State of Play

September 2018 to June 2019

Fall Semester Courses Offered:
  • PHIL 371: Seminar in Epistemology: Theories of Justification (Rudd)
Spring Semester Courses Offered:
  • PHIL 240: Formal Logic (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 374: Seminar in the History of Philosophy: Neoplatonism

September 2017 to June 2018

Fall Semester Courses Offered:
  • PHIL 118: Making of the Modern Mind (Swanson)
  • PHIL 119: Moral Psychology (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 235: Ancient Greek Philosophy (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 241: Philosophical Theory (Engel, Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 243: Aesthetics (Griep, Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 250: Biomedical Ethics (Marsh)
  • PHIL 252: Ethics and the Good Life (Marino)
  • PHIL 254: Law, Politics, and Morality (Swanson)
  • PHIL 256: Friendship, Love, and the Good Life (Swain)
  • PHIL 258: Ethics, Economics, and the Marketplace (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 372: Seminar in Metaphysics: Free Will (Cunningham)
Interim Courses Offered:
  • PHIL 298: Topics in Advanced Logic
Spring Semester Courses Offered:
  • PHIL 257: Environmental Ethics (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 375: Seminar in Advanced Topical Studies: Skepticism & Fake News
  • PHIL 399: Senior Seminar: Nietzsche

September 2016 to June 2017

In the academic year 2016-2017, the Philosophy Department offered the following courses:

  • PHIL 118: Making of the Modern Mind (Cunningham, Marsh, Marino x2)
  • PHIL 119: Moral Psychology (Grenberg x 2)
  • PHIL 231: Philosophy of Mind (Rudd)
  • PHIL 233: Kierkegaard (Marino)
  • PHIL 235: Ancient Greek Philosophy (Rudd)
  • PHIL 236: Modern Philosophy (Grenberg, Rudd)
  • PHIL 240: Formal Logic (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 241: Philosophical Theology (Taliaferro x 2)
  • PHIL 243: Aesthetics (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 244: Philosophy of Science (Cunningham x 2)
  • PHIL 245: Philosophy & Feminism (Swanson)
  • PHIL 246: Space and Time (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 250: Biomedical Ethics (Marsh x 2, Gervais)
  • PHIL 251: Science, Ethics, and Religion (Marsh x2)
  • PHIL 252: Ethics & the Good Life (Engel x 2, Swanson x 2)
  • PHIL 254: Law, Politics, and Morality (Swanson x 2, Engel)
  • PHIL 255: Race and Social Justice (Swanson)
  • PHIL 257: Environmental Ethics (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 259: Global Health Ethics (Gervais)
  • PHIL 261: Freud/Human Behavior (Marino)
  • PHIL 371: Epistemology Seminar (Marsh)
  • PHIL 373: Ethics Seminar: Ethics & Value Theory (Rudd)
  • PHIL 399: Kant’s Ethics and Religion (Grenberg)

In mid-October, the St. Olaf College– Carleton College retreat was led by Sally Haslanger of MIT. Haslanger led discussions on racism, the resistance to oppression, and suppression, sexism, economic inequalities, and a theory of justice and meaning which gave prominence to those who stand against injustice.

The 38th Eunice Belgum Memorial Lecture was delivered on March 9 and 10 by Professor Emeritus Edward Langerak of St Olaf College. The series, titled Meanings of Life and Death, was sponsored by the Eunice Belgum Fund and the Department of Philosophy.

Phi Sigma Tau held multiple events, including colloquia by current students, as well as a paper workshop.

Faculty News: 

The Philosophy department welcomed two new faculty members in the Fall of 2016:

Laura Engel specialized in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. Her dissertation focuses on questions about what have been called “adaptive preferences” considered from a metaethical constructive framework, i.e. a framework that assumes that value is ultimately the result of valuing. Laura’s other research interests include topics in Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, and Moral Psychology.

Kathryn Swanson areas of specialization include philosophy of law, feminist philosophy and social and political philosophy. She recieved her JD from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 2009. She lives in Minneapolis and likes to run and learn about rocks.

Professor Gordon Marino was pleased to welcome Professor Poul Lubcke, one of Denmark’s most renowned philosophers, to the Hong Kierkegaard Library. He also wrote an article published in the New York Times titled “What’s The
Use of Regret”.

Professor Mike Fuerstein spent his sabbatical at the INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France, working on a book manuscript and continuing a project with their faculty on business and social progress. He was also recently appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Political Philosophy

Professor Charles Taliaferro offered with American painter Jil Evans a one-day course on the city of Venice at the University of Minnesota Life long learning center on March 25. He gave the Dunlap Lecture in Millsaps College in late February; he addressed s the Royal Institute of Philosophy in Oxford on March 22 with a presentation, “Philosophy Can Help You Keep Your Head When All Around You are Losing Theirs”; and he spoke on divine attributes in Brazil in
August. He is working on The History of Evil, a six volume-work involving over 130 scholars around the world due out at the end of 2017 with Routledge, the four volume Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion with 400 scholars from around the world, and the second edition of The Dictionary of Philosophy of Religion with Bloomsbury.



