The Newsletter of the Bowling Green State University Philosophy Department

For older news and articles of interest about our department, click the date on the menu at the left hand side of this page.

In another community outreach effort, on Friday March 5, 2010, three members of the BGSU Philosophy Department participated in the Maumee Valley Country Day School "Issues Day" event.  The theme of the day was "Morality in the Modern World."  David Faraci spoke on "Moral Epistemology", Lou Katzner asked "Does it Matter How We Treat Animals?" and Ian Young addressed the topic "Pacifists: Right, Wrong or Just Confused?" 

In February 2010 four BGSU  Philosophy Graduate Students participated in a public debate on gay marriage at Owens Community College in Findlay. There was a very large and engaged crowd in attendance. Questions/comments from the audience had to be curtailed because the time allotted ran out. Also, at least one socciology instructor acceded to her students' request to continue the discussion of the topic in a class that met right after the debate.  Congratulations to Jonathan Miles, Ben Dyer, Jacob Sparks, and Mark Herman (replacing Peter Jaworski) for this outstanding community outreach effort.

Ian Young was awarded the Fall 2009 Disability Services Outstanding Faculty Award for his dedication to ensuring equal access to students of all ranges of abilities in his classes.

The Department sponsored its first team to compete in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl on November 21, 2009 at the Upper Midwestern competition which was held in Skokie, Illinois at Northeastern Illinois University.  Ian Young and Nick Sars coached the team of undergraduates, which was comprised of: Nolan Cavano, Brittni Darke, Daniel Lubin and Latifah Street.  The team had a 1-2 record and finished a creditable sixth equal out of twelve teams.

The Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Awards for 2008-2009 have been announced.  Adam White received the award for outstanding independent teaching and Mark Wells for outstanding teaching assistance.  Congratulations to Adam and Mark!

The 2009 Philosophical Gourmet Report, aka The Leiter Report is out and the Department once again achieved national rankings in a number of areas.  In the Applied Ethics category, we were ranked in Group 3, between 8 and 23.  In the Ethics category, we were ranked in Group 5, between 29 and 53.  In the Metaethics category, we were ranked in Group 4, between 16 and 35.  In the Political Philosophy category, we were ranked in Group 4, between 23 and 46.  Finally, in the Philosophy of Art category, we were ranked in Group 4, between 18-28.  

New Faculty Fall 2009:   All three of our new faculty members are familiar to us already.  

Guido Pincione received his J.D. and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires in 1978 and 1997, respectively.  Professor Pincione has held a number of visiting professorships in North America; he was Distinguished Visiting Professor with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Arizona State University’s College of Law in 2002, and was the Simon Visiting Scholar at Florida State School of Law in 2003.  (Source: http://www.murphy.tulane.edu/people/guido-pincione.php).  He has also been a Research Fellow at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center.

Jonathan Miles has been one of our graduate students for a number of years. He holds a B.A. in English Literature, an M.A. in theology  and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Mississippi. His area of specialty is applied moral and political philosophy. His philosophical interests include applied topics such as Business and Medical Ethics, and problems in Civil Liberties.  His dissertation entitled "One Fixed Star: Viewpoint Neutrality and Public Speech Regulation" defends the traditional policy that government should not censor any viewpoint on the basis of its content on the grounds of the decidedly non-neutral value of individual justification of opinions relevant to the good life.  He recently completed a draft of this and hopes to defend some time soon.

Albert Dzur comes to us from the BGSU Political Science department, with whom he shares a joint appointment.  Dr Albert Dzur's research focuses on the value of lay participation in the professionalized and expert domains that impact public affairs. He is interested in how collaboration helps bridge the distance between professionals and the communities they serve, encourages mutual trust, develops skills and builds networks for communication. Dr. Dzur's concept of "democratic professionalism" points to the importance of sharing previously professionalized tasks in ways that both enable and enhance broader public engagement and deliberation about major social issues like crime and punishment.He is currently finishing a book on democratic professionalism movements in criminal justice, journalism and medicine. He has published in journals such as The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, Law and Society Review, Policy Sciences, Polity: The Journal of the Northeastern Political Science Association, Journal of Health Politics and Policy and Law.  He is well-known to many of us in the Philosophy Department as a teacher and participant in numerous seminars and reading groups over the years.

We welcome all three of these outstanding teachers and researchers and look forward to their new roles in the department.

The 2009 recipient of the Jonathan Heskett Memorial Award for the best essay on The Meaning of Life is Chad Walker. Chad is a junior majoring in Environmental Policy and Analysis with a specialization in Environmental Law.

The Philosophy Club is up and running again.  President Robert Mominee and Secretary Tifah Street would like to encourage all who are interested in attending to come along for some vigorous discussion about such topics as philosophical issues arising from "The Animatrix" and the existence of free will (the topics of the first two meetings).  The group meets on Thursdays evenings.  Email Robert or Tifah for further details.