Newsletter Issue #157  August, 2019

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

2018-2019 Financial Report
(Category)                      (Dollars)         (Percent)
Initiation Fees 31,025.00 97.81
Dialogue Subscriptions 138.50 0.44
NAC Dues 165.00 0.52
Charter Fees 300.00 0.95
Gifts 30.00 0.09
Retained Earnings 203,142.87 (not included)
Other Income 62.00 0.19
  TOTAL: 31,720.50 100.00
Supplies 727.63 3.71
Printing Costs 704.73 3.60
Postage 2,203.05 11.24
Dialogue 14,962.82 76.36
ACHS Dues/Expenses 546.00 2.79
Website 192.00 0.98
Other Expenses 259.00 1.32
   TOTAL: 19,595.23


Retained Earnings       $ 217,263.59
  At the end of our fiscal year 2019-2019, we had a balance in various accounts:

Checking 115,168.14
Credit Union Account 100.16
CDs (3) 101,995.29
   TOTAL: 217,263.59


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The Executive Council


  Longtime Executive Council Member, Dr. Anne Wiles of James Madison University, has retired from the Council. Dr. Wiles served many years as an Area Representative for the Executive Council of Phi Sigma Tau, and more recently she has been the Vice President of our organization. Dr. Wiles has been a dedicated supporter of Phi Sigma Tau, an admired teacher, and a very welcome contributor to the work of the Society. We want to thank her for her dedicated service to Phi Sigma Tau and wish her well in her retirement.
  In accordance with the procedures specified in our Constitution, the Council has selected Dr. Charlie Huenemann of Utah State University, where he is a professor in the Department of Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies, as Dr. Wiles replacement as Vice President of Phi Sigma Tau. Dr. Huenemann has served since 2012 as an Area Representative, so he knows the work of our organization. Welcome to Dr. Huenemann.
  The retirement of Dr. Wiles leaves our Executive Council one short of its full complement of seven members. So, we are opening up nominations for the position of Area Council Representative; we are not overly concerned about geographical areas, though the Constitution does specify that as the title of the position. The Council does have a nomination for the position; we nominate Dr. Dawn Hutchinson, who is currently an Adjunct Council Member and teaches at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. Dr. Hutchinson has agreed to accept the position. However, our Constitution does specify that advisors of chapters may make nominations, and we solicit other nominations for the position. Self-nominations are in order here. If there are no other nominations, we will assume that Dr. Hutchinson is elected to the position. Nominations may be made until September 30, 2019.
  Finally, we are looking for new blood for the Executive Council. If you are able and willing to serve students, we would like to talk with you. Through the years, the work of the Society has increased along with the number of our chapters. (This will be my fifteenth year as Executive Secretary, and there are more expectations now for Honor Societies than when I began.--DEG.) We announced last year that we would like to form an Adjunct Executive Council composed of those ‘‘in training’’ for full Council membership. We need faculty who can devote some time to the work of the Society and would be willing to take on some responsibility. Unfortunately, the work of the society has become too great for a current faculty member to take it on without assistance. Without some assistance, we fear for the future of Phi Sigma Tau as an entirely volunteer society.

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Other Society News

  Check out our updated website at This is the first major update of the website and should make it more convenient for cell-phone use. You can find information about Phi Sigma Tau at the site. Among things you can find are lists of advisors for chapters (at the end of the email version of the Newsletter), the current Newsletter, the current Alumni Bulletin, information about submissions to the journal, information about graduation regalia and Phi Sigma Tau keys, and other things. If you see something amiss on the site, please let me know; though we try to make it error-free, there always seems to be one more glitch.
  Our October issue is now in preparation and will contain the articles listed below. Our congratulations to all those whose papers are being published in the issue, and our thanks to all who submitted work. We are now in the process of selecting articles for our April 2020 issue, so if you have a paper you are preparing for a class, feel free to work on it during the fall term and then submit it to our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone, by email attachment (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The success of our journal does depend upon student writing and inquiry. Please note that we only publish student writing by those who have not completed doctorate degrees; your senior paper is eligible for publication even if you have graduated with your undergraduate degree.
Killing, Consent, and Kinky Sex: An Ethical Defense of Autassassinaphilia
        Aynabeth Anderson, Rhodes College
Merciful Heaven: God’s Love Confronts Horror
        Jake Beardsley, College of William and Mary
So THAT’S ‘‘What It’s Like to Be a Bat’’: How We Might Get Accustomed to Physical Reductions
        Daniel Cappell, Rutgers University
Global Justice: Practical Approaches to Discharge Responsibility
        Joshua Stephen Ebiner, California State Polytechnic University
A Time to Die: Moral Considerations in Dutch Euthanasia Policy
        Ra’phael Davis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Public Health and Personal Choice: The Ethics of Vaccine Mandates and Parental Refusal in the United States
        Rebecca Amelia Horan, Eastern Illinois University
The Way Fish Live in Water: Autonomy, Femininity, and the Kantian Duty to Resist Oppression
        Giulia Piazza, University of Stirling, Scotland

