Philosophy@Utah State

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

USU Philosophy was well represented at the “The Roots of American Constitutionalism” – Intercollegiate Studies Institute conference over the weekend.  We spent the weekend discussing federalism and anti-federalism, as well as what must lie behind constitutional order (virtue, liberal education, etc).

ISI is dedicated to a robust investigation of the core ideas and great books that are behind the American founding and western civilization more generally, the sort of thing one is unlikely to get at universities today.  It is intellectually conservative in bent, but is a big tent and encourages dissent (several times throughout the conference, faculty implored students to disagree with them).  ISI has chapters across the country, including our new ISI “CS Lewis Society” chapter.  We do book clubs and discussions locally (books and dinners provided by ISI), and then students can take advantage of all expense paid conferences and honors programs that focus on great ideas and leadership (networking, etc) — typically at really nice hotels with exceptional faculty (myself excluded).  Contact Dr Kleiner if you are interested.

Our esteemed group from this weekend, from left to right: Catherina Aust, Richard Sherlock, Gavin Mill, Jennifer Burris, Jonathan Toronto, Millie Tullis, Chase Robbins, Taylor Wyatt, Harrison Kleiner, Emma Wright


Philosophy Club Lecture

Thursday, Feb 16, 4:30pm in RWST 113

We will have a visiting scholar – R.J. Snell – on campus this Thursday.  He will be presenting on a 2oth century philosopher named Bernard Lonergan.  Though Lonergan is under-read these days, he was quite famous in his time (Time Magazine ran a feature on him in the 1970s, calling him the finest philosophical thinker of the 20th century).  Dr Snell will introduce us to Lonergan, what he had to say, and why he is significant.

His talk will be called, “Authentic Subjectivity is Genuine Objectivity: Self-Knowledge and the Hope of Philosophy.”

All are welcome!


FLASH! Philosophy next Tuesday

reason_has_always_existed-598-185It’s time for another Flash! Philosophy event. This is when students present some tasy morsel of an idea – it could be something funny or serious, original or heard/read somewhere else, whatever or whatever. It’s mainly a chance for students (and faculty) to have fun discussing ideas. If you’re interested in presenting something – and you should be! – send Huenemann a note at

Tuesday, February 21st

Main 207

7 p.m.

REMINDER: Brett E. Blanch Memorial Scholarship

Students, please be aware of the Brett Blanch Scholarship! It is available to philosophy majors at least one semester away from graduation, with at least a 3.5 gpa in philosophy classes. The deadline for application is March 3rd. More details in this pdf:


(If you’re not sure whether you qualify, just ask a philosophy prof!)

DEBATE: Does God exist?

The Utah State Secular Alliance and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship are co-sponsoring a debate on God’s existence. The debate will be on Wednesday, February 8th, at 7 pm in the TSC Auditorium. All are welcome. USU Philosophy major Chasen Robbins will argue the affirmative, Eric Ethington will argue the negative, and Charlie Huenemann will moderate.

2017 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

I’ve put a poster on my door, and there is more information here:

The deadline for submissions is February 10th.

Ethics Bowl pizza and discussion

The cases for the national Ethics Bowl competition are out (attached below). If you are interested in glancing through the cases and discussing them over pizza, you’re invited to The Factory this Thursday, 7 pm!