September 2015 to June 2016

In the academic year 2015-2016, the Philosophy Department offered the following courses:

  • PHIL 118: Making of the Modern Mind (Munoz-Hutchinson x 2, Marsh)
  • PHIL 119: Moral Psychology (Grenberg x 2, Fuerstein x 2)
  • PHIL 127: Zen and the Art of Judo (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 233: Kierkegaard (Marino)
  • PHIL 235: Ancient Greek Philosophy (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 236: Modern Philosophy (Grenberg)
  • PHIL 240: Formal Logic (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 241: Philosophical Theology (Taliaferro x 2)
  • PHIL 244: Philosophy of Science (Cunningham x 2)
  • PHIL 246: Space and Time (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 250: Biomedical Ethics (Gervais)
  • PHIL 251: Science, Ethics, and Religion (Marsh x 2)
  • PHIL 252: Ethics and the Good Life (Swanson x 2)
  • PHIL 254: Law, Politics, and Morality (Engel)
  • PHIL 255: Race and Social Justice (Swanson)
  • PHIL 257: Environmental Ethics (Taliaferro x3)
  • PHIL 261: Freud/Human Behavior (Marino)
  • PHIL 373: Ethics & Value Theory (Rudd)
  • PHIL 399: Kant’s Ethics and Religion (Grenberg)

In September, the St. Olaf College– Carleton College retreat was led by John Greco on Testimonial Knowledge.

In April, for the 37th annual Eunice Belgum Memorial Lectures, John Cooper (Princeton University) gave two lectures: “Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life: Socrates” and “Platonist Philosophy as a Way of Life.”

Members of the Department actively participated in Phi Sigma Tau (the college’s philosophy honor society) events and weekly “Pizza Thursday” discussions with students.

Holland hall began major renovations in January. The philosophy department was temporarily relocated to the old telecommunications suite on the lower level of Buntrock Commons.

Professor Jeanine Grenberg was a critic of Patrick Frierson’s recent book Kant’s Empirical Psychology in the meeting of the North American Kant Society at the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in January. She will also be the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Philosophical Society in April, and will speak about Kantian Epistemic Humility.

Professor Gordon Marino has been appointed a member of the Committee on Public Philosophy on the American Philosophical Association’s board of officers for a threeyear term starting July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019.

Professor Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson presented a paper at the APA meeting in Washington DC entitled “Consciousness and Contemplation in Plotinus.” In February he attended, for the second year in a row, the Posse Plus Retreat. This is an annual retreat led by the Posse foundation and hosted by St Olaf’s Posse1 and Posse2 scholars, which this year was organized around the theme “Sticks and Stones: Language, Labels, and Triggers.”

Professor Mike Fuerstein had a paper accepted for publication in Social Theory and Practice, titled “Democratic Experiments: An Affect-Based Interpretation and Defense,” and presented a paper titled “New Prospects for Organizational Democracy?” with Julie Battilana (Harvard Business School) at the Society for Progress meeting in London.

Professor Anthony Rudd gave a paper at the Eastern Division of the APA in Washington DC on January 6th arguing that Kierkegaard did not (contrary to the view of Steve Evans a distinguished Kierkegaard scholar and former member of this department) claim that moral obligations depended on divine commands; and that such a view would be incompatible with Kierkegaard’s essentially Platonic account of ethical value.

Professor Charles Taliaferro gave talks this fall at Middlebury College, Manchester University (UK), the University of London (where there was a book launch for his co-edited Ashgate Research Companion for Theological Anthropology), taught a one day course on Star Wars with Bailey Wheelock ‘15 at the University of Minnesota, and in April will be giving a lecture on Platonism at Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat in Münster, Germany. His edited anthology, Environmental Ethics: Contemporary Perspectives was published in February. He co-authored entries on fallacies with Kate Villa ’16, and three chapters in two books with Meredith Varie ’16. In May, his co-authored book, Contemporary Philosophical Theology will be published by Routledge.

September 2014 to June 2015

In the academic tear 2014-2015, the Philosophy Department offered the following courses:

PHIL 118: Making of the Modern Mind (Munoz-Hutchinson x 3)

  • PHIL 119: Moral Psychology (Grenberg x 2, Fuerstein x 2)
  • PHIL 127: Zen and the Art of Judo (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 231: Philosophy of Mind (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 233: Kierkegaard (Marino)
  • PHIL 235: Ancient Western Philosophy (Munoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 236: Modern Philosophy (Grenberg)
  • PHIL 240: Formal Logic (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 241: Philosophical Theology (Taliaferro x 2)
  • PHIL 243: Aesthetics (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 244: Philosophy of Science (Cunningham x 2)
  • Philosophy and Feminism (Swain)
  • PHIL 250: Biomedical Ethics (Marsh x 2, Gervais)
  • PHIL 251: Science, Ethics, Religion (Marsh x 2)
  • PHIL 252: Ethics and the Good Life (Rudd x 2, Marsh)
  • PHIL 254: Law/Politics/Morality (Swanson x 3, Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 255: Race and Social Justice (Swanson)
  • PHIL 257: Environmental Ethics (Fuerstein, Taliaferro x 2)
  • PHIL 259: Global Health Ethics (Gervais)
  • PHIL 260: Kant’s Moral Theory (Grenberg)
  • PHIL 298: IS/Lit/Phil Scandanavia (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 298: IS/Wittgenstein (Rudd)
  • PHIL 371: Semester – Epistemology (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 373: Semester – Ethics/Theory/Value (Marsh)
  • PHIL 398: IR – Magic, Illusion and Conv. (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 398: IR – Kant Moral Theory Advanced (Grenberg)
  • PHIL 398: IR – Extreme Measures (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 398: IR – Theories of Justice (Fuerstein x 2)
  • PHIL 398: IR – Philosophy of Technology (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 399: Semester – Kierkegaard/Nietz/Freud (Marino)

In September, the St. Olaf College– Carleton College retreat was led by Linda Zagzebski (University of Oklahoma).

