Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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Philosophy

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  • The Philosophy of Pain

    Professor Brendan O’Sullivan (Stonehill College) presented a paper entitled “Where Does It Hurt? Tensions in Our Concept of Pain” as part of the Philosophy Department’s Colloquium on Feb. 26th. He showed how our ordinary judgments about pain incompatible between two fundamental views (that pains are literally in or on the body, and that they are subjective). [Read more]

    Associate Professor Brendan O'Sullivan (Stonehill College) presented a paper entitled "Where Does It Hurt?--Tensions in Our Concept of Pain" as part of the Philosophy Department's Colloquium on Feb. 26th.  He showed how our ordinary judgments about pain are incompatible between two fundamental views (that pains are literally in or on the body, and that they are subjective).  Rather than show that one strand in our commonsense judgments is mistaken, he provided a view that draws from sense-data theory to handle the act-object distinction and mitigate the tensions between the two views.  We are happy to report that no students were harmed during his presentation.

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  • Phil Majors earn more than Accounting Majors

    A recent report shows that at mid career, philosophy majors earn more than accounting majors.  With a median salary of $84,000, those with philosophy degree also have “higher earnings potential than many other arts and humanities-related fields.”

    A recent report shows that at mid career, philosophy majors earn more than accounting majors.  With a median salary of $84,000, those with philosophy degree also have "higher earnings potential than many other arts and humanities-related fields."

  • How Judges Reason

    Associate Professor Stephen Mathis is profiled in the Wheaton Quarterly (Winter 2015). “Almost as long as I’ve been teaching the course, I’ve had at least one assignment … that asks the students to read the briefs for an undecided case that has been argued in front of the Supreme Court and to use the jurisprudential theories we’ve studied to decide the case themselves. I try to pick interesting cases, and the high-profile ones like the Hobby Lobby case this past spring tend to be good ones to choose.”

    Associate Professor Stephen Mathis is profiled in the Wheaton Quarterly (Winter 2015).

    Almost as long as I’ve been teaching the course, I’ve had at least one assignment ... that asks the students to read the briefs for an undecided case that has been argued in front of the Supreme Court and to use the jurisprudential theories we’ve studied to decide the case themselves. I try to pick interesting cases, and the high-profile ones like the Hobby Lobby case this past spring tend to be good ones to choose.  Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 10.53.51 AM

  • Be Employable, Study Philosophy

    So says Shannon Rupp, a Vancouver journalist. Some excerpts:
    “In anticipation of fall course schedules, several people have asked what I think someone who wants to be a journalist should study….. I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy…..[A] smattering of undergrad philosophy classes taught me something applicable to any and every job: clarity of thought. Name me one aspect of your life that doesn’t benefit from being able to think something through clearly.”

    So says Shannon Rupp, a Vancouver journalist.  Some excerpts:

    In anticipation of fall course schedules, several people have asked what I think someone who wants to be a journalist should study..... I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy.....[A] smattering of undergrad philosophy classes taught me something applicable to any and every job: clarity of thought. Name me one aspect of your life that doesn’t benefit from being able to think something through clearly.

    This is far from the best article touting the benefits of philosophy.  For one it spends too much time denigrating other fields.  But her central point about the value of philosophy is right on the money.

  • A Great Fit at University of Arizona

    Chris Howard ’08 wrote recently with an update on his progress toward the Ph.D. at University of Arizona. He’s visited or presented work at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Sheffield, UC-Boulder, and the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. [Click for more]

    IMG_8613 copyChris Howard '08 wrote recently with an update on his progress toward the Ph.D. at University of Arizona.  He's visited or presented work at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Sheffield, UC-Boulder, and the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association.  In addition, he designed and taught his own course on Neuroethics and has a handful of articles submitted journals.  Of his dissertation, now underway, he writes:

    I’m defending a ‘fittingness-first’ view of normativity, according to which the normative relation of fittingness (the relation in which an attitude or response stands to an object when the object merits or is worthy of that response) is normatively basic, and all other normative properties and relations can be analyzed in terms of this relation. I draw out the implications of my analysis of normativity in terms of the fittingness relation for first-order normative ethics and epistemology and for current debates in the moral responsibility literature.

