CWUNews FeedNews Feedhttps://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/newsen-usWhat can I do with a Major in Philosophyhttps://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2672Tue, 14 May 2019 11:27:37<p>Courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="http://dailynous.com/2019/05/13/varied-careers-philosophy-majors/?fbclid=IwAR3q3LLoktHxmjN1rAQsMY73MwmYp8aJ_Fj0494UIh9n82Pi5QD0vKXNBdg"><em>The Daily Nous,&nbsp;</em></a>the article below written by Professor Justin Weinberg examines a recent open-source publication by David Boersema, former professor of Pacific University.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><h3>The Varied Careers of Philosophy Majors</h3><p>By Justin Weinberg. May 13, 2019 at 10:07 am</p><div style="font-weight: normal;"><p>A philosophy professor has put together a book featuring brief essays by thirty people who majored in philosophy at his school and who went on to pursue a wide range of careers.</p><p>David Boersema, who in 2016 retired as Distinguished University Professor and Douglas C. Strain Chair of Natural Philosophy at Pacific University, says that over his 31 years of teaching there he had often heard the question, “What can you do with a degree in philosophy?” He has now edited a collection he hopes will “dispel the view that studying philosophy is impractical or unimportant.”</p><p>Professor Boersema observes that most of his students did not go on to become philosophy professors, but that their study of philosophy seems to have contributed to many of them having rewarding or fulfilling careers.</p><p>In the introduction to the book, he writes:</p><p>Studying philosophy is not merely some abstract waste of time and money. But don’t just take my word for this! This book provides the testimony, in their own words, of thirty people, all of whom graduated from Pacific University with a degree in philosophy. All of them went on to jobs and careers outside of academia. Indeed, they represent a wide variety of careers: physician, optometrist, attorney, software architect, high school principal, TV and film editor/producer, administrator for state social and health services, management consultant, marketing/ communications director, and others. They speak to the value of studying philosophy in terms of content (that is, specific knowledge they gained from philosophy) as well as skills (how to think about and approach matters in their personal and professional lives) as well as attitude (looking at the big picture and seeing the forest as well as the trees), what was mentioned earlier as treating the common as uncommon and the uncommon as common. They show just some of the many things that one can do with a degree in philosophy.</p><p>Here are a few quotes from some of the authors:</p><p><strong>I’m not saying that I break out Aristotle when I need to decide if a kid should get a free bus pass or we ought to suspend a student for smoking in the bathroom, but I do believe my time as a philosophy major helped me lay a foundation from which I’ve built the approach I take to my work. </strong>— Bjorn Paige, high school principal</p><p><strong>A few years after I graduated from Pacific, I entered a master’s program in English where I resumed my study of feminist theory and philosophy. Truth be told, I floundered in that program. As much as loved reading feminist philosophy, I longed for a way to translate feminist ideas into practice. I took a leave of absence from my program and began volunteering as a crisis counselor for my local rape crisis center. I was hired as a staff member a few months later. I worked for that center for three years eventually becoming the coordinator of the 24/7 hotline.<br>In my academic studies, I found that feminist thought was not always accompanied by corresponding action. While working as a rape crisis counselor, I found the opposite was true. My colleagues and I were working every day to make our community a safer place for women, but our work often lacked an analysis of the conditions that made violence against women a problem of epidemic proportions. Regardless of where I found myself, it seemed I needed to find ways to connect philosophy and action. </strong>— Jenny Johnson-Riley, sexual violence researcher and therapist</p><p><strong>After leaving Pacific in 1992, I moved to Seattle and joined a company I’d barely heard of called Microsoft. A humble starting point on the customer service ‘hotlines’ as a temp worker while I continued to look for a permanent position. “Thank you for calling Microsoft, this is Sean, how can I help you?” Sixteen years later I left Microsoft as an executive. It turned out this industry leading Software company didn’t just need coders, but it needed people who could think, problem solve and build consensus. It needed leaders and, fortunately for me, had a culture that deeply valued critical thinking and a discipline referred to inside the company as ‘precision questioning’—no doubt familiar territories for philosophy. </strong>— Sean O’Driscoll, management consultant</p><p><strong>Philosophy