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Welcome to the Philosophy Department

Philosophy News

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The Philosophical Society meets every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Philosophy House.
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Levinas's Lands: States or Texts?
Public Lecture
May 31, 2018
Conway Hall (TETC)
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Day Camp, June 18-22nd
Teacher Institute, June 26-29th
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Read Dr. Cammarano's latest interview with Engaged Philosophy.
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Welcome to the Salisbury University Philosophy Department website! We are a vibrant, intellectually diverse department focused on undergraduate education and public engagement in philosophy.  We have strengths in Analytic and Continental philosophy, especially ethics, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, philosophy of religion and Asian philosophy. Our department embraces pluralism in our approach to all philosophical disciplines, and we pride ourselves on developing a strong sense of community with our students, faculty and staff. We invite you to stop by the Philosophy House for more information about our programs or a friendly chat.

Pic of the Philosophy House
The Philosophy House

Philosophy Students
Find friends of common interest
in the Student Philosophy Club

Reflections of a Graduating Senior: Rebecca Lederman

Rebecca LedermanSanskrit. Who studies Sanskrit? Do you guys even know what that means? I didn’t know, either. It’s an ancient language, the language to start all languages, the philosophical language of ancient Buddhism and Hinduism. And I’m about to leave for India for the sole purpose of learning this ancient tongue.

The crazy thing is that it all started with a major change. I didn’t even know you could change your major when I got here. That’s what I’ve learned: what we become is just an accumulation of little interactions, here and there-- affecting us in ways we hadn’t thought of-- until moments like these, where our journeys come full circle, and we all are face to face with our accomplishments and the world ahead.

Once I found out I could change my major, I did it a lot. Psychology, Communications, Psychology and Communications, Elementary Education, back to Psychology, until I realized with all of this rambling, I needed to go to the Philosophy Department. As I gained these eclectic experiences, I learned to value the mercurial nature of being an indecisive and often confused undergrad. I was learning all along.

I’ve learned about the value and meaning of human life, as well as forgiveness, by reading books with prisoners at Eastern Correctional Institution. I’ve laughed after a 5th grader in our philosophy-in-schools program convinced me we might all be in Limbo, and we’ll never escape. I’ve cried during my honors thesis research, where I led a discussion group with senior citizens, who have so much to share, and yet, are too often seen as merely a burden on the young. And yes, Sanskrit. Philosophy led me there, too.

So many of these small changes were discovered in collaboration with my professors. If I were to mention everything they taught me, we’d be here all day. But, what I have loved about getting to know these philosophers is how diverse and distinct they are as people, and yet, how focused they are on creating a community of knowledge. And this is the interesting thing that I’ve noticed about Salisbury University, and the philosophy department in particular. There is a dedication to truth, knowledge and civic engagement, here, unlike any other institution. We think deeply, but we act broadly, and there isn’t anywhere in the world where we can’t go from here.

From this, the thing that I hope you all understand is that the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from SU has taken place, yes, within the classroom, but even more so outside of it. We’ve all changed with every short advisement meeting during which, mentors like Dr. Stock, convinced us not to drop out and live in a van. We grew wiser during out-of-class dinners, where professors like Dr. Clement and Dr. Cammarano, joyfully and enthusiastically dished out truth with a side of wit. And we learned that friendship and professionalism are really one in the same after chatting with professors like Dr. Tuske, who expressed his joys in American diners during 5 hour van rides for Ethics Bowl. In this, we see that our learning began with the consistent, and often unnoticed encouragements. And from these encouragements we have all gained a zest for truth and wisdom, and an interest in the betterment of our local community here, at Salisbury.

And so, I invite all of you to reflect on your time here, at Salisbury, and remember those little moments, the ones that occurred in the cracks of your undergraduate years, the ones that have gone largely unrecognized. These are the moments that have catalyzed our intellectual growth and our academic, as well as personal, successes. I hope if anything, this little speech serves as a challenge to pay attention to, and value, every moment that you’ve been granted, and to let these ripple out of you to create change and opportunity greater than you could have ever planned yourself.

Thank you.

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"When I arrived at SU, I was torn between many different interests; it was wonderful to find a department which, rather than forcing me to abandon my interests, made it possible to explore all of them from a new perspective."  -- Clayton Alsup, Class of 2008 currently a graduate student in philosophy at Louisiana State University
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