Newsletter Issue #159 April 2020

Newsletter Email version of the current newsletter (includes contact emails for chapter advisors.)


Phi Sigma Tau Advisors

The Executive Council of Phi Sigma Tau recognizes the difficulties facing schools, professors, and particularly students. Our Society exists for the benefit of students, and we want to assure that students are impacted as little as possible.
Several advisors are somehow still sending requests for new members; I don’t know how you manage that with all the other demands on your time. Thanks! I will fill all those requests as I can. I do have difficulty in mailing, but I can now get things out--a bit slowly, though. (I also have problems with depositing money.)
If you have trouble collecting fees from students who are away, I will continue to create certificates for students who qualify for membership and want to join Phi Sigma Tau. You can worry about collecting funds later. Please do not suggest that students contact me directly, as I have no way of determining whether a student qualifies for membership; nominations for membership must still come from advisors. Also, I cannot mail certificates directly to students; I do not have any staff to handle that--and it would exacerbate the mailing problem.

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Chapter Notes

NOTE: Following is information sent to the National Office before the COVID-19 outbreak. So, conferences and lectures that were scheduled have been cancelled, and no doubt, other plans have changed. But here are some of the things that chapters did before the virus outbreak and chapter plans that have been cancelled.

AL-BETA(0102) [Auburn University; advisor, Keren Gorodeisky] The Spring 2020 semester began well for the Auburn chapter. Twelve members attended the Eastern APA meeting in Philadelphia and enjoyed good talks, a great art museum, and more. The chapter’s students and Dr. Jennifer Lockhart are continuing with another film series; they will be screening the films at Pedro Almodôvar every Thursday evening throughout the semester.
The chapter held its first organizational meeting on January 22. The members were reminded of the chapter’s T-shirts. Also, members chose a few possible topics for the semester’s philosophy panel to be held at a local café and open to everyone. Students will be asked to vote for one of the topics. Members also decided that the semester’s activities will include one special film night, a visit to the local fine art museum (The Julie Collins Smith Museum), a reading of G.E.M. Anscombe´s ‘‘Intention,’’ and a mini-AUPS series that consists of a series of presentations of students´ work in progress.
CA-GAMMA(0503) [California State University Chico; Katia Samoilova] The Chico chapter of Phi Sigma Tau is regrouping after the disastrous Camp Fire. Chapter members and interested students met on December 14 and discussed papers. Three papers were considered: André Fassler, ‘‘Phenomenology: Tradition and Application of Terminology to More Fields,’’ Ciaran Flanagan, ‘‘Husserl´s Logical Investigations,’’ and Alexander Smith, ‘‘Compare and Contrast James and Clifford: Views on the Relation between Evidence and Belief.’’
GA-GAMMA(1103) [Agnes Scott College; advisor, Jared Millson] 41 papers were received for the Agnes Scott College Philosophy Spring 2020 Conference. (The conference was planned for March 6-7.) Claire sent a Google Form and a link to the shared Google Drive folder for feedback on submissions--we will ask for general thoughts and impressions. The keynote speaker is Jane Friedman. Students will work as walkers and greeters for conference presenters as well as help with food set- up and pick-up. Phi Sigma Tau members will host a reading party and question brainstorming session to prepare for Q&A. Graduate students will serve as paper commentators.
Other lectures and talks will be cancelled for the Spring because of the size of undertaking the conference. However, we do plan to have a movie night in February: possible film--‘‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’’ Other departmental updates: A disability studies-political philosophy professor will likely teach a class in the Fall and give a public lecture; Dr. Denis will be back for one class per semester; one speaker each semester will be the new norm, and speakers will always be women of color; and the department now has funds for one tutor per semester. Also, we will send a Google Sheet from a Google Form to all majors to document what people are doing over the summer. This will help people secure future opportunities and have contact points at different sites for ASC philosophy majors.
GA-KAPPA(1110) [Morehouse College; advisor, Kipton E. Jensen] Our Morehouse chapter plans to institute an annual Morehouse Phi Sigma Tau Colloquium talk. Dr. Jensen’s friend, Lucius Outlaw (at Vanderbilt) was asked to come in April for a talk. The chapter will invite members from Georgia State University, Spelman College, and Emory University to attend.
IL-ALPHA(1401) [Loyola University, Chicago; advisors, Freya Mobus and Richard Kim] NEW ADVISOR.
IL-IOTA(1407) [Lake Forest College; advisor, Paul Henne] NEW ADVISOR.
KY-EPSILON(1805) [University of Louisville; advisor, Julianne Chung] NEW ADVISOR.
LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Thora Bayer] We inducted two new members and discussed their plans for future philosophy courses and for the future.
MD-THETA(2108) [Notre Dame of Maryland University; advisor, Nancy Tarr Hart] NEW ADVISOR.
MA-GAMMA(2203) [College of the Holy Cross; advisor, Bill Stempsey] NEW ADVISOR.
NV-ALPHA(2901) [University of Nevada, Las Vegas; advisor, Erik Lindland] President: Kyle Catarata, Secretary, Natalie Hsiao. Our UNLV chapter is recruiting and offering 12 scholarships to pay the dues for Phi Sigma Tau membership. Our chapter is also requesting funding from the student government and plans to use any funds towards general meeting expenses, graduation cords, and a funded trip for a philosophy graduate student who is doing research and is willing to present at UNLV’s several philosophy colloquiums.
NJ-ETA(3107) [Seton Hall University; advisor, Denise Vigani] NEW ADVISOR.
NY-DELTA(3304) [SUNY at Stony Brook; advisor, Harvey Cormier] NEW ADVISOR.
NY-ETA(3307) [LeMoyne College; advisor, William Day] NEW ADVISOR.
NY-Alpha Alpha(3326) [SUNY Buffalo State; advisor, Jason Grinnell] Every year our chapter conducts a food drive for the Milligan’s Food Pantry. Generally, this is done near Thanksgiving, but because we inducted a large group in the Fall, we decided to do an Easter food drive for students. We will accept donations in the Philosophy Department and are working with local supermarkets to see if we can set up receptacles in their markets. We may also set up a table in the union.
We are currently tutoring philosophy students and asking if people feel confident and are able to tutor. Since the Ethics Bowl is not running now, we are looking to start a philosophy club for students to attend. We plan a general interest meeting the first week of March. President Taylor Seymour co-ran a Lyceum Summer Camp last summer; these camps are designed to introduce middle school and high school students to philosophy. President Taylor plans to run the camp again this summer and several students have expressed interest in helping; please help if you can. Finally, we plan to have a speaker come to Buffalo State on April 1 for the Littlefield series; please attend.
PA-MU(3912) [Villanova University; advisor, Sally Scholz] At our December meeting, we discussed chapter revocations and voted to revoke all chapters on the list, though we were sad to see two Pennsylvania chapters lose their charters. President James Benecke is graduating in December (Congratulations, James), and Vice President Marikae DesRosiers will become President; a new Vice President will be elected in January. Advisor Sally Scholz announced that invitations to all students eligible for membership were sent in late December.
PA-XI(3914) [Bucknell University; advisor, Matthew Slater] NEW ADVISOR.
PA-ALPHA BETA(3926) [Lehigh University; advisor, Patrick Connolly] NEW ADVISOR.
TX-NU(4413) [University of Houston—Downtown; advisor, Andrew Pavelich] President: Michaela Milligan, Vice-president: Angela Galvez, Secretary: Karen Valdez, Treasurer: Alfredo Maldondao.
VA-ZETA(4706) [Liberty University; advisor, Michael S. Jones] Our chapter at Liberty University had a good Fall semester. We met twice each month for socializing, each time with a specific, philosophically oriented activity planned. The most notable event was a showing of the film Gladiator; at one meeting we watched most of the film and finished it at another meeting. The film was followed by a short YouTube video about Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and a discussion of the influence of Aurelius on the film. Our meetings are open to all, and we asked others to join our meetings; this resulted in a nice blend of perspectives. Our program is small, so we are actively recruiting students for our major.

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The April issue of Dialogue is in preparation, though the virus outbreak has impacted work on the edition. The following articles have been accepted for the issue. In recent issues, we have published no book reviews. Please consider reviewing one of the books that are listed on the BOOKS RECEIVED pages of the journal. This is an opportunity to read carefully a book that interests you and submit a review that may help others decide whether they should read that book. Requests for books to review may be sent to our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Books are available on a first-come, first- served basis.

The Banality of Evil: Analyzing the Eichmann Trial through the Lens of Existential Responsibility.
      Sara Abdelbarry, Fordham University
Anarchy in the Republic
      James C. Attwood, Texas State University
Extrinsic Virtue in Confucian Ethics
      Caleb Brown, Oxford UniversityThe Phenomenological Artifact: Recovering the Human in the Ontology of the Artifact
      Thomas Capozzi, Fordham University
Making Great-Making Properties Great Again
      Phillip Mastoridis, Rowan University
Deterritorialization of Pleasure: The Libidinal Economics of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom
      Elijah Sparrow, St. Olaf College


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 International Honor Society in Philosophy

 Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy

 Malibu, CA 90263-4225

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