Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Phi Sigma Tau Inductees

Ashland University's PHI SIGMA TAU, Ohio Mu Chapter, honors students who have demonstrated academic excellence in philosophy.  Membership is by invitation, based on significant academic achievement.  We would like to present the current members of the 2014-2015 academic year:

      Kathryn Brickner
      Johnathon Case
      Zachary Hoffman
      Brian Kellogg
      William Patznick
      Brent Rossman

Congratulations to our newest (and returning) members!


Monday, May 26, 2014

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life...

...then learn what makes the world go around: induction!

Lawyers and doctors and engineers, oh my!


The Problem of Induction

Author: Kenneth Blake Vernon
Category: Philosophy of Science, Epistemology

Aulë’s Artifacts

Suppose you are an ethnographer newly arrived in Middle Earth, making land on the western shore, at the Gray Havens. You follow the East Road, traveling over the Misty Mountains and through the Mirkwood, eventually reaching Erebor, where you have planned your fieldwork. There you meet Durin’s Folk, a clan of dwarves living in the Lonely Mountain. Having dutifully acquired IRB approval, you carefully and meticulously note your observations of their behavior...

Read more {The Problem of Induction}

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Neuroscience Gets Philosophical

Old minds and new brains...working together.

At the University of Washington, researchers are pioneering a field of neuroscience called "neuroengineering," which will one day involve doing things like regulating people's moods with brain implants. In this fascinating video, they explain how their work spilled over into philosophy.

The issues that these neuroengineers are tackling are going to become increasingly important in many scientific fields that touch on the human mind. Entering the Brain Age also means that lab research will be trying to answer the same questions that people in the humanities have contemplated for thousands of years. Who are we? Do we have freewill? If somebody is controlling our minds with chemicals and medical devices, how is that different from controlling us with ideology or economic incentives?

The much-vaunted "war" between science and culture seems destined to end in a synthesis, at least in cases like these.

[For a direct link to the new story, click HERE.]

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Nice Resource

The following link is a cool little resource for philosophical reflection.  If you have some time and want to explore some philosophical ideas, check it out!

Big Questions Online

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Alumni highlights: Jonathan Spelman

The Philosophy Department is proud to highlight a short scholarly piece written by Jonathan Spelman!  Spelman is an AU Philosophy grad (2008) and current Ph.D candidate in Philosophy at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  His essay on Moral Luck can be found on the website, "1000-Word Philosophy".  The links are below.

Moral Luck

1000-Word Philosophy

New Chair in Philosophy

The Philosophy Department at Ashland University is pleased to announce that Dr. Louis Mancha has been nominated to be the new Chair of Philosophy.  He has taken the helm as of May 2014.  Dr. Mancha will be replacing Dr. William Vaughan, Chair since 2001.

Dr. Mancha has been a growing influence on campus since coming to Ashland in 2003.  His Ph.D is from Purdue University, and his scholarly work has been in Medieval philosophy and analytic Philosophy of Religion.  He has taught multiple courses in the department curriculum, has significant university committee experience, has steered the undergraduate Philosophy Club for many years, and has anchored the department's growing web presence.  Dr. Mancha was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, and will have returned from a semester long study-leave.

"I look forward to the challenge of maintaining our department's prominence and stature as one of the primary intellectual forces on the campus," said Dr. Mancha.

Dr. Vaughan leaves behind a rich legacy, despite difficult times in academia.  During his 13 years as chair, the department has witnessed increased faculty, increases in student acceptance rates to major graduate schools, significant curriculum changes, acquisition of the facilities of Bixler Hall, a rise of scholarly production by faculty, and has seen each member of the Philosophy department promoted, tenured, and awarded significant research grants and study leaves.

"Dr. Mancha will bring fresh perspectives and leadership energy for the subject matter of philosophy to face the future. He has the confidence of the faculty and is well-regarded across the university," said Dr. Vaughan.

A change at this time will allow Dr. Vaughan to concentrate greater attention to his administrative role as University Core Director, as well as return to the faculty and his research emphasis in European philosophy.