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ECU Philosophy Alums Make Their Marks in Religion

Joseph G. Wolyniak
BA in Philosophy, 2004
Episcopal Chaplain, Princeton University

Wolyniak comes to the Diocese of New Jersey after serving as Missioner for Discipleship & Theological Education in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, where he worked in the Office of Faith Formation in support of campus ministries at several colleges and universities across the state. He was ordained to the transitional diaconate and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology from the University of Oxford in June, 2016.

Wolyniak has served in multiple chaplaincy settings, including working with undergraduates and seminarians at Duke University Chapel, graduate students and fellows at Saint John's College Chapel-Oxford, and a variety of students and staff at the multi-campus outreach of Raleigh Episcopal Campus Ministry.

Billy Atwell
BA in Philosophy, 2008
Chief Communications Officer

Billy Atwell has been appointed Chief Communications Officer for the Arlington, Virginia Diocese by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge effective Aug. 1, 2017. He will report directly to the Office of the Bishop, serve as the diocesan spokesperson, and directly oversee the Office of Communications, the Arlington Catholic Herald, media relations, publications, and digital and social media.

Since 2014, Atwell has served as Director of Communications for the Diocese of Raleigh. Prior to that, he was Director of Communications for the Diocese of Venice, Fla., and also held positions in digital communications, program management and public policy in the Washington, D.C., area.

Find out Why:

Philosophy is a Great Major

Get a job. Choose your career. Be prepared for the unexpected.

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Reisman says that when it comes to complex issues, the abstract and systematic thinking he developed in his philosophy courses helped him make important decisions. "A lot of what we do here at NASA is deciding which new ideas should be [carried forward]," he explains, "and there are all kinds of questions we have to consider. If you choose the wrong thing, the government loses tens of billions of dollars in investment.

"A philosophy major will prepare you for so many aspects of life, not just work, but issues of life and death-if you do it right," he says. " What I would say is get the philosophy degree for your life."


What We’re Up To

Professor Maher, Religious Studies

Dr. Maher to present a paper at Appalachian State University on September 25 entitled, "Body, Transhumanism, and Science in Buddhism."

Abstract: From its earliest days, Buddhism has developed complex ideas about the nature of the body and its role in the process of spiritual transformation into the perfected state of a Buddha. Such ideas evolved under the influence of Yoga and Tantra in millennia past, and they continue to take new forms through the contemporary encounter with biomedicine, neuroscience, and human enhancement.



Professor Georgalis, Philosophy

Dr. Georgalis to present his paper at ECU on Friday, October 13th, at 3:15, entitled, "Thinking Differently About Thought."

Abstract: A new theory of thought is introduced based on a distinction between thought-tokens and thoughts; thought-tokens map many-one to the sentences that express them. What an agent is thinking on a given occasion constitutes her thought-token. Thought-tokens are given expression via a sentence uttered in a public language. Such sentences have determinate standard contents but the thought-tokens they express frequently do not. Moreover, the contents of thought-tokens of various agents may differ significantly, yet our common linguistic practices of thought attribution warrant the use of the same sentence to express them. Consequently, there is a many-one relation between subjective thought-tokens and public sentences which express them. Agents "having the same thought" amounts to no more than that the same sentence may be used to express thought-tokens with different content. We have thought-tokens; we do not have thoughts. The expression 'thought' is a useful facon de parler. The implementation of this new theory allows for novel solutions to several problems. I sketch one such application here (several others in my 2015).



Shayan Nik Akhtar

Junior Philosophy major Shayan Nik Akhtar got his senior honors thesis published in Apeiron: Student Journal of Philosophy, Volume 9, edited by Slavoj Zizek. The title of the paper is "The Privation Theory of Moral Evil and Hick's Soul-Making Theodicy". Congratulations!