State University of New York
Professor of Philosophy
revered Columbia University philosopher, Ernest Nagel, once said that there
were only two classes he enjoyed teaching, beginning courses in philosophy and
advanced graduate seminars. Except for the advanced seminars, Nagel would have
enjoyed teaching at Suffolk Community College. Our philosophy students
consistently demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and the commitment to
succeed. Some excel and go on to gain advanced degrees at major universities.
Even those whose reading and writing skills are
wanting often find in philosophy a subject they can sink their teeth into
especially in the give and take of classroom debate. The challenge is
formidable, the rewards satisfying.
I first arrived at SCCC, the offerings in philosophy have grown exponentially
in response to student demand. Beginning with Logic and Issues in Philosophy,
our curriculum now includes Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Critical Thinking,
Biomedical Ethics, Business Ethics, History of
Philosophy, Philosophy of the Arts and World Philosophy, as well as a variety
of special topics courses including Philosophy of Science, the Ethics of
Scientific Research, Philosophy of Law and the Philosophy of Rights. These
courses not only satisfy the needs of our Humanities students but help to
support curricular in other areas, such as the Nursing and Business Programs,
the International Studies Program as well as programs in the performing arts
and the sciences.
addition to reaching out to more and more of our students, we have attempted to
bring SCCC philosophy to the surrounding community and beyond. In the spring of
1997, we hosted a conference as a memorial tribute to Marx Wartofsky,
philosopher. The event attracted participants from Philadelphia to Boston. Enquiries
and well wishes arrived from around the world. In the spring of '98, we
sponsored the Long Island Philosophical Society, one of the oldest
philosophical organizations on the east coast and only one of a handful of
professional groups dedicated to bringing together philosophers of varied
backgrounds and interests. In 1999, we sponsored a conference on Being
Philosophical About Freud, which attracted
scholars from Long Island and other areas throughout the country, and have
hosted conferences every spring semester since, featuring internationally known
members of the profession, inlcuding Mary Mothersill,
Virginia Held, and Tom Regan.
at Suffolk Community College has grown since the early 60's when the first
philosophy course was offered. In the following pages, I
review my own academic growth, my recent publications, my work on behalf
of the College and the Ammerman Campus Philosophy Department. From the
beginning, I served as advisor to the Philosophy Club and, more recently,
performed with the college concert and jazz bands. (Clarinet
and tenor saxophone!) These activities, too, are described below.
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