Phi Sigma Tau is the international honor society in philosophy. Our chapter works to promote interest and outstanding achievement in philosophy among St. Olaf students by sponsoring a monthly colloquium series at which students present and discuss one another’s papers on a variety of philosophical topics. We also bring in guest speakers from other institutions to present papers. Please contact any of the officers for more information about our next event or becoming a member or associate of the chapter.
2015-16 Phi Sigma Tau Board members (left to right): Zhaoqi Hu ’17, Meredith Varie ’16, Annika Beck ’17, Pedro Monque ’16.
President Meredith Varie ’16 (varie)
Vice-President Pedro Monque ’16 (monque)
Secretary Annika Beck ’17 (beck)
Treasurer Alexander Quanbeck’16 (quanbeck)
Historian Zhaoqi Hu ’17 (hu)
Click here for details of the colloquium series. Click here for details of the guest speaker events.
Professor Jeanine Grenberg
Thursday, April 28, 11:30 am
Professor Grenberg’s lecture is titled “Moral Humility as a Condition for Epistemic Humility.”
Vera Lochtefeld ’16
Thursday, April 14th, 11:30 am
Senior Vera Lochtefeld will be presenting her paper concerning gender roles and the philosophy of Lucretius’ epic poem De Rerum Natura. Sophomores Elise Steichen and Anna Wolle will be commenting. The colloquium will consist of a 25-30 minute presentation from Vera, followed by 10-15 minutes of commentary, and then it will be open for general discussion. Click here to read the paper.
Everyone is invited to attend, and we would love to see some new faces! Student colloquia are a great way to learn about work other students have been doing and to engage in philosophical conversation.
Phi Sigma Tau held the spring induction on March 15th. Nine new members joined the honor society: Philip Boldt (’18), Courtney Kein (’16), Natalie Kopp (’16), Annika Lee (’17), Dempsey Olson (’18), Julia Pilkington (’17); James Rehwaldt (’16), Kirby L. Schoephoerster (’17), Emma Shrum (’16) and Elise Steichen (’18). We are glad that these academically outstanding students can become part of Phi Sigma Tau, and we believe our future events will be even more inspiring with their participation. We were also honored to have two professors attend the induction; Professor D.M. Hutchinson and Professor Swain.
Kate Villa ’17
Thursday, October 22nd, 11:30 am
Holland Hall 516
Kate Villa will be presenting her paper “To Exist or Not to Exist: Reimagining the Non-Consent Problem in Procreative Ethics.” Kate’s paper will bring up questions about ethics, existence and wellbeing.
Phi Sigma Tau Member Samuel Benson Gives March Colloquium
On March 12, 2015, member Samuel Benson ’15, presented his paper entitled, “Who Do You Trust?: Expertise and the Pitfalls of Democratic Decision Making” for Phi Sigma Tau sponsored colloquium series. The paper, which discussed the epistemic difficulties of trusting any source of expertise in a democratic discourse, was initially reviewed by Margaret Schweiger ’15 before being opened to an enthusiastic discussion between faculty and students. Though unable to solve the epistemic struggles of democracy, the participants enjoyed pizza and quality discussion during the colloquium. Plans are currently underway for another student colloquium in April. If you would be interested in presenting a paper at a colloquium, please contact, Bergen Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Phi Sigma Tau 2014-2015 Initiation Ceremony
On September 25, 2014, Phi Sigma Tau held their initiation ceremony to welcome and induct new members and associates. After an opening speech by President Bergen Nelson ’15, he and Vice-President Meredith Varie ’16 led the initiation of ten new members into the Minnesota beta chapter of the honor society. Afterwards, members old and new voted Nelson and Varie to their positions as President and Vice-President respectively, and also elected Mitchell Kampf ’15 as Treasurer and Emma Ritter ’15 as Secretary.
Varie and Nelson then welcomed all associates of Phi Sigma Tau, and invited them to participate in any of the events and colloquiums that were planned for the coming year. A time for refreshment and community was held after the ceremony, and a delicious, thick sugary cake was enjoyed by the students of Philosophy as they discussed issues like the possibility of Moral Expertise and questioned the reality of the cake until they were forced out of the Heritage Room.