In March, for the 36th annual Eunice Belgum Memorial Lectures, Eleonore Stump (St. Louis University) gave two lectures: “The Nature of Atonement” and “Atonement and Shame.”

The Department held regular colloquium meetings, often with the philosophers from Carleton College.  Presenters included:

  • Arthur Cunningham (St. Olaf): “The Popular Solution to the Problem of Freedom and Foreknowledge (and Some Implications for Freedom and Determinism)”
  • Rachana Kamtekar (University of Arizona): “Doing What You Want”
  • Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin): “Act and Motive in Spinoza’s Moral Philosophy”
  • Ken Taylor (Stanford): “Selfhood and Self-Representation”

Members of the Department actively participated in Phi Sigma Tau (the college’s philosophy honor society) events and weekly “Pizza Thursday” discussions with students.

The Department co-sponsored a SOMOS meeting, Political Transparency: Insights from Latin America, led by Pedro Monque (Class of 2016), semester two 2015.

Emma Ritter (Class of 2015) presented a paper “The Progress Paradox: An attempt to provide the how and why behind the vicious pursuit of virtue” to the Rutgers Undergraduate Conference held at Princeton University

Meredith Varie and Vera Lochtefeld (both class of 2016) co-presented with Charles Taliaferro a one-day course, The Philosophy of Aging, at the University of Continuing Educating at the University of Minnesota, fall 2014.

Four of our majors presented at the Minnesota Undergraduate Philosophy Conference in the spring 2015: Stella Arndorfer, Ian Strawbridge, Grant Hertel, and Katherine Villa.

Four members of our department are undergoing reviews next year: three are candidates for Associate Professorships; one is to undertake his fourth year review.  This has led us to delay our extensive self-study to 2017-18.  There has been a drive to identify the goals in our last self-study, and to begin preparing for a more comprehensive analysis of our current state of play and future directions.

Three publications were produced that were co-authored with a current student philosophy major, Annika Beck, and with a member of the Class of 2013, Austen Dressen.

During the fall and interim Kathryn Swanson joined our faculty; she is an ABD in philosophy at the University of Minnesota; she taught Law, Politics, and Morality for us in semester one and Race and Justice during interim. She brought to our students practical expertise in law as she has a JD.

The faculty were active in their fields of specialty:

Arthur Cunningham has just had a paper proposal on how the problem of freedom and foreknowledge have implications for how we think about free will and determinism accepted for the Ninth Principia International Symposium, to take place in August in Brazil. Arthur has been invited to take part in a two-week long seminar on philosophy of religion and philosophical theology at the University of St. Thomas this summer.

Michael Fuerstein has been active as a scholar on a first-rate basis.  He continues to be an active member of the recently formed “Society for Progress,” an organization devoted to bringing together a highly distinguished group of philosophers, business professors, and business leaders to address the gap between business and social progress.  In June of 2014, he completed an 8000-word synthesis of their discussions at their first meeting in April 2014.  This is due to be published shortly in a volume published by Oxford University Press, along with his 10,000-word essay contribution.  He has continued to consult regularly with the founder of the organization about matters of organization and conceptual direction, and is presently at work on a paper for the organization’s next meeting, to be jointly written with Julie Battilana of Harvard Business School.  This paper will also be published in a future volume. In July (also 2014), he traveled to London with the organization’s founder to meet with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to recruit him for further participation and seek his input on organizational matters. In November, he attended their second meeting at Princeton University, where he participated in discussions about the organization’s future and preliminary meetings of juries which will be awarding 100,000 Euro prizes later this year. In addition to his work with the Society for Progress, Mike completed a paper this fall on “Democratic Experiments” which is presently out under review at a peer-refereed journal. And he is in the early stages of a paper on “Condorcet in the Boardroom” to be jointly written with Andy Eggers of the Dept. of Government at Oxford.   He continues to serve as an active referee of papers for several reputable scholarly journals (In the past year: The Journal of Political Philosophy, Synthese, The Journal of Applied Philosophy, Social Theory and Practice). Within the Philosophy Department, Mike has taken an active role in organizing colloquium speakers for the St. Olaf and Carleton faculty, and was the co-organizer of a “Broadening the Bridge” grant with the Carleton Philosophy Dept.  As a result, he, in collaboration with a Carleton colleague, has organized the successful recruitment of world-class outside speakers for visits that include student workshops and faculty colloquia.  Within the College more generally, Mike has maintained an active service profile as a member of the Student Life Committee, a member of the Advising Study Group, and as a (newly invited) member of the advisory committee for the Institute for Freedom and Community.  He was also active in assisting Brian Borovsky with the identification and recruitment of a speaker for this year’s Science Conversation lecture.  He participated in visit day panels and two Buntrock interviews. Mike moderated a student discussion sponsored by the International House on the Charlie Hebdo affair and participated in a faculty panel on Environmental Racism.  As in previous years, he has consulted with several students on their potential plans for graduate study in philosophy.  Some of our musically inclined students have sought him out as a mentor for their musical career and regularly show up at his performances as part of The Counterfactuals (the band in which he plays drums).

