Department of Philosophy
Students of philosophy enjoy the opportunity to carefully consider fundamental questions we all confront in life. Our programs focus on the thoughtful analysis of reality, truth, meaning and justice.
The study of philosophy offers intrinsic benefits as well as instrumental ones. It provides a pathway to better understand and define yourself as an individual, develop your potential, and determine the kind of life you want to lead. It also teaches crucial reasoning and communication skills.
Dr. McAlinden teaches courses in History of Modern Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, and Free Will and Determinism. Her main areas of research include Leibniz, Malebranche, and the metaphysics of causation.
BA, Mount Holyoke College
MA, PhD, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Professor Dasti's primary research interests center on the classical schools of Hindu philosophy. His general interests include epistemology, philosophy of religion, Chinese philosophy and ancient Greek thought. He has published in a number of journals and collections that include Apeiron, History of Philosophy Quarterly, Philosophy East and West, and Asian Philosophy. He is co-editor of Free Will, Agency, and Selfhood in Indian Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2014).
BA, Rutgers University
MA, PhD, University of Texas
Prof. Devlin's research interests focus on three areas of philosophy: (1) philosophy of science (including the realism-antirealism debate, scientific change, causality, and the philosophy of Thomas Kuhn), (2) continental philosophy (more specifically, 19th century philosophy, existentialism, and Friedrich Nietzsche), and (3) philosophy of popular culture (especially philosophy of film). His recent work includes a paper concerning Sartre's existential analysis of moral dilemmas (in the journal Film and Philosophy), the Philosophy of David Lynch, and the forthcoming volume in Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science, Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions-50 years on. He teaches classes in philosophy of science, existentialism, 19th century philosophy, Nietzsche, and logic. Dr. Devlin is on sabbatical Fall 2014.
MA, University of Wyoming
BA, PhD, Boston University
Professor Kober's work in applied ethics is centered on environmental and biomedical issues. She focuses especially on the intersection of medicine and ritual, medical tourism, and organ markets. Professor Kober has also worked in the philosophy of biology, focusing on the dysfunction of the concept species in evolutionary biology. She is also interested in scientific classification, the function of language in science, and the emotional origins of ethical positions.
BA, Tel Aviv University
PhD, Boston University
Professor Pearson's primary research interests are epistemology, the history of analytic philosophy, and the philosophy of mind and language. He additionally teaches courses in logic and metaphysics. Currently, he is investigating contemporary applications of Rudolf Carnap's principle of tolerance. He has published articles in venues such as Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, Film-Philosophy, and Teaching Philosophy.
BA, University of Oxford
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Skoble is the author of Deleting the State: An Argument about Government (Open Court, 2008), the editor of Reading Rasmussen and Den Uyl: Critical Essays on Norms of Liberty (Lexington Books, 2008), and co-editor of Political Philosophy: Essential Selections (Prentice-Hall, 1999) and Reality, Reason, and Rights (Lexington Books, 2011). Besides his academic work, he has frequently lectured and written for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education, and he is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute. His main research includes theories of rights, the nature and justification of authority, and virtue ethics. In addition, he writes widely on the intersection of philosophy and popular culture, among other things co-editing the best-selling The Simpsons and Philosophy (Open Court, 2000).
BA, University of Pennsylvania
MA, PhD, Temple University
Dr. Womack's primary research is in the philosophy of public health and medicine. Her most recent articles are based on qualitative social science research on eating, agency, and social networks in collaboration with Norah Mulvaney-Day, PhD, of The Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research in Somerville, MA. She teaches a variety of Second Year Seminars based on that research, notably You Don't Want Fries with That: Food, Identity and Human Agency, and Issues in Global Public Health Ethics. In addition she teaches Philosophy of Mind and Language, Knowledge and Skepticism, Technology and Values, and Foundations of Logical Reasoning.
BA, University of South Carolina
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Fitzgibbons still teaches Foundations of Logical Reasoning for BSU online. His main areas of research include ethical justification and the nature of concepts.
Professor James has published in such journals as Mind, Philosophy, and Ethics, where he has primarily focused on questions of the nature of justification and ethical pluralism.
Steven Sanders took early retirement at the end of 2003 to write full time. His recent publications include The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film, The Philosophy of TV Noir (with Aeon J. Skoble), and the forthcoming Hitchcock as Moralist (with R. Barton Palmer) and The Philosophy of Michael Mann (with Palmer and Skoble).
The department offers a BA in Philosophy, with the option of concentrating in Applied Ethics. In addition, we offer a philosophy minor. Students in our programs develop heightened reasoning and analytical abilities, creative problem-solving skills, improved writing skills, and greater confidence in spoken argument and discussion. They also become well-acquainted with the concepts and ideas that have shaped the history of our world.
In some cases, philosophy majors pursue graduate study in the subject and become academics. However, they are more likely to find a career in law, medicine, business, journalism, public policy or government. Overall, the study of philosophy provides rigorous yet flexible career preparation.
For more information on programs see our Catalog.