gave me the analytic skills to develop recruitment processes that were logical, fair, and legally defensible. These analytic skills extend to many other things I have done or continue to do at work, including policy analysis, making policy recommendations and drafting related language, and interpreting legal and quasi-legal documents. In addition, as human resources and volunteer management are essentially about people, good communication is essential. Here too philosophy has been invaluable, developing my ability to articulate my reasoning clearly to others, whether it’s when speaking to a hiring manager about why asking a particular interview question is a bad idea or explaining to a supervisor why one might, or might not, require an exempt employee to use paid time off to cover partial day absences. </strong>— Kari Middleton, volunteer coordinator</p><p>The book is called What Can I Do With A Degree In Philosophy? You can download an open access version <a href="/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/What%20Can%20I%20Do%20With%20a%20Degree%20in%20Philosophy_.pdf">here</a> or purchase it at Amazon.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote></div style="font-weight: normal;"></br>New content! Please fill out our alumni survey!https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2671Tue, 30 Apr 2019 17:31:36<p>In an effort to stay more up-to-date with our alums, we've created an alumni survey for everyone to fill out. The link can be found at <a href="/philosophy/node/2668">cwu.edu/philosophy/alumni-survey </a>and will be housed at the bottom of our home page.</p>Philosophy and Religious Studies Welcomes Religion Scholars to campushttps://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2669Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:11:58<p><img alt="American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature logos" src="https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/AAR%20SBL%20logos.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 210px; margin: 3px; float: right;">According to a 2018 Gallup survey, the Pacific Region—including Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii—was one of the least religious portions of the United States. Even so, it would be a fallacy to equate being religious with being spiritual.</p><p>“People still view&nbsp; themselves as ‘spiritual,’ a side of human life—that we may reject as being ‘religious’ — yet is still a core component of what we do as human beings,” said Jeffrey Dippmann, chair of CWU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.</p><p>That is among the reasons why CWU will host the 2019&nbsp; <a href="https://www.aarweb.org/" target="_blank">American Academy of Religion</a> (AAR) and <a href="https://www.sbl-site.org/" target="_blank">Society of Biblical Literature</a> (SBL) Pacific Northwest Region conference.&nbsp;</p><p>“We have to understand each other,” Dippmann explained. “I don’t see how someone can get by in the world anymore without understanding what other people believe and how they view the world.”</p><p>More than 80 scholars from the AAR and SBL will present research and participate in panels on a variety of topic from May 3-5 on campus. They will include the broad topics of arts and religion, Asian and comparative studies, the Hebrew Bible, Christianity and North American religions, the New Testament, religion and society, theology and philosophy, and women in religion.</p><p>“This is an opportunity for those of us who are in specialized fields to get out and see what other people are doing,” Dippmann said, adding that information could end up being incorporated into CWU courses.</p><p>At present, about five dozen students either major or minor in philosophy and religious studies. The department also provides courses as part of students’ general education curriculum.</p><p>“Students don’t typically get religious studies classes in high school,” Dippmann said. “So, this can be an eye-opening experience for them to learn about things they’ve never heard about before. We, generally,&nbsp; teach five to seven [general education] courses each quarter [in philosophy and religious studies] and they always fill up to capacity.”</p><p>This is the first time CWU has hosted the regional AAR and SBL conference.</p><p>The AAR and SBL’s Pacific Northwest Region, the largest geographically of the association’s 10 overall, includes universities and colleges from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, Alaska, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and the Yukon territory.&nbsp;</p><p>AAR promotes excellence in the academic study and public understanding of religion, while SBL promotes critical investigation of the Bible from&nbsp; various academic disciplines.&nbsp;</p><p>Representatives from the <a href="http://www.asor.org/" target="_blank">American Schools of Oriental Research</a> will also participate in the CWU conference. The international organization supports research into, and public understanding of, the history and cultures of the Middle East.