Jeanine Grenberg has written the following publications: a review of Patrick Frierson, Kant’s Empirical Psychology, for Kantian Review, forthcoming in 2015; Symposium on Kant’s Defense of Common Moral Experience: A Phenomenological Account (comments on book by Owen Ware and Dean Moyar, followed by Jeanine’s response), in Kantian Review, forthcoming in 2015. Jeanine has given a presentation on “Humilty and Attentiveness,” for a panel on intellectual humility on the main program of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, forthcoming in April, 2015. She is continuing to work with Jens Timmerman (of St. Andrews University, Scotland) on a new translation of Kant’s “Doctrine of Virtue”, and on preparatory work for her next book on the history and nature of attentiveness.

Gordon Marino: The department is in aw of Gordon’s accomplishments through the year, from advising to coaching to scholarship and more. Gordon has been the Advisor to the Honor Council – This involved almost weekly meetings and some emergency night sessions. NOTE BENE – Gordon continued in this role while he was on sabbatical last year. Advisor to the REED – an undergraduate journal of Existentialism that is now receiving submissions from all over the globe. Advisor to the Philosophy Forum; Advisor to the men’s St. Olaf Lacrosse club. Coach of the St. Olaf Boxing Team – This involves year round practices, 5- 6 times a week and also a good deal of travel to bouts. Gordon had both St. Olaf students and youngsters from town competing this year. Gordon is trying to open a gym in town in order to offer as expansive a boxing program as ever. One of the boxers Gordon has been working with over three years now will be among the first two Mexican Americans from Northfield to come to St. Olaf College. Boxing is starting to become a real draw for St. Olaf. A Chicago Golden Cloves champion has decided to come to St. Olaf because of the boxing opportunities, and a student from St. John’s is transferring to St. Olaf because of the boxing. Professor Marino has started a reading group this summer (first book, the Stranger); he has sat on two dissertation committees; he is a contributor to ASKPHILOSOPHERS.COM. Last summer Gordon was the recipient of a travel grant from the AMERICAN SCANDINAVIAN SOCIETY. He gave a lecture at the Kierkegaard Research Centre in Copenhagen and conferred with Danish philosophers – one of whom will be coming to St. Olaf in August to lead our annual George Utech Seminar. In February, Gordon gave an invited talk sponsored by the Philosophy and English Departments at the University of Mississippi, Oxford MS. On a Saturday in April Gordon went on a retreat and gave a talk to the QUO VADIS group from St. Olaf. In May, he gave one of the Sto Talks at St. Olaf. Also in May Gordon gave a philosophy class to students from the charter high school, Peace Academy. For the past decade or so the Kierkegaard Library, under Gordon’s leadership, has been sponsoring monthly meetings at the Kierkegaard Library for a senior citizens philosophy group. Gordon gave a talk this spring to them on Nietzsche. During the summer of 2014, Gordon hosted sixty plus scholars at the Hong Kierkegaard Library. They hailed from over 20 different countries. He also directed our Young Scholars Program, which in the past has included as many as 8 St. Olaf students. Last year we only had one – Margaret Schweiger. This program, which involves seminars 4 days per week, has been helpful to students in two ways. It has aided them in the decision as to whether or not to go on to grad school and it has also been very helpful in getting some people admitted.

Keep reading! There is more!

Gordon is a board member of the Kierkegaard House Foundation and he has reviewed manuscripts this year for Oxford University Press, University of Chicago Press, Princeton University Press, and Bloomsbury. Gordon has a piece that has been accepted for publication for the “Couch” section of the NEW YORK TIMES. He is the boxing writer for the WALL STREET JOURNAL and this year received honorable mention for best boxing coverage from the Boxing Writers Association of America. In January, Gordon had opinion pieces published in the Tampa Bay Times (“In a world full of partisans, open minds are rare.”) He also co-authored an opinion piece for the Star Tribune with Dr. Susan Marino “Germanwings, Suicide, and the Hidden Dangers of Antidepressants.”

Gordon’s essay, “Fearful Asymmetry” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the cover story in COMMONWEAL (August 2014). He has a review forthcoming in the CHRISTIAN CENTURY and an article soon to appear in the HEDGEHOG REVIEW on the mind body relation. Gordon co-authored with Dr. Susan Marino.  “Suffering, Silence and the Problem of Autonomy”.  In Suffering and Bioethics, Editors:  Ronald M. Green and Nathan Palpant, Oxford University Press, 2014. One of Gordon’s essays for the NEW YORK TIMES “The Stone” was selected for a collection to be published by WW Norton. On January 26, 2015, Gordon’s essay, “Throwing in the Towel” was published on the back page of The Chronicle Review (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION). Gordon wrote the foreward to Dr. Harold Reitmann’s very popular ASPERTOOLS (HCI press) He was interviewed for ON BEING with Krista Tippett. He was a guest for a conversation on cowardliness on Connecticut Public Radio and on Wisconsin Public Radio to talk about his piece in the NY TIMES “A LIFE BEYOND DO WHAT YOU LOVE.” He was also on CNN radio to discuss the same, and was thrice a guest on Huffpost Live and also on the WALL STREET JOURNAL radio show, “Mean Street”. Gordon received a contract and a substantial advance from HarperOne (Harper Collins) for a forthcoming book, EXISTENTIAL PRESCRIPTIONS.

