Newsletter Issue #156 March, 2019
On behalf of the Executive Council of Phi Sigma Tau, I would like to congratulate all our new members for the 2018-19 school year as well as those who were already members of Phi Sigma Tau. Phi Sigma Tau exists to honor students who excel in philosophical studies as well as to encourage philosophical discussion and inquiry on college campuses. Your membership contributes to our aim of making philosophy more visible on the college campus and drawing other students into philosophical study.
The Executive Council also congratulates all graduating seniors. May your career be successful! We hope that you will continue to be associated with Phi Sigma Tau through our Alumni Chapter, continue to read and enjoy philosophical works, and to find that your study of philosophy is an asset to your career.
From the Executive Secretary
The Newsletter is an opportunity for chapters to report their activities to other chapters. Some new chapters ask what Phi Sigma Tau chapters do, and the Newsletter is an opportunity for your chapter to tell others about your activities. In the past, chapters have helped departments hold conferences, have helped sponsor lectures by faculty (either visiting faculty or in-house faculty), held banquets, engaged in tutoring beginning philosophy students, tutored high school students, held bake sales, and done volunteer work for charities. Perhaps the most common activity for chapters is discussion of philosophical topics at meetings. Some chapters agree to meet to discuss a reading of a philosophical paper written by a member; others meet to discuss a classic philosophical article or book. Some chapters have had a multi-year series of lectures around some theme or idea. Also common is a meeting with another honor group for a discussion of a topic of shared interest for two or more honor groups. A common event for many chapters is a meeting to view a film that has philosophical interest; the film showing is often followed by a discussion of philosophical topics raised by the film. Some chapters appoint a moderator for these discussions; others have a freer format. There is a lot of variety in activities of Phi Sigma Tau chapters. Many events are sponsored by Phi Sigma Tau chapters, wholly or in part, and often all students and faculty are invited.
However, we cannot include information about these activities if we do not receive your report. Fewer than normal reports have been submitted since our last Newsletter in November. Advisors, please encourage the chapter secretary or some chapter officer to submit reports of activities both to show what your chapter is doing and to give ideas to other chapters. Chapter secretaries, please send in reports so that the activities of your chapter are reported.
GA-IOTA(1109) [University of West Georgia; advisor, Walter Riker] NEW ADVISOR.
LA-BETA(1902) [Loyola University, New Orleans; advisor, Everett Fulmer] NEW ADVISOR.
LA-GAMMA(1903) [Xavier University of New Orleans; advisor, Thora Bayer] Our chapter at Xavier University of Louisiana inducted one member at our February meeting. We discussed student plans for the next
term and took a picture after the ceremony for inclusion in Xavier’s Philosophy Newsletter.
MD-ZETA(2106) [Salisbury University; advisor, Joerg Tuske] Our induction ceremony will be held on May 3 this year. There is a university ceremony for all Honor Societies; this will be followed by our departmental Phi Sigma Tau ceremony.
NJ-IOTA(3109) [William Paterson University of New Jersey; advisor, Stephen Thompson] NEW ADVISOR.
NY-BETA(3302) [Brooklyn College, CUNY; advisor, Robert Lurz] NEW ADVISOR.
NY-CHI(3322) [Lehman College, CUNY; advisor, Michael Buckley] NEW ADVISOR.
OH-TAU(3619) [Walsh University; advisor, Joe Vincenzo] Five members of our Walsh chapter met to make plans to induct six new members on March 25. Parents of inductees will be invited to the ceremony which will be followed by a reception. One member, Noah LaVictoire, will ask Father Patrick Manning from the theology department to speak at the ceremony. Our advisor, Dr. Vincenzo, distributed copies of Dialogue to all chapter members.
PA-ALPHA DELTA(3928) [Carnegie Mellon University; advisor Joel M. Smith] NEW CHAPTER.
UT-BETA(4502) [Utah Valley University; advisor, Michael Shaw] At our February 1 meeting, president Kayvon Aussef opened with a call for nominations for open positions in the chapter. A discussion of the merits of joining Phi Sigma Tau followed. Then chapter members brainstormed about possible future events for our chapter. We discussed the budget that would be available for events and considered ways to make Phi Sigma Tau more visible on campus.
At our March 1 meeting, members discussed their role as members of the undergraduate philosophy conference at Utah Valley University. We talked about paper submission for the conference and other ways we can participate if we do not submit papers. We created a selection committee for presenters at the conference. Our first guest lecturer for the chapter will be Daniel W. Graham. We ended with a twenty-minute discussion on the topic of the ethical standpoint of new age atheism.
VA-XI(4714) [Southern Virginia University; advisor, John Armstrong] NEW ADVISOR.
Examining a Natural Duty of Justice and Its Implications
Taylor Belknap, University of Lynchburg
Does Nietzsche Offer a Convincing Critique of Truth?
Benedetta Delfino, University College, London
North against South: Principles of Justice in Climate Change Negotiation
Allison Holland, High Point University
The Philosophy of Immortality: An Exploration of the Desirability of Living Immortally within a Virtual World
James Keenan, University of Birmingham
‘‘My Opponent is a Glob of Snot’’: Insults as Speech Acts and Their Emotional Effects
Rachel Lehmann, Georgia State University
Knowledge and Social Facts in the Original Position
Frederick (Fred) Matthews, University of East Anglia
Internalizing Externalities through a Libertarian Universal Basic Income
Gregory Schwartz, Yale University
Blaming the Poor and Uneducated: A Terribly Rigid Habit?
Dominic Shoucair, Emory University
Rawlsian Circularity and Transcending the Enlightenment
Kara Zhang, University of Pennsylvania
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PHI SIGMA TAU
International Honor Society in Philosophy
Dr. David E. Gibson, Humanities Division
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Malibu, CA 90263-4225