</p><p>Friday night’s AAR-SBL Presidential address will be delivered by <a href="https://www.seattleu.edu/artsci/departments/catholic/faculty-and-staff/catherine-punsalan-manlimos-phd.html" target="_blank">Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos</a>, director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and professor of theology and religious studies at Seattle University.</p><p>While in Ellensburg, conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Ellensburg’s <a href="https://ci.ellensburg.wa.us/410/First-Friday-Arts-Walk" target="_blank">First Friday Art Walk </a>and attend a special presentation by CWU physics professor <a href="https://www.cwu.edu/physics/bruce-palmquist" target="_blank">Bruce Palmquist</a> to be held in the university’s <a href="https://www.cwu.edu/sciences/cwu-lydig-planetarium" target="_blank">Lydig Planetarium</a>.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, <a href="mailto:Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu">Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu</a></p></a href="mailto:Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu">Congratulations on your grant Dr. Lily Vuong!https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2667Thu, 11 Apr 2019 16:11:20<p>Please join us in congratulating Dr. Lily Vuong who just received a $10,000 grant from the International Catacomb Society and the Shohet Scholarship program committee for "The Aprocryphal Mary in Text, Pictorial Art, and Iconography.<br><br>More information about the International Catacomb Society and information about previous Shohet Scholars can be found at <a href="http://www.catacombsociety.org/" target="_blank">http://www.catacombsociety.org/</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br>May 3-5: Pacific Northwest AAR/SBL Conference!https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2666Tue, 09 Apr 2019 12:00:08<p>CWU is honored to host the 2019 Annual Meeting for the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. Events take place from Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5. Over 150 scholars from the Pacific Northwest region will be attending.<br><br>The event is being hosted by the CWU Department of Philosophy &amp; Religious Studies, the <a href="https://www.aarweb.org/" target="_blank">American Academy of Religion</a>, the <a href="https://www.sbl-site.org/" target="_blank">Society of Biblical Literature</a>, and the <a href="http://www.asor.org/" target="_blank">American Schools of Oriental Research.</a></p><p>For more information about the event, please see the <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-pnw-regional-aarsbl-conference-tickets-46047780150" target="_blank">official registration page.</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="Banner for the AAR/SBL Conference" src="/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/CWU%20Website%20Banner.jpg" style="width: 530px; height: 150px;"></p></br></br>Congratulations to Dr. Altman for his Sabbatical!https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2663Fri, 05 Apr 2019 10:00:59<p>Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Altman, whose sabbatical application for the 2019-2020 academic year was accepted. Dr. Altman will be on sabbatical for both Fall and Winter, and will be on a faculty release appointment Spring Quarter. During this time, Dr. Altman will be working on a book which is tentatively titled&nbsp;<em>A Theory of Punishment: Deterrence, Retribution, and the Two-Tiered Model of Criminal Justice</em>. In the book, Dr. Altman will defend a so-called mixed view of punishment, which incorporates elements of consequentialism and retributivism while avoiding their pitfalls.</p>Congratulations for Dr. Coe's Fellowship in May!https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2662Mon, 01 Apr 2019 14:15:38<p><img alt="Portrait: Dr. Cynthia Coe" src="https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/Phil_religious_studies_09_2018-8284.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 225px; float: left; margin: 5px;">Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Coe for acceptance as a Fellow for the inaugural Regional Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University and the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes against Humanity of Western Washington University.&nbsp;<br><br>More information on the Holocaust Educational Foundation can be found here:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hef.northwestern.edu/" target="_blank">https://www.hef.northwestern.edu/</a><br><br>For more information on the Ray Wolpow Institute, follow this link:&nbsp;<a href="https://wp.wwu.edu/raywolpowinstitute/" target="_blank">https://wp.wwu.edu/raywolpowinstitute/</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br>Winter Colloquium on February 7https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2660Wed, 23 Jan 2019 16:41:49<p>Please join us for our Winter department colloquium!