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Philosophy Day 2017

Philosophy Day is a showcase of the philosophical community at University of Puget Sound. There will be four student presentations on topics such as free will, the replication crisis, justice, and metaphysics. There will also be a presentation from the Ethics Bowl team on real-world ethical dilemmas.

No previous experience with philosophy is required. Feel free to pick and choose the sessions that best fit with your interests and schedules!

Date            02/17/2017
Time            1pm-5pm
Place           Murray Boardroom, SUB

1:00-1:30: Jenny Paul, “Compatibilism and the Degrees of Influence: An Analysis of the Morality of the Self and its Relation to the External”
1:30-2:00: Eric Ralph, “The Paradox of Psychology: Replication Crises as Opportunities”
2:00-2:30: Steven Baptiste, “Justice as Harmony – Plato’s use of Literary Symbolism in the Republic: Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Socrates”
2:30-3:00: Conor O’Keefe, “The Advantages of Dogmatic Metaphysics over Kantian Synthetic Metaphysics”
3:00-3:30: Coffee Break
3:30-5:00: Ethics Bowl, “Civil Disobedience” & “The Tunnel Problem” – Cases about the ethics of leaking classified information and the responsibility for accidents from self driving cars.

Call for Papers: Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Call for Papers: 21st Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

April 21-22, 2017 |  Pacific University | Forest Grove, Oregon | Keynote talk by Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley) 

The 21st annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference will be held April 21-22, 2017 on the campus of Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon. The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for the presentation of philosophical work of undergraduates to their peers. Papers are required to be of philosophical content, but there are no specific restrictions on subject matter within the arena of philosophical discussion itself. Papers should be approximately 3000 words (10-12 pages). Electronic submissions, including paper and abstract (Word documents), should be sent to: ian.oloughlin@pacificu.edu.Submission deadline is February 1, 2017Final decisions will be made by February 28, 2017. Volunteers for session chairs are also welcome.

Selected papers from the conference will be published in Volume 8 (2017) of the journal Res CogitansThis is strictly an undergraduate conference, with only undergraduates allowed on the conference program. The single exception is the keynote speaker. Past keynotes speakers have included: Elliot Sober, Paul Churchland, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Keith Lehrer, Catherine Elgin, John Perry, Hubert Dreyfus, Jerry Fodor, Alvin Plantinga, Cora Diamond, James Sterba, Peter Kivy, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Daniel Dennett, and Elliott Sober. This year’s keynote talk will be by Alva Noë.The conference banquet will be on Friday, April 21 and all paper sessions, including the keynote talk, will be on Saturday, April 22. Travel and lodging information can be found by going to the conference web site at: www.pacificu.edu/as/philosophy/conference

Registration costs: $50, payable at the conference. Three meals will be provided: Friday night banquet, Saturday breakfast and lunch.

For further information, contact Professor O’Loughlin via email (ian.oloughlin@pacificu.edu) or by phone (503 352 1547) or at the address: Dept. of Philosophy, Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116

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Alumni Profiles: Sarah Jacobson

Philosophy majors pursue a wide variety of career paths after graduation, including but not limited to law, business, and higher education. Every few weeks, we will be featuring one of our department’s alumni, highlighting how their studies in philosophy have helped them in their post-graduate careers.

Sarah Jacobson graduated in 2005 with a degree in Philosophy. She now works as a Transit Control Supervisor for the Minneapolis Metro Transit. When asked how studying philosophy has helped her in her career, she said:

“My philosophy degree helped me transition into management positions easily, since I have superior critical thinking and problem solving skills and excellent written and oral communication. My career didn’t turn out as planned, but even so, I think my degree set me up to succeed.”

Fall 2016 Ethics Bowl Competition

On November 12th, Puget Sound’s fall Ethics Bowl team (Finn Dobkin, Colleen Hanson, Eileen Mapes-Riordan, Rae Nathan, Conor O’Keefe, and Zoe Ozdemir) coached by Professor Tubert, competed in the 2016 Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl at Pacific Lutheran University. Among the many topics they argued were: climate change refugees, exceptions to uniforms for religious purposes, and implementing taxes on red meat.

 

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Alumni Profiles: Holli Fillbach Simcoe ’95

Philosophy majors pursue a wide variety of career paths after graduation, including but not limited to law, business, and higher education. Every few weeks, we will be featuring one of our department’s alumni, highlighting how their studies in philosophy have helped them in their post-graduate careers.

Holli Fillbach Simcoe graduated in 1995 with a degree in Philosophy. She now works as an Assistant General Counsel at Huron Consulting Group, which is a global management consulting group. When asked how studying philosophy has helped her in her career, she said:

“It’s hard to put a finger on exactly how philosophy studies have contributed to my career. It certainly helps me to be a critical thinker but also to be open-minded and creative.  I usually have more than one solution to a problem which most people find refreshing(…) in our many class discussions, I often took the minority viewpoint for the sake of argument. For example, if you were stuck on a boat in the ocean would you fend for yourself or cooperate for the greater good.  I found it more interesting to consider fending for myself than the more “sane” concept of working together.  This “thinking skill” or perhaps, “objectivity,” allows me to consider many angles of an issue or problem.  I tend not to dismiss something that may seem less rational than other solutions.”

 

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Alumni Profiles: Roger Valdez ’90

Philosophy majors pursue a wide variety of career paths after graduation, including but not limited to law, business, and higher education. Every few weeks, we will be featuring one of our department’s alumni, highlighting how their studies in philosophy have helped them in their post-graduate careers.

Roger Valdez graduated from Puget Sound in 1990 with a major in philosophy. He is now the director of Smart Growth Seattle, an advocacy group that works with the City of Seattle to manage neighborhood growth. He has been profiled in The Stranger, Seattle Met Magazine, and Seattle Times, and also contributes to Forbes Magazine. We asked him how studying philosophy has helped him in his career, and he had this to say:

“Throughout my career in public policy, I have relied on my study of philosophy in four important ways. First, I learned how to argue in philosophy – and I don’t mean just shouting louder than someone on the other side. Philosophy trains the mind to organize ideas and find flaws, inconsistencies, and errors in the other sides arguments. Second, I started to learn how to write in my philosophy classes. Many of the things I learned in my years in the program formed the foundation for the writing I do today. Third, the history of ideas matters; who’d have thought that I’d be quoting from Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program (“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce”) on the local radio station more than 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union (…) Finally, my philosophy education, and more broadly my liberal arts education, has given me a rich context in ideas and culture from which to draw when both understanding where our current world came from and where it might be going.”

 

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Peter O’Meara: Studying Abroad at the Institute of Ideas, London

Peter O’Meara, a Philosophy major, spent the summer of 2016 undertaking an internship at the Institute of Ideas in London. Here’s what he had to say about his experience: “My time in England at the think tank known as the Institute of Ideas proved to be a domain in which my classroom teachings could shine. In the wake of Brexit, and in preparation for our think tank’s most coveted debate forum, I found myself surrounded by the foremost issues of the day. When I was called upon to investigate the issue of Bodily Autonomy, I harkened back to my articles on Oocyte Cryopreservation from Ethics Bowl. Similarly, when attending a debate regarding self-driving cars at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, my experience in Moral Philosophy proved invaluable. When the turmoil brought about by Brexit was at a fervor, my think tank sponsored and attended a university debate on the matter, with both parties citing economic and democratic reasons for leaving and remaining.The application of my philosophy classes in a practical environment demonstrated the power of the subject beyond the ivory tower.”