Jason Marsh’s paper ‘Conscientious Refusal and Reason-Giving’ was published in Bioethics and his paper ‘Quality of Life Assessments, Cognitive Reliability and Procreative Responsibility’ came out in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.’ In addition, his paper ‘Assessing the Third Way’ was published in December of 2014 as a chapter for a book called ‘The Roots of Religion: Exploring the Cognitive Science of Religion’ (Ashgate Press). This summer Jason will present a paper on the philosophy and science of subjective wellbeing at a conference called ‘Moral Progress? Concept, Measurement, and Application’ at VU University, Amsterdam. He is also completing chapters for two volumes with Oxford University Press: one on reproductive ethics, the other on the future of philosophy of religion. Finally he has been invited to edit a special issue, with Open Theology, on the cognitive science of religion. Jason is currently part of the IRB board, where he helps ethically evaluate various research proposals from students and faculty. At the departmental level, Jason has taken on the role of talking to students with an interest about graduate school — he has advised several students this year. He also helps organize our departmental Facebook page. As for service beyond the institution, Jason has reviewed for various journals this year, including the Journal of Medical Ethics and Religious Studies.

Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson has made a substantial contribution to the first ever joint colloquium series made possible through the Carleton-St. Olaf bridge grant. He coordinated with Sarah Jensen (his counterpart at Carleton) a well-attended and highly successful event at Carleton in which he and Sarah led a discussion on afterlife myths in Plato in order to prepare the students for their meeting with the invited speaker. Since June 1 of 2014, he has co-organized a session on Neoplatonic Metaphysics and delivered a paper on the Metaphysics of Agency in Plotinus at the ISNS conference in Lisbon, Portugal. He has published an article on Consciousness and Agency in Plotinus in an edited volume entitled Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity (CUP). And he has co-organized a panel on Neoplatonic Epistemology and will be presenting a paper on Contemplation of the Forms in Plotinus at the ISNS conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in June 2015. Moreover, he is taking an active leadership role in the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies by co-organizing panels three years in a row with colleagues at Hamline University and Boston College respectively. He not only presents at this annual conference, but also shapes the conference itself. He also reviewed an article on Plotinus for the International Journal of the Platonic Tradition.

Anthony Rudd: First, a word on his teaching. Anthony taught five-sixths FTE this year. He began a new cycle of the Great Conversation, which involved one course in each of the Fall, Interim and Spring semesters (GC 113, 115 and 116). On these courses Anthony taught a number of new texts (from when he had previously taught Great Con) and used some new assignments (e.g. student giving prepared speeches in class, an oral final exam in 116). He was generally pleased with how all the classes went and look forward to continuing with the second year of this cycle in 2015-16. In addition Anthony taught two sections of Ethics and the Good Life (Phil 252) in the Fall; he also supervised an independent study on Wittgenstein in the Spring semester. Anthony published “Narrative Unity and the Moment of Crisis in Fear and Trembling” in D. Conway (ed) Cambridge Critical Guide to Fear and Trembling (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

“No Self? Some Reflections on Buddhist Theories of Personal Identity” (Philosophy East and West, 2015) and ‘Kierkegaard’s Platonic Teleology’ in J. Lippitt and P. Stokes (eds) Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self (Edinburgh University Press, 2015.) He also completed two essays to be published this year, later in 2015: “Kierkegaard on Evil” in D. Hedley, C. Meister and C. Taliaferro (eds), A History of Evil (Acumen, London, forthcoming) and “Kierkegaard and the Critique of Political Theology” in ‘R. Sirvent and S. Morgan, (eds) Kierkegaard and Political Theology  (Pickwick Publications, Peabody MA, forthcoming. Of great interest is Anthony’s Love, Reason and Will: Kierkegaard After Frankfurt. Co-edited with John Davenport (Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, forthcoming 2015; currently in copy-editing stage. (This collection includes Anthony’s essay, “Kierkegaard’s Platonism and the Reasons of Love”.) Anthony was a keynote speaker at an Expert Seminar on Kierkegaard and Ethical Theory, University of Antwerp, Belgium, Feb 3rd-4th 2015. He attended the Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in St. Louis, MO (February 18th-21st, 2015) where he commented on a paper, and the Pacific Division Meeting of the APA in Vancouver BC (April 1st-4th, 2015) where he gave a response to four papers at a meeting of the Society for Political Theology At all these conferences Anthony was able to profit not only from attending sessions but also from informal discussions with other participants.

Edmund Santurri was invited to co-teach for a week the “In Dialogue With Augustine Seminar” at the Augustinian Institute Villanova Univesity on the topic of “Augustinian Realism(s) and Politics.”  July 21-24, 2014.

His “Human Corruption and the Possibility of Love: Dostoevskian Ruminations on Forgiveness” was published in a volume on Virtue in the Moral Life: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives, July 2014.

His (co-authored) “Augustinian Realism and the Morality of War: An Exchange” paper was published in a volume on Augustine and Social Justice, January 2015.

