On October 19th the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies held a Wellness Passport Event, "Humanities on Trial: The Case of Philosophy." The event was held in Bate 1010 and the room was filled. The question was posed: Should philosophy her part of a university education? Arguments for and against a yes answer were presented by a panel consisting of Dr. George Bailey (philosophy), Dr. Henry Jacoby (philosophy), Dr. Mike Veber (philosophy), Mr. Pafford (ECU alum and Greenville attorney), and ECU students Alex Nolte, Sara Smith and Katie Chandler. The audience participated in a lively discussion. At the end of the event a vote was taken on whether philosophy matters. One person was undecided and everyone else who voted said "yes."
On October 26th the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies held a Wellness Passport Event,
"God in the Voting Booth--Religion and Politics: A Panel Discussion." The event was held in Brewster C-103. The room was filled to capacity with students, faculty and members of the community. A panel discussion was followed by questions from the audience. Dr. Tom Eamon
, Dr. Lee Johnson (Religious Studies), and Dr. Brad Lockerbie (Political Science).
Dr. Calvin Mercer (Religious Studies) were the panelist
. The event was reported on the front page of the Sunday October 28th edition of the Daily Reflection. The Reflector article noted of associate professor Lee Johnson that she "
has researched religion, power and gender in the ancient world. Johnson has designed a new introductory course, which she will begin teaching next year, called "Use and Abuse of the Bible," which explores how the Bible is used to defend positions on social issues like homosexuality, divorce and the death penalty."
Dr. Mike Veber, a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies,
presented a research paper entitled "A Different Kind of Dream Argument" at the Southeastern Epistemology Conference hosted by the University of South Alabama in Mobile. In addition, upon being invited to do so, and just before heading for the airport, Dr. Veber gave a surprise guest lecturer based on his conference paper topic to an upper division undergraduate epistemology class in the USA philosophy department. The lecture was well received by the USA students. (Dr. Veber was not compensated for giving the lecture.)
Dr. George Bailey, chairperson of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, made two panel presentations addressing the issue "what is critical thinking and how to teach it?" at a Critical Thinking symposium involving all 16 UNC campuses held in Charlotte, NC and sponsored by the UNC General Administration. ECU sent a delegation of 12 people to the symposium. Other attendees from the Harriot College were Dr. Derek Maher, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dr. Tracy Morse, English, Dr. Jean-Luc Scemama, Biology and Dr Wendy Sharer, English.
On April 6, 2016, attorney Michael E. Tigar gave a highly informative talk to members of the ECU Philosophy Club, the ECU Pre-Law Society and interested faculty. Mr. Tigar (Professor Emeritus at Duke University) discussed a some of his more notable cases, including his defense of Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma Bombing case, his successful work with the African National Congress to free Nelson Mandella, and many others. He provided students with a deep, historically grounded understanding of what it means to be an advocate for justice, in the past and now. In 1999, the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice group named him the third greatest lawyer of the century, after Clarence Darrow and Thurgood Marshall.
Philosophy major Alex Nolte and Professor. Mike Veber discuss the philosophy department's "Brain in a Vat" display during "Admitted Students Day in Minges Coliseum."
The "Brain in a Vat" that was displayed by the philosophy department at the Admitted Students Day event in Minges Coliseum April 2nd, 2016. This display called attention to a significant philosophical problem in Epistemology (theory of knowledge): You are quite certain that you are not a brain in a vat. Yet it is impossible for you to prove this. How do you know that you are not a brain in a vat, wired to a computer that is producing everything you experience? If you were a brain in a vat wired to a computer, you would be having exactly the same experiences as you are right now! How do you know that you are not a brain in a vat? If you are curious, contact Dr. Veber