Newsletter Issue #153, March, 2018
AL-DELTA(0104)  [Samford  University;  advisor, Dennis Samson]  Last year the Samford chapter sponsored three club meetings.   On  October 18, 2016,  philosophy  professor  Allison  Hepola led a  discussion  with about  fifteen  students attending,  and  on  February  27,  2017, she  again  led a  discussion with fifteen students.   On  March 25, 2017,   Dr. Hepola led a discussion on whether there can be Christian faith without the Church. This year,  five students joined the Samford chapter.
GA-THETA(1108) [Valdosta State University; advisor, Christine James] President: Maya Angeline Mapp, Vice-president: Ashlie Marie Prain, Secretary/Treasurer: Caleb Koebble.
ID-ALPHA(1301) [University of Idaho; advisor, Graham Hubbs] NEW CHAPTER. During our first meeting as a new chapter, the treasurer report included funding and bank information; the bank account should be available for use soon, and funding from ASUI will be requested. We also established a committee for a newsletter, and Michael Bivens and Kevin Luna are on that committee. Arianna Georgallis, Oleksandr Shatravka, and Frank Brown are members of UIBound committee. We need to update the website for the Hemlock Journal with a call for papers beginning March 9 and ending on April 6. We also voted on details for the papers. Our next meeting is scheduled for March 27. (Congratulations to the University of Idaho chapter for a solid start. Welcome to our first and only chapter in Idaho. — Ed.)
IN-IOTA(1507) [Indiana University Southeast; advisor, Leigh Viner] President: Clayton Gulley, Secretary: Jacob McDonald. After a period of inactivity, The Indiana University Southeast chapter has been reactivated. Members discussed plans for the spring term. Plans include weekly meetings in conjunction with the IUS Philosophy Club, an event to raise awareness for the environment (in conjunction with the Sustainability Club), invitations to professors from the Philosophy program and other programs on the IUS campus to speak about their research, and a philosophical film series.
LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Thora Bayer] Our chapter inducted Ms. Shakayla Morgan and gave her a copy of the journal and a packet of information about Phi Sigma Tau.
MN-BETA(2402) [St. Olaf College; advisor, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson] The World Philosophy Day button fundraiser was to be coordinated by the St. Olaf Philosophy Department and the Secretary. Button prints have been cut out but need to be laminated—to be done by using St. Olaf Student Life Office resources at cost of twenty five cents per button, the buttons to be sold at fifty cents per button. The World Philosophy Day Rolvaag Library book display will be managed by the Treasurer who will send the library staff a list of books to display. The Secretary will confirm and work out the details with Professor Emeritus Edward Langerak for his talk to be given on World Philosophy Day.
The Secretary will revise the pizza Thursday event practices. The President will email the metaphysics alias about possible presenters for the student colloquium tentatively scheduled for November 30. The President will present if there are no other students who volunteer. Chapter members also discussed a possible writing workshop for the end of the term. Details for this will be managed by the Secretary.
Our Spring Induction was scheduled for March 8. Elections for officers will follow immediately. A faculty workshop and public lecture by Professor Jon McGinnis is to be held on March 14; the event is co-sponsored by the Great Conversations program, the St. Olaf College Religions department, the St. Olaf College Philosophy department, and our chapter. All officers are to correspond with relevant College organizations to promote the event. The President will introduce Professor McGinnis with an introduction written by Professor Muñoz-Hutchinson, and a luncheon will be held in honor of Professor McGinnis.
Our next student Colloquium is to be held on March 22 with presentation by either the President or Yishu Dai. Another colloquium is planned for April with the exact date to be determined by the Secretary. Officers for the next school year are President: Alexander Cavender, Vice-president: William Rasschaert, Secretary: Abigail Schneekloth, Treasurer: Elijah Viola, Historian: Noah Forslund.
NY-GAMMA(3303) [SUNY at Oneonta; advisor, Michael Koch] Secretary: Sarah Horne.
NY-THETA(3308) [Nazareth College; advisor, Adrian Arellano] In a December meeting, the Nazareth College chapter of Phi Sigma Tau considered a number of questions in honor of an Existentialism Day. Members watched a Sartre video, considered whether one is born with an essence, considered optimistic and pessimistic existentialism, asked whether life is absurd, and pursued other topics from Kierkegaard, and others. In a later meeting, members watched a video on Thomas Hobbes and considered questions of societal freedom, protection, trust, peace, responsibility, human nature, and moral relativism.
NC-THETA(3408) [Elon University; advisor, Ryan J. Johnson] NEW ADVISOR.
RI-ALPHA(4001) [Providence College; advisor, Colin King] Our Providence College chapter has had a busy year. We
inducted eleven new members this year, and members from last year have been active in promoting philosophy throughout the College. We held major/minor days, grad school information sessions, and several intercollegiate talks involving guest speakers. We also constructed the ‘‘Anthony Lisska Essay Prize’’ which (we are proud to say) has permanent financial support. Several of our students have participated in talks and club activities.
VA-ETA(4707) [Old Dominion University; advisor, Justin Remhof] NEW ADVISOR.