Ed presented on “Politics, Theology and the Limits of Ethics” (at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University (co-sponsored by the Berkeley Institute), April 10, 2015. His “Introduction” to the newly reissued edition of Reinhold Niebuhr’s An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (2013) was reviewed in Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics Volume 35, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2015.  The reviewer (Daniel E. Morris) says inter alia about the Introduction that “this is a clear responsible, and thorough review of critical receptions of Niebuhr.  The footnotes pint the way to excellent resources, orienting readers to four important conversations in short order.  Scholars and graduate students who study Niebuhr will benefit from this introduction, as will readers who desire a concise guide to critical receptions of Niebuhr’s work” (p. 208). Congratulations! Ed also presented to the Religion Department Colloquium a paper on “Agape as Self-Sacrifice: The Internalist View.”  The essay is scheduled to be published by Georgetown University Press in a volume on Christian Love sometime in 2016. Along with our beloved emeriti philosophy professor Ed Langerak, Ed was a member of the Advisory Committee for college’s newly established Institute for Freedom, Equality and Community.  June 1, 2014 to the present and continuing.  Among other things, but most significantly, Ed developed the new Public Affairs Conversation program just passed by the faculty last April.  He is scheduled to teach the first course of that program in September 2015. Ed eveloped and taught two outstanding new courses: “Narnia and Beyond: The Theology of C.  S. Lewis” (fall 2014–title now changed to “Beyond Narnia: The Theology of C. S. Lewis”) and “Roman Catholic Theology” (spring 2015).

Corliss Swain continued to serve the college as the Associate Dean of the Humanities, one of the key offices that oversees all departments in the humanities.  As the ADH, Corliss serves on the Dean’s Counsel and oversees the course offerings, staffing, and state of play of the humanities in general.  This spring she organized a splendid book party celebration of multiple authors in the humanities.  2014-15 marked the completion of Corliss’ three-year appointment as the Co-Executive Editor of Hume Studies, a prestigious journal published bi-annually by the Hume Society.  Corliss attended the 41st Hume Conference last summer in Portland Oregon.

Charles Taliaferro was a presenter at the Muttahari Conference held in Quom, Iran, where he also contributed to a panel discussion on reason and revelation.  These presentations plus an independent essay are to be published in June of 2015.  Charles was also one of three scholars who led a two-week seminar in Philosophy of Religion in Innsbruck Austria and then presented at the Conference: Divine Action in the World in August of 2014 also in Innsbruck.  Charles, as the current EIN director, led two one week workshops in the summer of 2014 for faculty on ethics (applied and theoretical) as this bears on EIN offerings at the college.

Charles wrote five articles over the year, which have appeared or will soon in journals and anthologies, along with three book reviews and 8 entries for a forthcoming Encyclopedia on the Christian Religion in America.  His co-edited Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology was published in March of 2015 (which includes chapters by Charles on the topics feminism and glory).  He co-authored the entry on immortality in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  He continued the editing of the six volume History of Evil (to be published by Routledge), and has been working all year on two on-going major research projects: a 6 volume Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion (with Wiley-Blackwell) and a 6 volume work on the cultural history of the self (with Bloomsbury).  He continues to be the Book Review Editor for the journal Faith and Philosophy, and is on the editorial board of numerous journals.  Charles collaborated with students in co-authoring two works in the domain of philosophy and popular culture (Star Wars and House of Cards) and he offered a one-day course at the University of Minnesota Extension School, the Philosophy of Aging.

September 2013 to June 2014

In the academic year 2013-2014, the Philosophy Department offered the following courses:

  • PHIL 118:  Making of the Modern Mind (Cunningham x2, Marsh, Muñoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 119:  Moral Psychology (Grenberg, Fuerstein x2)
  • PHIL 120:  Philosophy in Literature (Rudd)
  • PHIL 127:  Zen and the Art of Judo (Muñoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 147:  Death and the Meaning of Life (Marsh)
  • PHIL 231:  Philosophy of Mind (Rudd)
  • PHIL 233:  Kierkegaard and Existentialism (Rudd)
  • PHIL 235:  Ancient Western Philosophy (Muñoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 235:  History of Modern Philosophy (Grenberg)
  • PHIL 240:  Formal Logic (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 241:  Philosophical Theology (Taliaferro x2)
  • PHIL 243:  Aesthetics (Taliaferro)
  • PHIL 244:  Philosophy of Science (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 246:  Space and Time (Cunningham)
  • PHIL 250:  Biomedical Ethics (Gervais, Marsh x2)
  • PHIL 251:  Science, Ethics, and Religion (Marsh x2)
  • PHIL 252:  Ethics and the Good Life (Rudd x2)
  • PHIL 253:  Democracy:  Rule of the Ignorant? (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 254:  Law, Politics, and Morality (Fuerstein x2)
  • PHIL 255:  Race and Social Justice (Watson)
  • PHIL 257:  Environmental Ethics (Taliaferro x2)
  • PHIL 259:  Global Health Ethics (Gervais)
  • PHIL 278:  Moral Theory (Fuerstein)
  • PHIL 372:  Seminar in Metaphysics – Personal Identity (Rudd)
  • PHIL 374:  Seminar in the History of Philosophy – Hellenistic Philosophy (Muñoz-Hutchinson)
  • PHIL 399:  Senior Seminar – Kant’s Ethics, Religion, and Politics (Grenberg)

In September, for the 35th Annual Eunice Belgum Memorial Lectures, Daniel Robinson (Oxford) gave two talks:  “Consciousness-Again” and “Character.”