&nbsp;<strong>Professor&nbsp;Clayton Bohnet </strong>will present "<strong>A People on the Edge of the Void: Towards a Philosophy of Protest</strong>" on <strong>Feb. 7th at 4 p.m. </strong>in <strong>Black 150</strong>. Refreshments will be served.</p><p>The first part of the paper surveys and problematizes academic and common sense understandings of protest. The second part amplifies this discussion by dialoguing it with contemporary philosopher Alain Badiou's philosophy of the event and Micah White's (a founding member of the Occupy movement) somewhat cynical assessment of the future of protest. Although consistent focus will be paid to the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-6), the paper is designed to leave open the possibility of discussing acts of protest happening at the time of its delivery.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="Poster for event" src="https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/A%20people%20on%20the%20edge%20of%20the%20void.jpg" style="width: 800px; height: 486px;"></p>Zombie Brains: Thinking about the Undeadhttps://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2659Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:50:24<p>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/CWUPhilRelsClub/" target="_blank">Philosophy &amp; Religious Studies Club</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/central.neuroscience/" target="_blank">Neuroscience Club</a>, and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/363589760392887/">Psychology Club</a> are sponsoring a Philosophy &amp; Religious Studies Fall 2018 Colloquium titled Zombie Brains: Thinking about the Undead on Tuesday, October 30, from 5-7, in Dean 104. The style will be a panel with Q&amp;A afterward. Panelists include Ralf Greenwald, Gary Bartlett, Cindy Coe, and Lauren Nuckols.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="Zombie Brains Poster" src="/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/zombie%20poster%20final.jpg" style="width: 800px; height: 450px;"></p>CWU Professors Present in Beijing at World Congress of Philosophyhttps://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/node/2657Tue, 11 Sep 2018 16:54:41<p><img alt="Professor Matthew Altman" src="https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/images/Altman2.jpg" style="width: 650px; height: 323px; margin: 3px;">Central Washington University philosophy professors Matthew Altman and Cynthia Coe recently presented at the 24th World Congress of Philosophy in Beijing, China. The World Congress is hosted by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, the highest non-governmental world organization for philosophy.</p><p>“Today, we are confronted by important philosophical questions,” said Altman. “Does the creation of autonomous military drones put us at moral risk of dehumanizing the enemy, or does it protect against human error? What kinds of limits should we put on the right to control our own bodies? Philosophy can guide our discussions about war and terrorism, science and technology, law and morality.”</p><p>Altman presented "Why Punish? Parallel Reasoning in Retributivism and Consequentialism" during a session on the philosophy of law. His lecture focused on how we justify punishment, specifically how giving people what they deserve and deterring future crimes share social aims.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="Professor Cynthia Coe" src="https://www.cwu.edu/philosophy/sites/cts.cwu.edu.philosophy/files/images/Cynthia%20Coe2.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 213px; margin: 3px; float: left;">During a session on Jewish philosophy, Cynthia Coe’s presentation, “A Levinasian Reading of Compassion Fatigue," explored why our moral attention to the suffering of others is so fragile and easily disrupted, especially when that suffering is experienced by a large group, such as Syrian refugees.</p><p>“It was an amazing experience to be among so many philosophers from a variety of countries, specializations, and concerns. One highlight was a keynote lecture by philosopher and author Judith Butler, on the apropos topic of translation as a philosophical issue — as a reminder that what is familiar is always open to reinterpretation” said Coe.</p><p>Coe and Altman were among a number of speakers from throughout world, including Yale University, National Autonomous University of Mexico, University of Nigeria, Tokyo University, and Russia’s Saratov State Law Academy. Their papers were also accepted to be published in the conference proceedings.</p><p>Every five years, the World Congress brings together philosophers to address emerging global issues through interactions with other disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This was Altman’s and Coe’s first time attending and presenting at the conference.</p><p>Learn more about the <a href="http://www.cwu.edu/programs/philosophy-and-religious-studies#">CWU&nbsp;Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies</a> by visiting the department website.</p><p>Media Contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484, dawn.alford@cwu.edu.&nbsp;</p>