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Chapter News

  AL-BETA(0102) [Auburn University; advisor, Keren Gorodeisky] NEW ADVISOR.
 CO-GAMMA(0603) [Fort Lewis College; advisor, Justin P. McBrayer] President: Sophie Schwartz, Vice- president: Rachel Lee, Secretary: Mikayla Bennion, Treasurer: Emily Sorenson. Our Fort Lewis chapter extended an invitation to Dr. Peter Vallentyne to lecture on left-libertarianism and egalitarianism. In addition, our chapter plans to develop an Ethics Bowl team for the 2019-2020 school year.
 CT-GAMMA(0703) [Southern Connecticut State University; advisor, Chelsea C. Harry] RETURNING ADVISOR.
  FL-IOTA(1009) [Jacksonville University; advisor, Matthew Groe] President: Patrick Farrell, Vice- president: Samuel McIntire, Secretary: Jared Taylor, Treasurer: Leah Finsie, Social Chair: Zac Christensen. These officers were elected in our April meeting. Members gave their reasons for their interest in philosophy, and new members signed the chapter roll.
  GA-BETA(1102) [Emory University; advisor, George Yancy] NEW ADVISOR.
 GA-DELTA(1104) [Mercer University; advisor, Rosalind Simson] During the 2018-2019 school year, the Mercer chapter held five well-attended meetings (10 to 25 students at each meeting). Four of the events were structured discussions on philosophical topics of broad interest. Students from the chapter came with a series of four or five questions to pose to the group, and discussions were strictly limited to fifteen minutes for each question. So, each discussion was about sixty to seventy-five minutes long. Students mediated the discussions to assure that everybody stayed on track. The topics were: Is it ever OK to lie? Does God exist? What is love? (A discussion appropriate for a Valentine’s Day meeting.) and What makes art beautiful? One of the events was a philosophy game tournament. The games were for fun and not for ‘‘showing off.’’ For example, one game was a hot potato game where each participant had to name a philosopher (honor society students were final arbiters of who was a philosopher). The Philosophy Department gave $100 to the society for the year, and members used the money to buy silly, dollar store prizes and snacks for porch parties. The final chapter event was the induction of new Phi Sigma Tau members; this took place at an annual end-of-the- semester party. (Sounds like a great year for the Mercer chapter!--ed.)
  IL-TAU(1419) [DePaul University; advisor, Avery Goldman] NEW ADVISOR.    
 ME-BETA(2002) [University of Maine; advisor, Kirsten Jacobson] RETURNING ADVISOR. Our chapter at the University of Maine inducted four new members in May. During the year, students met regularly to discuss philosophy; in addition, we had a couple of movie nights. We also participated in a major project that was open to students who were not members of Phi Sigma Tau: the second volume of an undergraduate philosophy journal, Dwell. The journal was funded by several sources on campus and represented the joint effort of many students at the University of Maine. We are postponing election of new officers because of low attendance at the induction ceremony.
  MA-DELTA(2204) [Boston College; advisor, Stephen Hudson] NEW ADVISOR.
 MN-BETA(2402) [St. Olaf College; advisor, Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson] At our February 11 meeting we planned a Colloquium on the ethics of illegal kidney markets; this was presented by Ian Carlos. We looked at a possible colloquium day and a presenter for April and may ask a faculty member as well. We are also considering a movie night with a philosophical topic and planning a date for A Ringstad/Distinction peer review workshop for students interested in submitting work to either place. And finally, we will discuss and plan potential advertising in Introduction to Philosophy classes for associate membership in Phi Sigma Tau.
