The fall semester of 2012 is proving to be an exciting one for the philosophy department! We welcome two new members to the faculty. Professor James Genone joins us from the University of California (Berkley). His research focuses on the nature of perceptual experience and its relation to memory, imagination, language, and thought. His current research also investigates the aspects of the mind and body that are essential to an individual's selfhood and identity. Professor Rachel Goodman joins us from the University of Chicago. Rachel’s dissertation is on the topic of singular, or "de re" thought, and her research addresses this and related issues in the philosophy of mind and language. A focus of her research is the relationship between singular content as it arises in language and thought. Her current projects include understanding how results in cognitive science bear on philosophical accounts of singular thought, and examining the relationship between metaphysical facts about object identity and facts about object-directed thought. Her paper, ‘Why, and How, Not to be a Sortalist About Thought’, is forthcoming in Philosophical Perspectives. We have a strong number of majors and class enrollments, an active philosophy club, and a busy schedule of colloquia and conferences.
Nicole Hoover ’09 is our academic coordinator. Nicole graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a degree in economics, but she spent many hours here with Beth Betrone as a student worker! As a mother of two young boys, Nicole certainly keeps herself busy when not at work in the department. She is excited to return to F&M and is looking forward to serving the college in a whole new capacity.
In October, 2010, Glenn Ross presented a paper, "Reconsidering the Lessons of the Lottery for Knowledge and Belief", at the University of Graz in Austria. That paper is now forthcoming in Philosophical Studies. He is teaching three courses this fall term: introduction to philosophy, symbolic logic and a seminar in epistemology. His seminar is focused on topics that are closely related to his current research on the nature of belief, particularly, how logic places constraints on rational belief and whether the obligations of rationality require a robust control over belief formation.
Bennett Helm, having recently published his second book, Love, Friendship, and the Self, is now turning to his next project on the nature of respect and dignity. The first fruits of this research have been or soon will be presented at conferences in Jordan, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico, and Germany. In addition and with support of the Hackman Scholars program, he and Dan Kaplan ('12) co-authored a new paper on the place of interpersonal emotions in uncovering objective truth, and they will be traveling together to Israel to present it at a conference. On the teaching side, Helm has developed several new courses in the last couple of years: Love, Friendship, and the Self; Philosophy of Emotions; and Respect, Responsibility, and Ethics.
Lee Franklin teaches Introduction to Philosophy, and courses in Medieval and Ancient Philosophy. His research concerns Plato's philosophical method, Dialectic, and its connections with Plato's metaphysics and theory of learning. Recent work has specifically concerned the Method of Hypothesis and its ramifications for Plato's commitment to the existence of mathematical objects, and the method of Collection and Division found in Plato's late dialogues. Lee and his wife Marci Nelligan have two daughters, Sonya and Dahlia.