The Philosophical Society continues its thirteenth year of exploring useful knowledge and the integration of the sciences. In all previous semesters, presentations and stimulating discussions were held in areas of physical science, engineering, medical science, natural science, and social science.
The Society has no fixed subject or topic. Any topic in the sciences is fair game; however, we leave politics and theology to other classes. The society has no permanent instructor. Members and guest speakers who are knowledgeable in the topic for that session make presentations. It has been our experience that the presentations are well-prepared and intellectually stimulating, and the discussion periods (while not descending quite to anarchy) are equally stimulating and great fun.
Class moderator is Bob Olson.
Eleven sessions: Fridays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, December 5 and 12
This class will help the student to recognize logic, truth, fallacies, and falsehoods and how they affect our lives. The companion text, which is recommended, though not required, is: How to Become a Really Good Pain In The Ass, by Christopher DiCarlo, Prometheus Books (2011).
Paul Sharkey is a graduate of Pasadena City College, Pasadena, California, and California State University at Los Angeles. He holds a PhD degree in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a MPH in Public Health from the University of Southern Mississippi. He served as Professor of Community Health and Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was co-founder of the American Society for Philosophy, Counseling and Psychotherapy, and the American Philosophical Practitioner’s Association. He has spoken and published widely and is the author of two books: Philosophy, Religion and Psychotherapy and A Philosophical Examination of The History of Values of Western Medicine.
Six sessions: Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3 and 10
In this course, we will examine the notions of “personal identity” and “meaning of life” from the perspective of various sciences including biology, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, physics, cosmology, and philosophy. The emphasis will be on coming to a better understanding and appreciation of our “selves,” our relation to one another, and to the universe in which we live.
Paul Sharkey-See Class #471 for bio information
Six sessions: Wednesdays, 1:00 - 2:10 p.m., November 5, 12, 19, 26, December 3 and 10
This course will consist of a philosophical reading and critical analysis/study of the above novel. Basic philosophical ideas and issues are often implicit in works of fiction. This is especially true for Greene’s The Heart of the Matter. Scobie, the main character, struggles with the many dimensions of his life: his religious faith, his marriage, his job (he is a policeman in an African colony), the general circumstances of his times (Scobie’s work is greatly complicated by the fact that World War II is going on), and the demands and implications of his sense of integrity. Promises, convictions, and the difficulties of “doing the right thing” drive the action of this story.
Phil Hamlin, see class #100 for bio information
Five sessions: Mondays, 1:00 - 2:10 p.m., September 22, 29, October 6, 13 and 20
This course involves reading N. Carroll's Humour: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014) and engaging in a discussion of it. For many of us, a sense of humor has perhaps never been adequately described, though there have been many attempts. Complicating these attempts is the fact that there are many kinds of humor. Carroll’s short book gives us a start in mulling over the intriguing question of what makes something funny. We will at least get a start on understanding humor, and hopefully have lots of laughs on the way.
Phil Hamlin, see class #100 for bio information.
Five sessions: Mondays, 1:00 - 2:10 p.m., October 27, November 3, 10, 17 and 24