Philosophy @ SU

News & Views from the Philosophy Department at Salisbury University

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Free online Kierkegaard course

Søren Kierkegaard:

Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity 

An Online course in Coursera

Instructor: Jon Stewart

Start: 6 October 2014 (8 weeks long)

In this course we will explore how Kierkegaard deals with the problems associated with relativism, the lack of meaning and the undermining of religious faith that are typical of modern life. His penetrating analyses are still highly relevant today and have been seen as insightful for the leading figures of Existentialism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism.

About the Course

It is often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so widespread in modernity.

The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) gave one of the most penetrating analyses of this complex phenomenon. But somewhat surprisingly he seeks insight into it not in any modern thinker but rather in an ancient one, the Greek philosopher Socrates.

In his famous work The Concept of Irony Kierkegaard examines different forms of subjectivism and relativism as they are conceived as criticisms of traditional culture. He characterizes these different tendencies under the heading of “irony.” He realizes that once critical reflection has destroyed traditional values, there is no way to go back. But yet the way forward is uncertain. As the modern movements such as Existentialism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism reveal, the issues that Kierkegaard faced are still among the central problems of philosophy today.

Recommended Background

No prior knowledge of Kierkegaard is required. The course will be on an advanced undergraduate level, and it will be an advantage for students to have some prior knowledge or idea about the history of philosophy.

For students who wish to dig deeper than what is presented in video-presentations, texts, and assignments there will be supplementary readings for all course modules.

See the introductory video, read more and sign up the course:


For flyer in other languages click here

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Congrats to SU Philosophy Alumni Scholarship recipient

A hearty congratulations to Mark Oberly, our first recipient of the SU Philosophy Alumni Scholarship. This award has been made possible by SU Philosophy alumni and Mark will be putting it to good use as he studies in Italy in 2015 during the winter session. Way to go Mark. And thank you to our alumni!

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Chalkboard quotes

This semester we swapped out our dry erase board (it had seen better days) for a wall-mounted chalkboard. A blank chalkboard tempts our philosophers, so almost every day Dr. Stock gives us a philosophical quotation. Last night was the last Chinese Tea House of the semester and it was lovely to see a return quotation from our guests.

Philosophical quote du jour: 

"To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control."

~~Martha Nussbaum

Return quote:

"Within the four seas, all are ‘brothers’."image

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Internship opportunity

The Salvation Army Richard Hazel Youth Center is seeking a Treasurer who would assist with fundraising and publicity support. If you are interested please contact Ms. Camella Ward 410-603-3804. 

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Scopus, Student's Philosophy Journal

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Mark your calendars for the 2014 Philosophy Symposium!
April 26, 2014
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
TETC 153
Movement: The Foundational Reality of Animate Life
Moving in Concert
Featuring Dr.  Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Philosophy Department, University of Oregon. For more information, please see our Symposium page.

Mark your calendars for the 2014 Philosophy Symposium!

April 26, 2014

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

TETC 153


  • Movement: The Foundational Reality of Animate Life
  • Moving in Concert

Featuring Dr.  Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, Philosophy Department, University of Oregon. For more information, please see our Symposium page.

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Undergraduate Journal accepting submissions until 2/11/2014

Prometheus is an undergraduate philosophy journal run by students and faculty at Johns Hopkins University. Prometheus is currently accepting paper submissions for its upcoming mid-atlantic undergraduate philosophy conference on Saturday, April 12th - Sunday, April 13th.  The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 11th, 2014.

 Paper Guidelines:

 Undergraduates from all institutions are invited to submit a philosophy paper on any topic of their choosing. Papers should be no more than 3,000 words, double-spaced, and should include a 100-200 word abstract.  Identifying information (name, school, phone number, and email address) should only be found on a cover page, and the cover page should be submitted as a separate document. Submissions should be sent to with “Conference Submission” in the subject line.

 Conference Information:

 Selected participants will be invited to present at our conference, to be held April 12th-13th.  The best paper will be considered for publication in Prometheus, the Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Philosophy Journal.  All other papers accepted to the conference will be published online.

The conference will feature a keynote presentation on Saturday by Dr. Nancy Sherman of Georgetown University, whose recent research has focused on military ethics, emotions, and the history of moral philosophy.  Following, presenters are invited to attend an on-campus dinner hosted by the Johns Hopkins Department of Philosophy for undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members in the philosophy department.

We regret that we will be unable to reimburse attendants for travel costs.  Direct any questions about the conference to and

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Philosophy journal “Stance” Call for Papers (CFP)

The national awarding-winning, international undergraduate philosophy journal Stance ( is now taking undergraduate submissions for review. 


Stance  seeks original philosophical papers authored by current undergraduates.

 Submission Guidelines:

Stance welcomes papers concerning any philosophical topic. Current undergraduates may submit a paper between 1500 and 3500 words in length (footnotes may extend the word limit 500 words at most). Stance asks that each undergraduate only submit one paper for the journal per year. Papers should avoid unnecessary technicality and strive to be accessible to the widest possible audience without sacrificing clarity or rigor. They are evaluated on the following criteria: depth of inquiry, quality of research/academic rigor, creativity, lucidity, struggle, significance, and, most importantly, originality.

 Submission Procedures:

- Manuscripts should be in Microsoft Word (.doc) format and sent as an attachment to

- Manuscripts should be double-spaced (including quotations, excerpts, and footnotes)

- The right margin should not be justified

- To facilitate our anonymous review process, submissions are to be prepared for anonymous review. Include a cover page with the author’s name, affiliation, title, and email address. Papers, including footnotes, should have no other identifying markers.

- Footnotes should follow Chicago Manual of Style. A style sheet with examples is available on our website under Papers We Seek.

- Please use American spellings and punctuation, except when directly quoting a source that has followed British style.

 For further concerns, please visit Stance on the web at or contact us at