Department of Philosophy
Studying Philosophy at Denison
To do philosophy is to encounter some of the most fundamental questions that can be asked about human existence. Philosophical investigation leads students to recognize the assumptions that underpin even our most ordinary ways of interacting with other persons and engaging in human projects. Such assumptions concern, for example, the nature of human knowledge, actions and values.
Philosophy challenges students to move beyond uncritical patterns of thought, to recognize problems and to develop a well-considered and justifiable world view. In doing so, students learn to think in disciplined yet imaginative ways. Philosophy department faculty members cooperatively approach these concerns from diverse perspectives, both in studying the works of major philosophers and in their own creative activity. Students are encouraged to join with the faculty in this inquiry and to philosophize creatively on their own.
Every semester the department sponsors a philosophy Colloquium Series, which brings nationally and internationally known philosophers to speak on campus and to meet with classes. Students are actively encouraged to participate in colloquia.
Each semester a series of Philosophy Coffees is held, informal discussions among students and faculty, centering on a different question or issue each time. Topics for philosophy coffees are selected by a student committee, which takes responsibility for these events.
The Department of Philosophy publishes a journal of undergraduate philosophy, Episteme. Its editorial board is made up of philosophy majors, who review submitted papers, select those suitable for publication and produce an annual volume of the journal. Papers are solicited nationally from students doing undergraduate work in philosophy.
The Philosophy Major and Minor
To major in philosophy, students must take a minimum of 10 courses selected in consultation with the major advisor. The 10 courses must include:
- Philosophical Studies
- Greek and Medieval Philosophy
- Modern Philosophy: Descartes through Kant
- three advanced level courses, including a junior/senior seminar
In addition, philosophy majors must participate in and pass the Senior Symposium in their senior year.
The Department of Philosophy welcomes double majors and self-designed majors, and helps students integrate philosophy with work in other departments.
To minor in philosophy students must take five courses including Philosophical Studies and at least one advanced level course.
Philosophy, by its very nature, is ideally suited to assisting a student in integrating and articulating knowledge gained in other areas. For this reason we attempt to tailor a student's minor program in philosophy to the specific course of studies he or she is pursuing in his or her major.
What Do Philosophy Majors Do After Denison?
A major in philosophy provides students with a range of skills that serves them well in many career fields. Philosophy majors have continued on to law, medicine, and business schools. Some students continue on to do graduate work in philosophy or related fields. Other students have moved directly into the job market, seeking careers in fields such as advertising, investment banking, publishing, and sales.
Who Are Our Professors?
- Professor Barbara Fultner joined the faculty at Denison in 1995. She earned a B.A. from Simon Fraser University, an M.A. from McGill University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She teaches courses in philosophy of language, the history of modern philosophy and philosophy of feminism among others. Her research interests lie at the cross-roads of analytic and continental philosophy, with a focus on theories of meaning and social practice.
- Visiting Assistant Professor Sergio Gallegos works on metaphysics, philosophy of language and epistemology, but he also has strong interests in American pragmatism. He earned his doctorate from Graduate Center of the City University of New York and his bachelor's degree from the National University of Mexico (UNAM). His dissertation offered a defense of the classical notion of identity against a number of contemporary revisionist challenges.
- Professor Anthony J. Lisska, Maria Theresa Barney Professor, joined the faculty at Denison in 1969. He earned a B.A. from Providence College, an M.A. from St. Stephen's College and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He is the recipient of the Sears Teaching Award at Denison and the Carnegie Foundation United States Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year Award. He teaches courses in Greek and medieval philosophy, philosophy of law, virtue ethics and the philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas. His research interests include St. Thomas Aquinas, law and morality, and modern moral theories.
- Assistant Professor Jonathan Maskit joined the faculty at Denison in 1996. He earned a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He teaches courses in contemporary continental philosophy, environmental ethics, Kant, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, and others. His research interests include aesthetics, continental philosophy, and environmental philosophy.
- Visiting Assistant Professor John McHugh works on the history of western philosophy, especially the early modern period. He received his doctorate from Boston University and his bachelor's from Providence College. His dissertation was on Adam Smith's response to David Hume's moral theory.
- Associate Professor Mark Moller joined the faculty at Denison in 1996. He earned a B.A. from Bucknell University and an M.A and Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis. He teaches courses in ethics, medical ethics, bioethics, logic and American pragmatism. His research interests include ethics, biomedical ethics and American philosophy.
- Professor Emeritus Ronald E. Santoni joined the faculty at Denison in 1964. He earned a B.A. from Bishop's University in Canada, an M.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Boston University. His research interests include Jean-Paul Sartre, existentialism, philosophy of religion, Albert Camus, C.J. Ducasse and social and political philosophy. Santoni is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He has been Visiting Scholar and Visiting Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at University of Cambridge, England.
- Brickman-Shannon Professor Steven Vogel holds an A.B. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Boston University, and has been a member of the Philosophy Department at Denison since 1984. He teaches courses in continental philosophy, nineteenth-century philosophy, environmental ethics, social and political philosophy, and logic. He has special research interests in environmental philosophy, in the work of Jürgen Habermas and of the Frankfurt School, and in Marxism, Hegel, and Heidegger. In 2003 he was awarded the Charles A. Brickman Award for Teaching Excellence at Denison.
For more information about the department and curriculum, link to the:
Steven Vogel, Brickman-Shannon Professor, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Knapp Hall, Room 205
Granville, Ohio 43023
Fax: (740) 587-8544