The Department held regular colloquium meetings, often with the philosophers from Carleton College.  Presenters included:

  • Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson (St. Olaf):  “Consciousness and Agency in Plotinus”
  • Jason Bridges (Chicago):  “The Ecology of Reasons”
  • Michelle Mason (Minnesota):  “Reactivity and Refuge”
  • Bennett Helm (Franklin & Marshall):  “Truth, Objectivity, and Emotional Caring: Filling in the Gaps of Haugeland’s Existentialist Ontology”
  • Michael Fuerstein (St. Olaf):  “Contesting the Market:  An Assessment of Capitalism’s Threat to Democracy”
  • Henrik Bohlin (St. Benedict & St. John’s):  “’Effects on the Mind’ as Objects of Reasoning:  A Perspectivist Reading of the Reason-Passion Relation in Hume’s Sentimentalism.

The Carleton and St. Olaf philosophers worked with Alexander Nehamas of Princeton University at the annual fall retreat, discussing several chapters from his forthcoming book on friendship.

Members of the Department actively participated in Phi Sigma Tau (the college’s philosophy honor society) events and weekly “Pizza Thursday” discussions with students.

Faculty were active in their areas of specialization:

Arthur Cunningham published an article, “Branches in the Everett Interpretation”, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics in May.  In March he gave a talk at St. Olaf College titled “Two Solutions to One Problem?  Boethius on Freedom and Foreknowledge.”  He is currently working on two additional articles, titled “A Vindication of the Popular Solution to the Problem of Freedom and Foreknowledge” and “Theological Fatalism and the Necessity of the Past:  New Clothes for an Old Fallacy.”  Professor Cunningham accepted a five-year appointment as a Resident Fellow of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, to begin in June 2014.

Michael Fuerstein’s revised article “Democratic Consensus as Essential Byproduct” is forthcoming in the Journal of Political Philosophy.  Another paper, “Contesting the Market:  An Assessment of Capitalism’s Threat to Democracy”, is forthcoming in Reconciling Performance With Progress:  Essays on Capitalism, Business, and Society (ed. Subramanian Rangan, Oxford University Press).  Professor Fuerstein also published “Review of Robert Audi, Moral Perception”, which appeared in Faith and Philosophy.  In April he presented “Contesting the Market” at the Inaugural Assembly of the Society for Progress at The Royal Society in London.  Professor Fuerstein has continued to serve as an advisor and assisting organizing for the Society for Progress and is currently contributing to the production of a volume that will come out of the Inaugural Assembly.  He is currently working on a paper on democratic experience.

Karen Gervais traveled to Germany in September to present “Redefining the Default Definition of Death and Expanding Living Donation,” at the conference, “The Importance of Being Dead – The Dead Donor Rule and the Ethics of Transplantation Medicine,” for the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at the University of Bielefeld.  In January she presented, “Modeling an Organizational Ethics Consultation: Should a Health System Permit Cardiologists to Reuse Explanted Pacemakers?” to the HealthEast Systemwide Ethics Committee in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Her recent publications include “Death: Definition and Determination of, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives,” published in Bioethics, and “The Social Construction of Death, Biological Plausibility, and the Brain Death Criterion,” forthcoming as an Open Peer Commentary in the American Journal of Bioethics later in 2014.  Additionally, she remains a member of the LifeSource Ethics Committee and the Northfield Hospital and Clinics Ethics Committee.

Jeanine Grenberg published a book, Kant’s Defense of Common Moral Experience:  A Phenomenological Account, with Cambridge University Press in September.  She also Published “All you need is Love?” in Kant on Emotions and Value (ed. Alix Cohen, Palgrave Publishers), “Humility” in The Handbook of Virtue Ethics (ed. Stan van Hooft, Acumen Handbooks), and a review of Patrick R. Frierson’s Kant’s Questions:  What is a Human Being? for Mind.  Professor Grenberg’s forthcoming works include “Kant on Evil” in The History of Evil, Volume IV (ed. Charles Taliaferro and Douglas Hedley, Acumen Publishers) and “Love in the Lectures on Ethics” in Kant’s Lectures on Ethics:  A Critical Guide (ed. Lara Denis and Oliver Sensen).  She attended an “author-meets-critics” session for her book at an APA meeting in April and also served as a critic for a session on Robert Johnson’s Self-Improvement at a similar meeting in February.  Professor Grenberg is currently working on a new translation of Kant’s “Doctrine of Virtue” from the Metaphysics of Morals with Jens Timmerman to be published by Cambridge University Press.  She is also working on an article titled “Kant and Divine Command Theory” and a book manuscript about the history of the concept of attentiveness.

Gordon Marino spent the 2013-2014 academic year on sabbatical.  In addition to serving as the director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf, Gordon traveled to Kiev, Ukraine in September as the Honorary Director of the Kierkegaard Conference.  In November he gave invited lectures at both Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota and the Sorbonne in Paris.  Gordon’s book, The Quotable Kierkegaard was published with Princeton University Press in October.  He continues to serve as editor of the Soren Kierkegaard Newsletter and assistant editor of Common Knowledge.  Gordon continues to write frequently for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal; he was also invited to host a session of Huffington Post Live.  Other publications include pieces in Commonweal, Christian Century, Christianity Today, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.  In August he will activate an American Scandinavian Foundation fellowship to Denmark.

