Phi Sigma Tau International Honor Society in Philosophy Newsletter
AL-BETA(0102) [Auburn University; advisor, Keren Gorodeisky] The Auburn chapter of Phi Sigma Tau has been active this fall with students meeting on their own weekly. The first meeting was to discuss goals and plans for the term. On August 30, a roundtable was scheduled to discuss Pascal’s Wager. The September 5 Roundtable was on Descartes’ Cogito. On September 12, Dr. Michael Watkins made a presentation on his The Metaphysics of Color, and this was followed by a discussion. The September 19 Roundtable was to be on St. Augustine and Time as in his Confessions but ended up mostly a discussion of infinity and calculus. The September 25 meeting was a discussion of arguments for the existence of God. Each meeting lasted approximately one to one and a half hours.
The chapter planned to host a roundtable on beauty at a local coffee shop on October 17; panelists included three faculty members and three students. At the end of October, the chapter will host an event in the museum with Breeden Scholar Eileen John (Warwick), a semester long visiting scholar in our college. The chapter calls the event a ‘‘Museum-Nature Promenade with Rousseau.’’ Members will read, discuss, and experientially and artistically engage with parts of Reveries of a Solitary Walker in two current exhibitions by artists Sam Moyer and James Draper. These exhibitions deeply engage viewers with questions about nature.
CA-PI(0516) [Chapman University, Orange; advisor, Michael Robinson] Our chapter met three or four times during the 2022-2023 school year. One meeting included a talk on Aristotle and artificial intelligence by Dr. Brennan McDavid. Dr. McDavid’s presentation was titled ‘‘Aristotle: Putting the ‘Intelligence’ in ‘Artificial Intelligence’’’. The event was co- sponsored by the Philosophy Club and open to all; about 14 people attended the event. Our last event was an end-of-the-year get together to celebrate the end of term and to hand out honor cords to graduating members.
At our first meeting on the new school year, we discussed society T-shirt ideas. We plan the Smith Institute Film Forum to meet every two weeks; we will show a film and chat about it. We also propose thirty-minute chats with faculty, possible collaboration with the economics society, and a dinner cafe with the philosophy professors.
CA-SIGMA(0518) [California State University, Bakersfield: advisor, Fran Fairbairn] NEW ADVISOR.
FL-IOTA(1009) [Jacksonville University; advisor, Matthew Groe] President: Skyler Wegmet, Vice-president: Leah Ferrell, Secretary: Charlotte Boyer. When the hurricanes had passed in Florida, we had our first meeting to discuss possible events for the school year.
GA-KAPPA(1110) [Morehouse College; advisor, Kipton E. Jensen] President: Barrett Johnson (’23), Vice?president: Alexander Watson (’23), Secretary: Calvin Bell (’25). The Morehouse chapter held an informational meeting last spring and an induction in April. The chapter discussed plans to promote philosophy on campus and proposed to co-sponsor an event with Spelman College which also has a Phi Sigma Tau chapter. Dr. Jensen will remain the faculty advisor, though he asked that the chapter recruit an additional member of the philosophy faculty to replace him or co-advise with him. Members suggest approaching Dr. Illya Davis for this.
The chapter invited members of the College to attend a Philosophical Forum. Two special guests were: Dr. Lucius Outlaw (author of On Race and Philosophy) and Dr. Paul Taylor (author of Black Is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics). Both Dr. Outlaw and Dr. Taylor are in the Vanderbilt University department of philosophy.
IL-UPSILON(1420) [Illinois State University; advisor, Christopher Horvath] NEW CHAPTER.
KY-EPSILON(1805) [University of Louisville; advisor, John Gibson] NEW ADVISOR.
LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Sarah Meier] NEW ADVISOR.
MD-ZETA(2106) [Salisbury University; advisor, Joerg Tuske] Officers: Sara Sellers, Emalee Sellers (not related).
MS-GAMMA(2503) [Mississippi State University; advisor, Manuel Rodeiro] NEW CHAPTER. Officers: Daniel Imole, Alexandria Tylor, Manuel Rodeiro.
MO-NU(2613) [University of Missouri-Kansas City; advisor, Gwen Nally] NEW ADVISOR.
NE-BETA(2802) [Creighton University; advisor, Roy C. Lee] NEW ADVISOR.
