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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Philosophy

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Department of Philosophy

Message from the Chair

Naomi Reshotko, chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Denver

These are exciting times in the Department of Philosophy. By the end of 2012-2013, Roscoe Hill, Bill Anderson and Frank Seeburger—who have collectively been part of our community for something like 100 years—will retire.

Each has left his own unique mark on our department.

We will miss them all very much and wish them the very best as they enter this next, we hope very fulfilling, stage of their lives.

New faculty

We are excited to have welcomed our newest faculty member, Marco Nathan, this fall. Our new colleague specializes in metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of science. The addition of the latter will enhance our course content.

We have more faculty than ever before. Last year, we were fortunate to hire Dr. Thomas Nail, a three-year postdoctoral lecturer with an interest in migration and diasporas. Thomas is trained in continental philosophy.

We're also lucky that Dr. Jeffrey Brown joined us as a lecturer in the philosophy of law. He has a JD and PhD in philosophy, and practiced law for several years before returning to graduate school to specialize in the philosophy of law.

Both Thomas and Jeff have become popular teachers and valuable colleagues in a short amount of time.

2012 department news and events

Our bioethics team, 2010 national champions of the National Undergraduate Bioethics Bowl, hosted the 2012 Bowl and Conference, March 23 and 24. Dr. Candace Upton coaches and travels with the team. DU also hosted the West Coast Plato Workshop in 2012.

Over the last few years, we—and philosophy programs across the country—have seen a significant increase in majors and minors. There is much speculation about why the study of philosophy is experiencing this sort of revival:

  • In this economy, is it only a very rigorous liberal arts major that properly equips people for the future, ever-changing job market?
  • Do the prospects of climate change or the prospective changes in the availability of medical care make it more important than ever to study ethics?
  • Have current geopolitical conflicts made people even more eager to study our basic beliefs about the nature of reality and of human beings?

It is very hard to choose among these and other hypotheses. Why people are choosing to study philosophy is not important because we know that when they do, they will find it inherently fascinating and useful because it allows you to live in the world as an appropriately critical thinker.

The growth in our department, with respect to both students and faculty, has only enhanced the very warm and friendly atmosphere that we have always provided. Please come and get to know us by taking a class in our department.

Naomi Reshotko, chair
Winter 2013