Philosophy@Utah State

Special Topics course: “How to be a philosopher”

Some students may have heard I (Huenemann) have been developing a new course, “Philosophy and Pop Culture”, that I was hoping to offer in the spring, on the topic of video games. Alas, it looks like the course will not go through the approval process before enrollment for Spring 2018 begins. So now I’m hoping to offer it sometime next year.

Meanwhile, I will be offering a Special Topics course (PHIL 4900-002) on “How to be a philosopher”. We will be reading different ways of “doing philosophy” – from some hardcore analytic approaches, to more historical approaches, to more artistic/cultural/creative approaches. Each student will be experimenting with their own approach to philosophy – on whatever topic interests them, in the style and approach they find most interesting. Students will be sharing and explaining their approaches to others, and to some extent I’ll tailor the readings to match the interests of the students. It should be fun, so watch for it!


Honors Last Lecture: Alice vs. Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes, that is. Professor Brian McCuskey of English will present his “last lecture” (not really the last) on Wednesday, 9/27, at 3:30 p.m. in the Caine Performance Hall. Promises to be funny and mind-bending, in equal measures.

Bible study group

Whether you are a believer or not, there can be no question that the Bible has had a huge impact on intellectual history – and continues to exert its influence today, in one way or another. Hence it behooves us to know it. Chasen Robbins has established a weekly bible study group – and all are welcome! Details:

Mondays 4:00-5:30
Library Room 112
Starting 9/25

Philosophy lecture: Love and Justice

Laurence Paul Hemming (Lancaster University, UK) will present a lecture titled “Can Love Bring Justice?  Answers from Now and from Antiquity”. Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from 3:00-4:15. ENGR 101.   All are welcome!
UPDATE: Yes, the lecture is in ENGR 101 (there was some confusion on this point).

Facticity Panel: “Truth is Complicated”

Another upcoming event of interest:

The USU Department Heads have organized a panel series called “Facticity” (the quality of being a fact).  The motivating question of the series, as I understand it, is something like ‘In an age of contested truths and alternate facts, how should we think about truth?’

The first panel is titled “Truth is Complicated” and will be held Tuesday, September 12 from 5:00-6:30pm in Eccles Conference Center Auditorium.  Panelists (all USU faculty) include our very own Charlie Huenemann, Aaron Brough, Phebe Jensen, and Courtney Flint.  Reception with some finger food after, followed by an optional discussion (moderated by our own Harrison Kleiner).

Free Speech on Campus panel

The USU Institute of Government and Politics and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are hosting a panel discussion titled “Free Speech on Campus: Where’s the Line?”  This is part of the “pizza and politics” series – so there will be free pizza.

CHaSS Dean Joseph Ward will moderate.  Panelists include Michael Scott Peters (USUSA President), Marina Lowe (ACLU Utah), Rep. Justin Fawson (Utah Legislature), and Professor Kim Lott (USU TEAL).

Wednesday, September 13th at 5pm in the Huntsman Hall Perry Paviliion (4th floor).



First Ethics Bowl meeting!

Our first Ethics Bowl meeting will be next Thursday, September 7th, at 12:30, in Main 227. If you are unable to attend, please send a note to Professor Holberg (erica.holberg(at) For those who don’t know, Ethics Bowl is a debate-like activity, but with an emphasis on constructive dialogue rather than just scoring points against an opponent. The regional tournament will be at USU this year!