NV-ALPHA(2901) [University of Nevada, Las Vegas; advisor, Erik Lindland] President: Saint Lee, Vice?president: Luke Slota, Secretary/Treasurer: Alexander Bachman. The first meeting took place over Google Meet. Motions were made and passed to ratify a new amendment to the chapter constitution, ratify an amendment to require volunteer work for chapter members, ratify the constitution, establish a bi-weekly meeting schedule, and to establish a protocol for future elections of chapter officers.
NY-ALPHA(3301) [St. Lawrence University; advisor, Richard Lauer] NEW ADVISOR. The St. Lawrence chapter was inactive during the epidemic but did have an induction at the end of the spring 2023 term; another induction is planned for late October.
NY-GAMMA(3303) [SUNY at Oneonta; advisor, Michael Koch] The Oneonta chapter had an induction at the end of the sprint term and will be appointment of officers this term.
NY-CHI(3322) [Lehman College, CUNY; advisor, Carl Brownson] NEW ADVISOR.
OH-IOTA(3609) [Ohio Northern University; advisor, Robert Hartman] NEW ADVISOR.
PA-XI(3914) [Bucknell University; advisor, Maria Balcells] NEW ADVISOR.
PA-TAU(3919) [University of Scranton; advisor, Christopher Fremaux] President: Eva Fine, Vice-president: Ariana Marseglia, Secretary: Megan Schurra, Editor of Discourse: Owen Stanczak.
SC-ALPHA(4101) [Winthrop University; advisor, David Meeler] The Winthrop chapter has been inactive for several years. The advisor and his associate, Will Kiblinger, will begin recruiting for the chapter. The Philosophy program which was housed in the Philosophy & Religious Studies department is now housed in the Political Science, Philosophy, Religion, and Legal Studies department. Currently, the philosophy program has only four majors, and recruitment will focus on restructuring courses, creating some new courses, and other outreach.
TX-GAMMA(4403) [Sam Houston State University; advisor, Thomas Meagher: University of Texas at Tyler; advisor, R. Stephen Krebbs] Secretary: Benjamin Hendricks. At our October 19 meeting, the focal topic of the conversation was an excerpt from Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘‘Intentionality: A Fundamental Idea of Husserl’s Phenomenology,’’ First, we discussed Sartre’s concept of consciousness and then the relationship between faith and consciousness. We also addressed the context of Sartre’s essay, a dialogue with Husserl and Heidegger. We concluded with a conversation about the physicality of consciousness and the relation of consciousness to subjects and objects.
At our November meeting, we inducted new members. Dr. Janella Baxter, a philosopher of science at Sam Houston State delivered a presentation on ‘‘The Legacies of Race and Colonialism; After the Genome Diversity Project.’’ Dr. Baxter outlined the motivations and aims of the project as well as the backlash from anthropologists and Indigenous groups, the eventual failure of the project, and resulting changes in genomics. In a Q&A, members considered issues of scientific ethics, scientism, the legitimacy of addressing social issues with science, differing cultural perspectives on knowledge, and the importance of beneficence in medicine and science.
TX-LAMBDA(4411) [St. Mary’s University; advisor, Erika Grimm] President: Emily Davey, Vice?president: Kai Solonka, Secretary: Marie Peterson, Treasurer: Christian Lopez.
TX-OMICRON(4415) [University of Dallas; advisor, Cynthia Nielsen] President: Joey Roffino, Vice-president: Kate Rodda, Secretary: Teresa Gulding, Treasurer: Liam Fahey.
UT-DELTA(4504) [Southern Utah University; advisor, Gretchen Ellefson] NEW ADVISOR.
VA-ALPHA(4701) [Christopher Newport University; advisor, Dawn Hutchinson] President: Cailyn Moffitt.
VA-GAMMA(4703) [James Madison University; advisor, Pia Antolic-Piper] NEW ADVISOR.
§ § §
From the Executive Secretary
Well, we are almost to the holiday season, and schools are winding down their terms. Best wishes to all students as you approach the finals season; may you do your very best on any final exams or papers. And a very happy holiday season to all of you. To faculty, I hope you get a bit of a break from the rigors of teaching and grading. A happy holiday to professors too. (In my experience, a break for a breath is needed more by faculty than by students; I have been both.)
Our October(?) issue of the journal has been held up at the press, and I trust it will be printed and distributed soon. We have a nice selection of papers by students, but we will have no book reviews in this issue. The Book Review section of our journal is an important opportunity for students to begin their publishing careers. If you have a book you would like to review, please contact our editor, Dr. Steve Barbone (
§ § §
PHI SIGMA TAU
International Honor Society in Philosophy
Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division
Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90263-4225