Philosophy Newsletter Fall 2017

There is sad news in our department. In December 2016, Professor Emeritus Leroy Meyer died unexpectedly after a brief illness. A tribute to Leroy’s dedication to philosophy and his long career at USD is included in this issue. We hope the following news items are a testament to the condition he left our program when he retired in spring 2016. Growing Program Over the past five years, enrollments have doubled (from 193 in fall 2012 to 378 in fall 2016). This growth is driven largely but not entirely by the department’s new Introduction to Ethics course offering. Enrollments outside of Intro to Ethics also grew 50 percent in the past five years. In the same time frame the number of students who have declared philosophy majors has doubled. Many of these majors are opting to pursue the new degree specialization in Ethics, Law, and Society, a degree option in which half of the philosophy classes are in topics of ethics, politics, law and civic engagement. New Faculty Two new faculty members have joined the department: Dale Clark, Ph.D. (Utah 2011), teaches mainly in ethics in the position of instructor. Zoli Filotas, Ph.D. (McGill 2015), teaches mainly ancient philosophy and social and political theory in the position of assistant professor. Events In spring 2017 we organized a conference on the book Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation with author Jonathan Lear. The book considers the experience of the Crow Indians at the time of their cultural dispossession and finds in their response an ethical model of resilience and creativity which has much to teach us today. The event was co-sponsored by the Native American Studies Program and English department as well as the Center for Diversity, and was partially funded by the South Dakota Humanities Council. Prior to the author’s visit, students in anthropology, Native American Studies, English and philosophy read and discussed the book. Our students had the special opportunity to meet with Professor Lear while he was on campus and discuss in greater detail themes explored in his book and campus lecture. The first-ever philosophy conference for undergraduate students in the state is planned for April 2018 in Sioux Falls. Students from USD will be able to present their own ideas to philosophy students from other universities. In addition to helping organize the event, USD will co-sponsor a keynote address. We continue to be proud of the work and civic engagement of philosophy majors and minors after they graduate from USD. Recent graduates have pursued careers or experiences in the military, mission work, law school, grad school, seminary and medical school. Philosophy Program Sees Growth Fall 2017 P hilosophy N ews