    Good luck, Chris!  And keep us posted as those articles get published.

  • A Metaphilosophical Collaboration

    Prentice Professor of Philosophy, Nancy Kendrick, and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College and Wheaton alumna, Jessica Gordon-Roth ’04, have co-written an essay on the importance of including female philosophers in courses in the history of philosophy. [Click for more]

    Prentice Professor of Philosophy, Nancy Kendrick, and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College and Wheaton alumna, Jessica Gordon-Roth '04, have co-written an essay on the importance of including female philosophers in courses in the history of philosophy. The article "Including Early Modern Women Writers in Survey Courses: A Call to Action" will appear in the journal Metaphilosophy Vol. 46, No. 3 (July 2015), an issue devoted to the philosophy of the early modern period.photo (46)

  • Kant and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

    What Kant says about sex and marriage is often pilloried. But on November 19, Professor Christopher Arroyo of Providence College argued in his paper, “Can Kant Teach Us Anything in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate?” that Kant offers insights and arguments that could be deployed in defenses of same-sex marriage.

    What Kant says about sex and marriage is often pilloried.  But on November 19, Professor Christopher Arroyo of Providence College argued in his paper, "Can Kant Teach Us Anything in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate?" that Kant offers insights and arguments that could be deployed in defenses of same-sex marriage.  Professor Arroyo's talk was second in the Philosophy Department Colloquium Series.  Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 12.27.42 PM

  • Why the Air Force Academy needs Connections

    A recent article in the Atlantic argues that Air Force Cadets need to balance their concentration in STEM fields with the study of the humanities and social sciences.

    “Solti and others at the Academy see a background in the humanities as a way to understand complex, interdisciplinary relationships between seemingly disparate entities.”

    A recent article in the Atlantic argues that Air Force Cadets need to balance their concentration in STEM fields with the study of the humanities and social sciences.

    "Solti and others at the Academy see a background in the humanities as a way to understand complex, interdisciplinary relationships between seemingly disparate entities. When military decision-makers consider possible tactics to approach a situation, they have to consider the people and relationships that decision may affect, even if those results aren’t immediately obvious."

    The title of the article, "Why Air Force Cadets Need to Study Philosophy," is misleading.  It is not just philosophy, but the interdisciplinary study found in Connections, that improves the cadets' ability to make good decisions.

  • Justice and National Happiness

    Professors Jennifer Wilson Mulnix (UMass-Dartmouth) and Michael J. Mulnix (Salem State) gave the first lecture in the Philosophy Department Colloquium series on Wednesday, November 5. “Justice and National Happiness” explored the promise and challenges of conceptualizing political justice when conceiving the aim as gross national happiness.

    IMG_3596Professors Jennifer Wilson Mulnix (UMass-Dartmouth) and Michael J. Mulnix (Salem State) gave the first lecture in the Philosophy Department Colloquium series on Wednesday, November 5.  "Justice and National Happiness" explored the promise and challenges of conceptualizing political justice when conceiving the aim as gross national happiness.  The next speaker will be Professor Christopher Arroyo (Providence College) who will present "Can Kant Teach Us Anything in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate?" on November 19 at 5 pm.

  • Sara Rosenblum seeks workplace equality

    Sara Rosenblum, Philosophy major in the class of 2014, interned last summer at the Coalition of Labor Union Women in Washington, DC.  Her work and experiences there were recently profiled in the Wheaton Quarterly.  Click here to learn more.

    Sara Rosenblum, Philosophy major in the class of 2014, interned last summer at the Coalition of Labor Union Women in Washington, DC.  Her work and experiences there were recently profiled in the Wheaton Quarterly.  Sara Rosenblum QuarterlyClick here to learn more.