature of death and dying through the lens of art, including: What is death? What happens when we die? Can I survive my own death? Is suicide ever a moral or rational choice? We will examine how fundamental questions concerning our mortality have found expression throughout the ages in painting, literature, music and drama.

      

OTHER FALL 2015 HUMANISTIC STUDIES CLASSES
HUM 100: Conceptions of Society (Professor Jonathan Pickle, Mon/Wed 3.05-4.20 PM, Midtown)
HUM 102: Art and Experience (Professor Katherine Graham, Mon/Wed 10.50 AM-12.05 PM, Westside)
HUM 110: Moral Issues in Modern Society (Professor Katherine Tullmann, Online)
HUM 113: Comparative Religions (Professor Mark Horton, Monday 5.25-7.55 PM, Westside)
HUM 114: The Greek Experience (Professor Marcello Kilani, Mon/Wed 12.15-1.30 PM Midtown)
HUM 115: Philosophical Issues in Literature (Professor Jonathan Pickle, Mon/Wed 1.40-2.55 PM, Midtown)
HUM 116: The Human Condition (Professor William Spontak, Monday 5.25-7.55 PM, Waterbury Campus)


Spring 2015 Philosophy Classes

PHI 234: 19th & 20th century philosophy: Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Wittgenstein, Heidegger
Professor Clayton Bohnet, Mon/Wed 9.25-10.40 AM, Midtown Campus

This course provides a survey of the major thinkers and philosophical movements of the last two centuries, as well as providing an introduction to feminist and postmodern thought. While attending to the basic theories, we will also examine the philosophical significance of the cultural-technological changes that defined the 19th and 20th century, such as: the industrial revolution and factory life, the world wars, film, computers and the entertainment “industry,” modern democracy and the various civil rights movements, and abstract art.

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PHI 245: Philosophy of Death and Dying
Professor Sharisse Kanet, Tues. 5.25-7.55 PM, Waterbury Campus

One thing we can be sure of is that we are going to die. But what are we to make of that fact? What does it mean to die? Should we be allowed to decide to end our lives? Who gets to decide when or whether someone dies? These are some of the questions we will be addressing next the semester through topics such as: the death penalty, euthanasia, suicide, mortality and immortality, religious views, aging and hospices, suffering, personal identity, cryonics, and organ donation.

      

PHI 250/ ART 250: Philosophy of Art
Professor Matthew Turner, Mon/Wed 1.40-2.55 PM, Westside Campus

Philosophy of Art will explore a number of different philosophies of art and aesthetics, including texts from Classical, Renaissance, and Romantic periods. In addition, it will explore aesthetical ideas from Chinese and Japanese texts that voice different concerns, regarding artistic imperfection and temporality. Finally, it will look at a number of documents written by artists for comparison, for example the letters of Van Gogh, texts written by Andy Warhol, or the wall-texts of Barbara Kruger. At semester's end you will not only be able to better judge theories of artworks against each other, but against the works they claim to represent.

      

PHI 252: Philosophy in Film
Professor Hannes Charen, Mon/Wed 3.05-4.20 PM, Midtown Campus

We will consider a variety of important philosophical questions using films and television shows as texts to be studied along with traditional readings from the history of philosophy.

         

PHI 298/WS 298: Philosophy of Gender
Professor Demet Evrenosoglu, Thurs. 1.40-4.20 PM, Midtown Campus

This course will study the development of feminist thought, its critique of the history of philosophy, and its application to contemporary social and cultural issues.

         

PHI 298: Plato's Dialogues
Professor Richard McKim, Tues/Thurs 1.40-2.55 PM, Midtown Campus

We'll track Plato's entire career, from his lively portrait of Socrates seeking the nature of virtue to his political and psychological masterpiece The Republic to his challenging and mysterious later works. We'll also delve into his Presocratic predecessors and his enormous influence on Western culture.

      


 

Spring 2015 Humanistic Studies Classes

HUM 198: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor Marcello Kilani, Mon/Wed 1.40-2.55 PM, Midtown Campus

What exactly is an emotion?  Why do some things or events occasion one emotion rather than another?  How is an emotion different from a thought?  Do all humans have the same emotions?  These and many more questions surrounding human emotions will be the topic of Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies.  Because emotion is such a central feature of human life it can be explored fruitfully through many disciplines - philosophy, psychology, literature, sociology, and medicine, to name a few.

         

HUM 226: EcoPhilosophy & The American Conservation Movement
Professor William Spontak, Mon/Wed 10.50 AM-12.05 PM, Midtown Campus

A philosophical exploration of the conservation movement in America.

HUM 298: The Family and The State
Professor Hannes Charen, Mon/Wed 12.15-1.30 PM, Midtown Campus

This class will attempt a critical examination and deconstruction of the spheres of the private and public and question how the authority of each is constituted. We will explore the subject through philosophy, literature, ethnographic material, political, mystical and religious texts and film.

          

HUM 298: What is Culture?
Professor Jonathan Pickle, Tues/Thurs 1.40-2.55 PM, Midtown Campus

One of the most frequently used words of our everyday language is also one of the most poorly understood. In this course, we will try to parse what is meant by the modern concept of “culture,” which was invented by Western European philosophers in the 18th century. Although the texts to be scrutinized are philosophical, the resonances we will trace are anthropological, sociological, political and religious.

      

HUM 298: Transcendence and Altered States of Consciousness
Professor William Spontak, Mon/Wed. 9.25-10.40 AM, Midtown Campus

This class will explore the history of our cerebral endeavors to go beyond the confines of our physical being.

      

HUM 298: Philosophical Issues in Science
Professor Richard McKim, Tues/Thurs 10.50 AM-12.05 PM, Midtown Campus

We'll investigate a wide range of contemporary philosophical issues sparked by science—including the nature of consciousness, whether computers will ever have conscious intelligence, whether neo-Darwinist evolutionary theory can explain just about everything, whether our sense of selfhood is a pre-scientific illusion, whether the physical universe is all there is to reality, the limits (if any) of scientific knowledge, and the relationship of science to religion.

                


2014 Ancell Forum


2014 Arts & Sciences Honors Convocation

Left to right: Sean Lesniak, who won the James Munz Logic Award; Stuart Dalton, who is clearly over dressed; Molly Sabbagh, who (along with Ryan Stewart) won the Outstanding Philosophy Minor Award; Ryan Mullally, who won the Outstanding Philosophy Major Award


2014 Board of Regents Adjunct Faculty Teaching Awards

Dr. Mary B. O’Neill receiving her award from Chair of Board of Regents Nicholas M. Donofrio,
Board of Regents President Dr. Gregory W. Gray

At the April meeting of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents Dr. Mary B. O’Neill of Lakeville, CT was awarded the statewide adjunct of the year award.  She is one of two faculty members from the 17 colleges and universities in the system to receive that honor for the 2013-2014 academic year.  Nominated by Dr. Stuart Dalton, her department chair at Western Connecticut State University where she teaches, O’Neill was selected by a faculty committee to go forward into the statewide pool of adjunct nominees where she was ultimately chosen for the teaching award distinction.

Per the WCSU press release, O’Neill is known and respected for her energy and creativity. Her innovative teaching methods have earned her rave reviews from students and faculty. She has created new courses that are unique to WCSU, including the “Philosophy of Happiness,” which considers the meaning of happiness in theory and in practice. O’Neill has been praised for challenging her students and stimulating their intellectual growth.  According to WCSU President James Schmotter, “Mary O’Neill demonstrates in the courses she teaches the relevance of philosophy in real-life professional situations.

Photo by: Peggy Stewart, WCSU


 

 

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