Newsletter 171--March 2024


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


                     Phi Sigma Tau International Honor Society in Philosophy Newsletter

 Chapter News

CA-UPSILON(0520) [California State University, Fullerton: advisor, Ryan Nichols] NEW CHAPTER.

CT-EPSILON(0705) [Eastern Connecticut State University; advisor, Karl Stocker] NEW ADVISOR.

GA-KAPPA(1110) [Morehouse College; advisor, Kipton E. Jensen] During the last April meeting, our chapter elected officers and discussed plans to promote philosophy on campus and across the Atlanta University Center. We also proposed to co-sponsor an event with Spelman College’s Phi Sigma Tau chapter.

IL-NU(1413) [Eastern Illinois University; advisor, Grant C. Sterling] NEW ADVISOR.

IL-UPSILON(1420) [Illinois State University; advisor, Christopher Horvath] NEW CHAPTER. The Illinois State University chapter was installed by the advisor, Dr. Horvath, and three members were inducted in the initial induction. The President of the chapter will be Sheh Vora, Sara O’Dowd will be the Vice-president, and Michael Bloomfield will be the chapter secretary. Best wishes to one of our newest chapters!

MT-BETA(2702) [Montana State University; advisor, Bonnie Sheehey] NEW ADVISOR.

NM-ALPHA(3201) [University of New Mexico; advisor, Paul Livingston] NEW ADVISOR.

TX-EPSILON(4405) [University of St. Thomas; advisor, Lisa Holdsworth] NEW ADVISOR.

TX-MU(4412) [University of Texas at Arlington; advisor, Kenneth Williford] NEW ADVISOR.

VA-ALPHA(4701) [Christopher Newport University; advisor, Dawn Hutchinson] President:

Cailyn Moffitt. Chapter members have been meeting weekly. The chapter currently has no secretary, but President Moffitt informs the National Office of events. One of those events is the Hoaglund Conference; this year’s theme is Religion, Ethics, and Politics.

VA-ZETA(4706) [Liberty University; advisor, Michael S. Jones] President: Janae Joachim. The chapter holds bi-monthly meetings with the Philosophy Club. Most of these take the form of a reading circle, some well-attended, some less so.


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From the Executive Secretary


The last few years have been hard on Humanities programs, and this has affected Phi Sigma Tau in several ways. As you probably know, Phi Sigma Tau has revoked four chapters this year. These chapters had been inactive for some time, so those revocations have not affected Phi Sigma Tau significantly; if anything, it has cut our mailing list a bit, but we had had no replies to mailings and no requests for new members. However, in addition to the revocations, several chapters have been revoked because the schools closed their philosophy programs; in one case, the school folded into a nearby school and ceased to exist as an independent school. Since one of the requirements for a Phi Sigma Tau chapter is that the school has a major in philosophy, these schools no longer qualified for a chapter of our organization. As schools face financial problems, closing a small program is a way to handle the difficulty. I expect that in the next years we will continue to see philosophy programs dropped by schools; philosophy programs do tend to be smaller than other more popular programs.

Though we seem to be less affected by Covid this year, many parts of the country have had weather problems, problems which continue. We have had rain, snow, ice, mudslides, even a California earthquake. In addition, there have been school closures for various reasons. These events have no doubt affected schools and the students and faculty. Perhaps with the advent of spring weather, the problems will be less concerning.

Somewhat concerning to me is that the National Office is getting very few reports of chapter activities. I hope that is because chapter secretaries have not been able to submit reports and not because of lack of activities. One of the main goals of Phi Sigma Tau is the promotion of philosophical discussion at colleges and universities. However, in addition to meetings to discuss philosophical papers, books, and even student research, chapters have also engaged in activities that benefit the schools and the community. In the past some chapters have had Phi Sigma Tau members conduct tutoring sessions for beginning philosophy courses; and in some instances, chapters have done tutoring at local secondary schools. Also, chapters have on occasion worked in various volunteer activities that assist their communities and schools. Chapter secretaries: Please encourage chapter activity if there is none, but if there is, please inform the National Office of those activities.


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 March Dialogue

Our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone, is hard at work preparing the spring issue of our journal, Dialogue. Among the articles which will appear in our April issue are the following.

Free Will: How Does Decision-Making Work?

Difei Chen, Allegheny College

Iris Murdoch’s Inaugurated Eschatology Miles Ozoria, Westmont College

Constructing Morality from Rationality

Drishtti Rawat, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Art’s Juxtaposition: Balancing Nietzsche’s Dual Forces

Parsva Shah, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Social Media, Bad Faith, and the Commodification of Self

Bailey Thompson, Central Washington University


In addition, Dialogue publishes book reviews done by students. Though we have not listed available books for several issues, students are invited to select a book for review. However, before preparing the review, the reviewer should check with the editor to see if the book is appropriate. Reviewers can check with Dr. Barbone (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please consider writing a review if this is your first essay at publishing; a review is a great place to begin.

We also welcome students who are interested in sharing their work. Articles should be submitted to the editor, Dr. Barbone, for consideration. There is no particular deadline for an issue, but an article that arrives after an issue is filled can be held for consideration in the next issue. Also, please note that authors need not be Phi Sigma Tau members, and students who have graduated are eligible for submitting papers if they have not completed doctoral degrees. Many students work with papers or senior projects and submit their work after their graduation.


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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.