Jason Marsh had two articles published during the year.  “Darwin and the Problem of Natural Nonbelief” was published in The Monist, while “Conscientious Refusal and Reason-Giving” appeared in Bioethics.  A third paper, “Quality of Life Assessments, Cognitive Reliability, and Procreative Responsibility” is forthcoming from Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.  Jason is currently working on chapters for three different volumes that take up topics ranging from the ethics of procreation to the future of the philosophy of religion.

Danny Muñoz-Hutchinson has a paper, titled “Consciousness and Agency in Plotinus,” forthcoming in a volume on causation and creation in late antiquity, to be published by Cambridge University Press.  He was invited to contribute this paper by the director of Oxford University’s Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies Project.  For the second year in a row, Professor Muñoz-Hutchinson co-organized a panel with a colleague from Hamline University on metaphysics in Neoplatonism for the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies in Lisbon, Portugal.  In June he co-chaired this panel and presented a paper, entitled “Outside the Causation of the Physical Universe: Plotinus on the Metaphysics of Agency.”

Anthony Rudd published four papers: “Wittgenstein and Heidegger as Romantic Modernists” in Wittgenstein and Heidegger (ed. Egan, Reynolds, and Wendland, Routledge), “The Soul of a Philosopher:  Reply to Turnbull” (with P. Stokes) in Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 2013, “Bodily Subjectivity and the Mind-Body Problem” in Philosophia Christi, and “’Strong’ Narrativity – A Response to Hutto” in Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.  His forthcoming works include “Narrative Unity and the Moment of Crisis in Fear and Trembling” in Cambridge Critical Guide to Fear and Trembling (ed. D. Conway, Cambridge University Press), “No Self? Some Reflections on Buddhist Theories of Personal Identity” in Philosophy East and West, “Kierkegaard’s Platonic Teleology” in Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self (ed. J. Lippett and P. Stokes, Edinburgh University Press), and “Kierkegaard on Evil” in A History of Evil (ed. Hedley, Meister, and Taliaferro, Acumen).  Professor Rudd is co-editing Love, Reason and Will:  Kierkegaard After Frankfurt with John Davenport, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Publishing in 2015.  The volume includes an essay of his own, “Kierkegaard’s Platonism and the Reasons of Love.”  He presented papers at both a conference celebrating Kierkegaard’s bicentennial at Baylor University in November and an APA meeting in February.

Edmund Santurri spent Fall 2013 and Interim 2014 on sabbatical.  During this time, he completed three essays that have been accepted for publication.  They are: “Agape as Self-Sacrifice: The Internalist View” for Love and Christian Ethics: Engagements with Tradition, Theory and Society, edited by Frederick Simmons and Brian C. Sorrells; “Human Corruption and the Possibility of Love: Dostoevskian Ruminations on Forgiveness” for Virtue and the Moral Life, edited by Kathryn Getik Soltis and William Werpehowski; and “Augustinian Realism and the Morality of War: An Exchange” for Augustine and Social Justice, edited by Teresa Delgado, John Doody and Kim Paffenroth.  Additionally, Professor Santurri published “The Neo-Barthian Critique of Reinhold Niebuhr” in Journal of Religious Ethics.

In addition to performing her duties as the Associate Dean for Humanities at St. Olaf, Corliss Swain continued her work as co-editor of Hume Studies.  The journal published two issues during the academic year, and a third issue is in the beginning of the copy-editing phase.  Professor Swain commented on a paper at the Hume Conference in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in the summer of 2013.

Charles Taliaferro served as chair beginning in June.  He presented a paper on museums and philosophy at the University of Glasgow in August, while also presenting at the University of Chicago, Mount Royal University, the University of Notre Dame the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Philosophers, Pilgrim House, and, in May, at a conference in Qom sponsored by the Iranian Philosophical Association, as well as at the University of Tehran.  Charles’ main scholarly work over the year was co-editing The History of Evil (a five volume work with over 130 contributors from around the globe) and The Ashgate Companion to Theological Anthropology.  Taliaferro continues to hold the position of Book Review Editor for Faith and Philosophy and to serve on the editorial boards of Sophia, Religious Studies, Philosophy Compass, and Blackwell Religious Studies Review.  He is a member of the editorial board for Continuum Studies in Philosophy of Religion. He is on the Executive Committees for both the SCP and EPS and was recently named Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Open Theology.  Additionally, Charles has been a reviewer for several journals and presses including Oxford and Cambridge University presses.

Charles Watson III taught at St. Olaf during Interim, conducting a course titled Race and Social Justice.  In February, Charles presented “An Analysis of the Moral Law and Moral Pathology in the Work of Martin Luther King, Jr.” on campus, and in April he gave a talk titled “The Social and Political Philosophy of Malcolm X” at the Second Annual Malcolm X Justice and Peace Lecture Series at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.  Charles’ entry “Existentialism” is forthcoming in A History of Evil:  1900-1950, volume 5, edited by Victoria Harrison, Chad Meister, and Charles Taliaferro, to be published in 2015.