§ § §
Our April issue of Dialogue is in preparation. Among the articles that we will publish are the following:
Understanding Race-Based Affirmative Action from a Kantian Perspective
Abraham Alex, Brooklyn College
A Note on ‘‘Two-Way’’ Ontological Practices in Biology
A. G. Hareesh, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore
The Evil-god Hypothesis and the Argument from Mal-design
Asha Lancaster-Thomas, University of Birmingham, UK
Structures of Person Identity
Jake Manalansan, San Diego State University
The Moral and Rational Justification of Rights
Nicholas Ogrinc, Providence College
Several years ago we changed to a perfect binding (as opposed to the earlier stapling which limited us to about 76 pages per issue) for our journal, and in the following years we have been able to publish more student work than we had earlier. Last school year, we also printed a special Ethics issue, the first special issue that we have had; we printed 34 student papers during the school year. In the future, we will consider special issues that are based on student conferences, though there are limitations on what we can do; we will need faculty and student help for any future special issues. The continued success of our journal depends upon those who submit work for consideration. Though our journal is limited to student publications, we try to maintain high standards for our authors; our authors have met that challenge, and we believe they will continue to do so. Continued success for our journal does depend upon students who write substantive papers and are willing to submit their work for possible publication. Advisors can help with this by assisting in the preparation of papers and, perhaps more importantly, by looking for solid work done by students and encouraging submissions.
In addition to articles, we do publish book reviews. Writing a book review is a good way to begin your publishing career, and a selection of books to review can be found in the latest copy of our journal. Review books are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you request a review book from the editor, please be sure to indicate an alternate in case your first choice has already been taken. Please note that after you write the review, you are entitled to keep the book for your library. Writing a book review is a good way to begin publishing, to dig more deeply into a subject, and to build your library on the cheap. If you have some questions about reviewing, you might consult a previous issue of Dialogue or some of the professional philosophical journals for models.
Finally, we have to thank our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone, of San Diego State University for his dedication and work; without his assistance, the journal could never have been expanded into what it is today. Dr. Barbone handles correspondence with prospective authors and helps prepare papers for publication. He also works with book reviewers. You can contact Dr Barbone by email and submit a paper or request a book to review. Dr. Barbone's email address has changed recently and now is [email protected].
§ § §
So far this year, we have chartered chapters at two institutions. The Southern Utah University (Cedar City, Utah) chapter was chartered on 27 October 2017, and the University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho) chapter was chartered on 24 January 2018. The chapter at the University of Idaho is our first in the state of Idaho. Congratulations to both of these new chapters. In addition, three petitions are in process, and voting is going well for all three. The charter for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, will be granted on 20 March. At one time, we had two chapters in Colorado, but both have been revoked for inactivity. The Fort Lewis chapter will be our only chapter in Colorado. Voting is scheduled to end for a chapter at The College of Brockport, SUNY, on 29 March, and voting will conclude for the Western Oregon University (Monmouth, Oregon) charter on 11 April. Since the petitioning process takes a minimum of five weeks, very soon we will be suspending the chartering process for this school year; we do not allow chapter voting on charters to continue for times schools will not be in session. However, any applications received too late for processing this year will be held for the next school year, and the chapter voting will begin with our first mailing of the new school year.
Phi Sigma Tau finances remain solid. Though our expenses for the school year are a bit over our income to date, the majority of the Society’s income comes late in the school year and from induction fees. Expenses come earlier, and the rather large bill for publication of the October issue of Dialogue comes before the main part of our income. In the past several years we have had some excess of income over expenses, and we expect that we will need to use some of that surplus to assist the next Executive Secretary in the work of the Society. Through the years, the work of the Executive Secretary has expanded, and it will be difficult for a full-time faculty member to attend to his or her duties while still performing the work of the Society. We will be looking for ways to limit the duties of the Executive Secretary so that we can continue to have a faculty member serve in that position.
§ § §
The Lyceum Program
The Lyceum Program was founded in 2017 with the mission of promoting philosophy-based summer camps nationwide for pre-college youths. Each program is tailored by its host institution to fit the needs and interests of the local community.
Each Lyceum event is organized and executed by volunteers within the local institution. Events involve securing nominal funding through the host institution and other sources, event planning (usually held on the local campus and of three days’ duration), securing of volunteers (students and teachers) willing to participate in the sessions, and advertising the event (e.g., to local high schools). Because of IRS regulations for non-profit organizations, Phi Sigma Tau cannot provide direct funding for Lyceum events; but we can provide letters of support to possible funding sources (either within the local institution or for other external sources) to chapters interested in sponsoring a Lyceum event on their local campuses.
Phi Sigma Tau has also been a strong supporter of the American Philosophical Association’s commitment to high school education in philosophy; the APA’s goals are consistent with those of the Lyceum Program. In 2018, the Executive Council of Phi Sigma Tau began working with the Lyceum Program founders to establish a collaborative support between Phi Sigma Tau and Lyceum. A Lyceum Manual for Phi Sigma Tau chapters is available from Micheal Clark, the Lyceum coordinator who should be contacted. The email address is [email protected].
Digital templates of forms are available for both the planning of a Lyceum event and for the execution of the program. Chapters will also receive occasional Lyceum bulletins, and notice of Lyceum events will be included in future issues of The PST Newsletter and the Phi Sigma Tau Alumni Bulletin.
Readers should note that Lyceum event sponsorship is not limited to Phi Sigma Tau chapters. Any institution with an accredited philosophy program may contact Micheal Clark for more information at the above email address. The Executive Council of Phi Sigma Tau strongly encourages this kind of community outreach for exposure to philosophy at both high school and college levels.
Advisors and PST Members: there is life after retirement. Our former President, Dr. Eva Cadwallader, has continued with her teaching after retirement. Following is a plaque from some of her current students, students who also continue to learn about philosophy after retirement. Congratulations, Dr. Cadwallader! And congratulations to all those students who do make learning a life-long enterprise.
§ § §
PHI SIGMA TAU
International Honor Society in Philosophy
Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division
Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263-4225