 NM-ALPHA(3201) [University of New Mexico; advisor, Pierre-Julien Harter] Because of the press of other responsibilities, some officers were unable to participate in activities; Daniel Hund will now serve as Vice-president, and Jalyn Miller will serve as secretary. At our February meeting, we discussed potential for growth, interest among members in growing the chapter, strategies for growth, and group interest in possible events. We planned to host a screening of ‘‘Tree of Life’’ later in the term, considered a collaborative event with the Chinese club (the club is hosting a meeting on Eastern Philosophy on March 26), and planned our next meeting. We are holding bi-weekly discussion meetings, and in future meeting members will prepare papers and presentations; if nobody is available for that, we will have a discussion of a specific topic and/or reading. We also considered society-only events. These social events would provide an unstructured atmosphere to engage with other members; suggestions include a dinner, a hike, a potluck, or simply a casual off-campus meeting. At our April meeting we discussed the hiking event and made plans for the remainder of the semester.
  NY-BETA(3302) [Brooklyn College, CUNY; advisor, Anna Gotlib] NEW ADVISOR.
 NY-ZETA(3306) [The College of Saint Rose; advisor, Laura Weed] NEW ADVISOR.
  NY-THETA(3308) [Nazareth College; advisor, Adrian Arellano] President: Walter Schrader, Vice- president\Treasurer: Marissa Saporito, Secretary: Laura Beeley, Social Media: Evan McIntyre. At our meeting on March 26, we had a discussion of procrastination (a discussion of a Ted Talk video), negotiation (where to find resources on job negotiation), resumes (campus resources for creating a resume as a philosophy major), and future jobs.
 NY-MU(3312) [Manhattanville College; advisors, Andrew Garnett] NEW ADVISOR.
  NY-SIGMA(3318) [Canisius College; advisor, Melissa A. Mosko] NEW ADVISOR.
 OH-PI(3616) [Case Western Reserve University; advisor, Laura Hengehold] NEW ADVISOR.
 PA-MU(3912) [Villanova University; advisor, Sally Scholz] President: James Benecke, Vice-president: Marikate des Rosiers, Secretary: Madeline Wahlgreen, Treasurer: Ricardo Posada, Archivist: Jack Swick.
 PA-NU(3913) [St. Joseph’s University; advisor, Lorraine Keller] NEW ADVISOR. Twenty-four students were inducted in April, and Angelica Porra was elected President, with Jackie Gibson elected Vice-president.
 PA-XI(3914) [Bucknell University; advisor, Maria Balcells] Bucknell has a FOOD FOR THOUGHT series. The description for the series is ‘‘Food for Thought is a series of philosophical talks for students and facilitated by students. The series is brought to you by Phi Sigma Tau (the International Honors Society in Philosophy) and the Philosophy Club.’’ Topics for the year included ‘‘Aesthetics and Therapeutics in Nietzsche’s Ethics,’’ ‘‘Guardians of the City,’’ ‘‘What is Love?’’ ‘‘From Descartes to Nietzsche: The End of Civilization as We Know It (Or, So long, and Thanks for All the Fish),’’ and ‘‘The Art of Musical Theatre.’’ Sample Description: Perhaps because of its widespread appeal, its occasional satirical nature, or its association with vaudeville and burlesque, musical theatre is sometimes taken to be a ‘‘low’’ art form. In this talk, Dani Kaufman (Philosophy Major) will discuss key elements of art, such as originality, creativity, and genius. By focusing on its true aesthetics, she will argue that musical theatre is an important, creative, and sometimes avant garde art form that should be appreciated and respected more highly among the art community. (The advisor at Bucknell sent me flyers for the series; they are beautifully printed in full color with a brief description of the topic for the session; no wonder the advisor was able to say that the events were well-attended.--ed.)
 RI-ALPHA(4001) [Providence College; advisor, Antonella Mallozzi] The Providence College chapter had a busy year. Thirteen new members were inducted, and last year’s inductees were active in promoting philosophy throughout the College. The chapter held major/minor career days, graduate school information sessions, and several intercollegiate talks involving guest speakers. The chapter also worked on the ‘‘Anthony Lisska Essay Prize’’; there is permanent financial support for the prize. Several students participated in talks and club activities as well. The Alpha Rhode Island chapter is a vibrant and growing community.
  TX-NU(4413) [University of Houston—Downtown; advisor, Andrew Pavelich] NEW ADVISOR.
 WI-ALPHA(5001) [Marquette University; advisor, Desiree Valentine] NEW ADVISOR.



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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

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.